Is This the Easiest Way to Snag a Free Flight Upgrade?

business class passenger
Photo by kudla / Shutterstock.com

Landing a free flight upgrade often hinges on making a choice that is unrealistic.

You might improve your odds of an upgrade by choosing a particular airline or departure time, for example. But travelers tend to choose flights primarily based on their budget or schedule.

However, there is one way most of us can attempt an upgrade from economy class to business class or other premium class: Simply talk to the airline agent stationed at the gate, according to Consumer Reports.

Gary Leff of the website A View From The Wing tells CR that gate agents focus on getting airplanes out of the gate on schedule. That sometimes entails upgrading coach passengers to the front of the plane if coach is overbooked, but there is still room in first class.

A free upgrade would happen during boarding, but you must take several steps before then. For better odds of getting upgraded at the gate, CR and Leff advise that you:

  • Be prepared to ditch your carry-on luggage. If you get an upgrade, overhead compartments might already be filled by the time you board, requiring you to check your carry-on bags.
  • Get to the gate early. The agent might be less busy or less stressed at that time.
  • Ask nicely. Tell the gate agent you would like to be considered if passengers are being upgraded.
  • Stay at the gate. Remain there even after your row is called. You want to be among the last passengers to board because such passengers are more likely to be upgraded than those who are already on the plane.

If you end up stuck in coach despite your best efforts, check out the tips in:

Have you ever managed a free flight upgrade? Share how you pulled it off by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
Believe It: You Can Save $500,000 in 15 Years
Believe It: You Can Save $500,000 in 15 Years

Even if you’re behind in preparing for retirement, there’s still a way to pull together a solid nest egg if you focus.

This Is the Best Used Car You Can Buy
This Is the Best Used Car You Can Buy

This car combines reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

Never Buy These 12 Things at a Thrift Store
Never Buy These 12 Things at a Thrift Store

Sometimes a great deal is not worth it — or, even worse, is dangerous.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Comments

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.