10 Tips To Upgrade Your Next Flight For Free


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Do you peer through the front curtain and wish you could score a seat in Business or First Class without paying the price?

In my younger years, I rather tragically believed the online suggestions that by checking in early and dressing nice, I might score a First Class seat just with a bit of good luck, but this never worked.

Now, after years of research, I have acquired an encyclopedic knowledge about how to upgrade my flight and to save enough miles to book a free flight, and voila, I now fly in Business. Just like that. I share tips on how I do this below:

1. Controversial Suggestion

Business and First Class flights are so very expensive. If you haven’t managed to score a free flight upgrade via my tips below or via miles and points, is the price of the upgrade worth it in cash?

Most of the time, I would argue that it isn’t. 10 or 12 hours of misery may save you as much as $10 – $15k USD of cash per person if you fly in Economy instead of with a Business or First class ticket.

$10k+ USD can buy you a whole lot of luxury when you get to your destination. Book your next hotel stay via our luxury travel concierge and we should get you an even better deal! We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and other free perks at hotels including the best Four Seasons, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, InterContinental and more at no extra cost.

2. Break Your Seat

I am not condoning violence or vandalism, but a broken seat is one of the few ways to get a flight upgrade without paying for it! You can read more in my article about this flight upgrade technique. The crux of this opportunity is that IF your seat is broken and IF the only seat that is not broken and available on that flight is in Business Class, you should be upgraded.

Of course, the likelihood that your seat is broken and that your flight is fully booked in Economy but not in Business Class is not large.

3. Get Bumped Off Your Plane

If your plane is overbooked, you might get bumped off the flight. This is a pain in the bum, for sure, but it can also be a lucrative way to earn big cash or airline credit which you can then spend on a more luxurious cabin and seat.

4. Choose Your Airline Carefully

Not all Business Class is the same. Taking transatlantic travel as an example, American Airlines Business Class seats usually have direct aisle access. British Airways don’t unless you get one of their newly refurbished cabins. Therefore, it is worth choosing American Airlines instead of British Airways on these routes for a similar air-mile cost.

Equally, when flying to Hawaii, only some airlines offer flatbed seats. Others just recline. You can find out the best airline to fly to Hawaii in Business Class. Hint: We had a great experience on Hawaiian. Crucially, do your research and spend your miles wisely.

5. Pick Unusual Routings

Business and First class tickets can vary in price significantly depending on which country the flight originates from. You can find some incredible fares that involve traveling via hubs you might not have thought of in order to snag Business Class tickets on the cheap.

As an example, someone wanting to fly from London to New York return on British Airways Club World might find tickets up to 50% cheaper if they start their journey from another European city such as Amsterdam, Paris, Norway, or Istanbul. Ask our flight experts for advice on the best cheap routings.

6. Keep an Eye On BOGOs For Flash Sales

Join the airline’s loyalty scheme so that you get mailed any offers and sales. Also bookmark our news channel to keep up-to-date on the latest interesting travel deals and promotions. Flipboard and Apple News are also great platforms that will keep you updated with the latest travel offers and deals.

6. Get A Job With The Airline

Airline staff and their families do get genuine discounts on airline ticket prices. If you really want to fly upfront, this is a great way to do it.

7. Sneak In

It has been done, flyers sneaking up the aisle, and simply sitting in an empty Business Class seat. It rarely works, and the shame of being spotted probably isn’t worth the risk.

8. Enter The Lottery

Wouldn’t a lottery win be the answer to all our dreams, and a win would certainly offer an easy way of affording a Business or First Class ticket.

9. Fly Short-Haul

A short-haul Business Class flight is much less expensive than a long-haul in Business Class.

10. Collect Miles With A Credit Card

And then spend them on a First Class flight. See which cards I have here.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.