6 Tricks To Fool Airlines Into A Free Upgrade

airtravelI don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of modern day business travel.

Back in the ’60’s it really was “fly the friendly skies” – booze, smokes, and classy companionship all served up by attractive stewardesses inside a plane that gave Vegas casinos a run for their money.

Nowadays you get a strip search with a snarl… and consider yourself lucky if the microwaved mystery meat doesn’t give you a nightmare case of Montezuma’s Revenge.

Throw in cramped coach seats, wussy rental cars, and roach motels and you’ve got a powder keg cocktail of disgrace, divorce, and disaster just daring you to light the fuse.

So what’s an enterprising traveler to do? Glad you asked.

Because here are some of my favorite tips and tricks to bagging a free upgrade on your ticket class at the airport.

Trick #1. “Other Significant Information”

When you’re booking your ticket, there’s usually a place to enter OSI or “Other Significant Information.” Most people just leave this blank, but what you need to do is tack on some extra information to your ticket. Just think of anything a snooty VIP, CEO, travel agent, famous writer, or event planner might say.

From the airlines perspective, a good looking OSI means you know the ropes – you’ve been here before and you’re used to higher standards. And for that, they could very well give you a bump in priority.

Trick #2. The Secret Code

Sometimes free stuff is just as simple as knowing who to ask. So ask the ticket agent if they’ll add a code to your ticket that tells the gate agent you’re good for an upgrade. Take a look beforehand on what codes your airline uses and when. They all do it a little differently and they’re more likely to help out an “insider in the know” than they are some wet-behind-the-ears newbie.

Trick #3. Play On Their Emotions

Tug on their heartstrings a little by saying you’re traveling for a special occasion. Honeymoons or anniversaries seem to work best. If you play your cards right, you’ll be sittin’ pretty with your girl (or guy) in first class. (No, unfortunately this one will not work for the loners among us.)

Trick #4. The Empty First Class Seat

Sometimes when you’re boarding the plane you’ll notice an empty first class seat on your way back to the fire and brimstone of coach. What you should do is ask the flight attendant if it’s really available. She’ll be more likely to upgrade you if you’re having “issues” with your cheap seat. Get creative. Maybe your seatbelt “isn’t working properly” or the entire seat itself is “broken down.” (hint hint)

You didn’t hear it from me, but they’ll also upgrade you to the high life if you complain about the bawling brat behind you or that smelly fatso rubbing your arm. From their perspective it’s easier to move you than rock the boat with other passengers.

Trick #5. James Bond Charm

If you’re one of those guys who can lay it on thick then switch on the charm and ask nicely. If the ticket counter seems open and friendly your award-winning smile could make all the difference between a future of 1st class wine and cardboard milk.

The chances of this one working are more slim, but you can up the odds by remembering this: upgrading depends on the authority level of who you ask, the number of open seats, and your good standing with the airline. Of course, you do have a spotless reputation with them… don’t you?

Trick #6. Success Breeds Success

Even the dumbest man alive can spot the difference between a sharp-dressed business executive and a soccer mom in sweatpants. So look the part. Dress and act first class and first class treatment will seek you out.

Don’t underestimate this. I can remember one time I was wearing my grey Calvin Klein suit on my way into the courthouse. Just inside the door they have these big metal detectors and usually scan everybody before they’re allowed to pass. But on this day I looked, acted, and talked like the successful straight-shooter I am. To my amazement, the guards apologized and let me pass ahead of the line, and without a scan.

These tips will aid you on your world travels, but they’re really only tip of the iceberg. For more great stuff, make sure you’re a subscriber to my Legal Secrets Report e-mail newsletter. It’s got the stuff too hot for me to post on the main site for everyone to see.

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One Response to “6 Tricks To Fool Airlines Into A Free Upgrade”

  • Roxanne Says:

    woot, thankyou! I finally came to a site where the webmaster knows what they’re talking about. Do you know how many results are in Google when I search.. too many! It’s so annoying having to go from page after page after page, wasting my day away with thousands of people just copying eachother’s articles… bah. Anyway, thankyou very much for the info anyway, much appreciated.

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