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10 Tricks to Getting Bumped Up to Business: How to Score a Free Seat Upgrade

Not all of us can afford to shell out a couple thousand dollars for an extra comfortable seat on a plane. But a few people know that there are ways to get around it without breaking the bank.

So, if you’re headed out for a long haul flight and hoping to score a free upgrade, here are a few things you can do to increase your chances.


1. Dress Up

Dress Up

You might opt for comfortable sweats for a long haul flight, but if you’re eyeing the free upgrade you have to step up your outfit.

The class is called “Business Class”, so naturally, passengers who dress the part are more likely to be upgraded. Exchange your hoodie for a nice coat, comb your hair, smile, and hope for the best.

2. Stay loyal to one airline

Most airlines would have a frequent flyer program which anyone could apply for. Aside from scoring free flights, those miles could also be exchanged for free upgrades.

Even if you haven’t reached the required amount of miles, when it comes to choosing people for an upgrade, they would most probably pick the loyal flyer.

3. Be early for your flight

Early For Flight

It’s always a good thing to be early. Though you might have to wait a little longer, this could work in your favor. Some airlines have a small allotment for upgrades, and if you’re the first face they see in the check-in counter,  they might just give it to you.

4. Fly off season

Book a flight on seasons that business flyers are less likely to fill the seats. Research on peak hours and seasons, and work around that. If you don’t get an upgrade, at least the plane is less likely to be full, and economy will not feel as cramped.

5. Spend on other things

As in business, you have to put in a good investment to receive returns. Some passengers who have experienced upgrades think that spending a lot on other things such as extra baggage or additional requests work in their advantage.

6. Ask (last-minute) about upgrades available for purchase

Unlike the typical process of purchasing tickets in advance to get promo fares — some airlines tend to sell their business class seats at a much affordable rate for last minute upgrades. If you’re lucky, they might even give it to you for free!

7. Speak up

If your entertainment system isn’t working, or if you received bad service  — let them know. Nobody likes a complaining passenger and they would probably do anything to appease you.

8. Travel alone

Travel Alone

Your chances of getting upgraded are higher when you are a solo traveler. Families and couples are rarely considered since they would have to work out having to separate you.

9. Be kind

We all know that kindness can go a long way. Compliment the crew’s service or help out a fellow passenger with her bag, people who are likeable will always get ahead. But kindness should extend beyond the motive for a free upgrade, remember that.

10. Have a good reason

Have Good Reason

If you’re pregnant, handicap, or simply too tall for the legroom of economy, then you have a bigger chance to be considered. Your seatmates are probably gunning for an upgrade as well so, if you have a better reason for wanting it, then you probably will.


Ready for your flight? make sure to book it with Traveloka to get the best deals!