Trabber Blog

Flights Hotels Cars Offers

9 tips to score an upgrade to Business Class

25 March 2024

Receiving an upgrade to business class ranks among the top perks for frequent flyers. Business class offers wider seats, improved legroom, complimentary drinks, premium food selections, and additional luxurious amenities such as lie-flat seats during international flights. If you plan your trip in advance and understand how airline booking systems work, your chances of getting a free upgrade to Business Class increase significantly – meaning the airline changes your Economy ticket to Business without any additional expense on your part.

Although different rules and criteria exist within each company, we offer you 9 of the most useful tips:

1. Join loyalty programs

Firstly, if you wish to have the option to travel in Business class instead of Economy (without paying for it), it’s essential to be a member of the airline’s frequent flyer program that you’re flying with. Therefore, if you’re flying with a company for which you don’t have the ‘points card,’ it’s necessary to enroll in the program. The process is usually very straightforward; all airlines allow you to do it for free and instantly on their website.

2. Take care of your program level

The higher your frequent flyer level, the greater the possibilities. In situations of overbooking, as often happens in the summer, airlines start upgrading passengers from Economy to Business class starting with the highest-level loyalty program members.

3. Enter your frequent flyer number on the ticket a few days before flying

It’s crucial not to wait until reaching the airport to specify your membership in the frequent flyer program. Instead, do it at the time of purchase, ideally at least 24 hours before the flight.

4. Check-In from home

If there’s overbooking, there’s a chance for an upgrade. How to be one of the lucky ones? In addition to following the previous tips, it’s important to do the check-in from home about 24 hours in advance, which is when airlines normally allow it.

Flight personnel often know in advance which flights will be full, and that’s why they start moving passengers from one class to another before takeoff. But if the traveler hasn’t checked in, they won’t have opportunities to be upgraded, as the airline can’t be certain they will fly.

Some companies offer upgrades during online check-in for reduced prices (between 75 and 150 euros, depending on the flight duration), which can also be a good option.

5. Show a positive attitude

If you’re going to ask an airline for a courtesy class upgrade, dressing appropriately and according to what is expected in that cabin increases your chances by 50%, according to some studies. Of course, good manners and politeness will also help.

6. Travel alone or act as if you were alone

Even if you’re traveling with mates, it’s interesting to check in individually, as it increases the chances of getting an upgrade. When checking in three or more people together, the upgrade becomes increasingly difficult, until it becomes almost impossible.

7. Ask the airline for the upgrade

This might seem obvious but, in certain companies, particularly those in the United States, it’s important to inquire about the possibility of receiving a “courtesy” upgrade at the counter. Airlines such as American Airlines often maintain a list of requests arranged by loyalty program status and request sequence. On the other side, a hight number of European airlines upgrade decisions are often made prior to the start of airport check-in.

8. Be active on the airlines’ social media

More and more airlines are tracking customer satisfaction through social media. But beware: what works is not so much complaining about airline services as sharing positive experiences. Sometimes, marketing departments may want to reward brand advocates.

9. Report if you have any health issue

If you have any health issues, especially muscular or bone fractures, and you communicate this to the airline, it may add points in your favor when opting for the upgrade.

Upgrades to Business class occur more or less frequently depending on the routes and airlines, so the more you travel, the more opportunities you’ll have. We hope that these recommendations prove useful on your next trip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.