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The experts started by sharing the exact time passengers should arrive at the airport to boost their chances of an upgrade.
Check in early
When heading to the airport, most travellers arrive with enough time to check in bags and go through security.
However, many people don’t realize the time you check in can influence your chances of an upgrade.
The experts revealed: “If you want to improve your chances of a free first class seat, try checking in either very early – or last minute.
“If you arrive several hours early for your flight, you’re most likely to beat off any competition for first class or business tickets – and avoid missing out to someone who got there before you.
“Chances are if the economy cabin has been overbooked, airlines will want to rectify this sooner rather than later to avoid causing delays.”
The experts revealed that the clothes passengers wear can increase the chances of getting an upgrade.
“While dressing in your finest clothes is no guarantee for an upgrade, a smart outfit will certainly enhance your chances of being chosen,” they explained.
As first-class passengers often dressed smart, “airlines will want to ensure anyone they bump to first class looks the part”.
The experts said that travellers shouldn’t “feel the need to dress in anything extravagant”.
They recommended, however, people “avoid items that are too casual,” especially “flip flops and cargo shorts”.
Passengers should opt for small casual outfits such as jeans, a jumper, a shirt or blouse and flat shoes.
It’s not uncommon for some airlines to overbook flights which sometimes forces them to bump passengers to another flight.
The experts recommended: “If the airline is looking for volunteers to take a later flight, take the opportunity as it could lead to a free upgrade for your troubles.
“If a first-class ticket isn’t offered and you have been bumped (voluntarily or not), it’s always worth asking if they can upgrade your ticket due to the inconvenience.”
It is also common on flights to be asked to move to a new seat by the cabin crew.
“While this can be inconvenient, if you’re flexible it could be to your advantage.
“Say yes to being moved and you could land yourself with a first-class seat – if not, again it’s always worth asking for an upgrade for your troubles,” the travel expert advised.
A spokesperson at Forbes Advisor recommended to those who book first-class tickets: “Many people would love the chance to experience a first class flight, many of us have often dreamed of champagne on tap, ultimate leg room and complimentary toiletries.
“When looking to book a first-class flight, make sure to only book direct with your airline or through a reputable website to avoid scams.”
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