Crushed knees. Cramped elbows. No room to move. And no food for you! Flying economy class these skimpy days ranks right up there with a root canal without novacaine. Why would you pack yourself in like a sardine if you don’t have to?
What if the skies were actually friendly for once and you could magically be bumped up to first class? Yeah, that’d be sweet. You’d fly like a boss. Just imagine sitting — scratch that, reclining — in the lap of luxury, stretching your legs for miles, sipping chilled Dom Perignon, nibbling lobster thermidor. Mmmm, now we’re talkin’.
If only you could score a golden ticket to business class for free or at least without paying through the nose. Maybe once in a blue moon you can, if you’re lucky. It basically depends on who you ask, the mood they’re in and the depth of pull they have, not to mention a bunch of other unpredictable variables, says George Hobica, founder and president of TripAdvisor subsidiary Airfarewatchdog.com.
But don’t give up hope yet, traveler. Sweet upgrades still occasionally happen and they could happen to you. Here are five things that could help you upgrade to first class.
1. Ask and ye might receive.
Andrew Medal did and it worked. The Agent Beta founder and Entrepreneur contributor was flying recently for business, he recalls, when he noticed a few vacant seats in first class. “I went up to the flight attendant, turned up my charm and asked, ‘What would it take for me to ride up where I belong?’ She chuckled, and gave me a seat.” For free. Medal says if you don’t ask, you don’t receive. So, go on, swallow the lump in your throat and ask. The worst they can say is no.
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