4. Be part of a plan
Having a frequent-flier membership can earn you more than just free flights on your airline of choice. If you fly often enough with a particular airline, you can earn elite status, which often starts at 25,000 miles and can bring you a wide range of perks. Frequent-flier credit cards are another way to add miles, too.
Travelers with "status" are more likely to receive a free upgrade than the average frequent-flier member, says Sullivan.
By being loyal to a particular airline, your odds of being upgraded by that carrier gain altitude, says Sullivan. She encourages travelers who want to earn elite status to stick with the main carrier or carriers at the airport they most often use.
"The reward will work both ways. The people who fly the most are rewarded the most," she says.
5. Pay for part
If you're willing to cough up a bit of cash, or use your frequent-flier miles, you also may be able to get upgrades at cut-rate prices.
If seats in business or first class are vacant, they may be offered to economy-class travelers at check-in. Frey recently paid $90 for an upgrade on a flight from El Paso, Texas, to Miami. "You have to be on the lookout when you check in," he says.
Another option is using frequent-flier miles. While you may encounter turbulence booking a flight using miles, it's often easier to book an upgrade, Frey says. The miles are "almost like currency."
Whatever your strategy for trying to earn an upgrade, Frey says the most important thing to keep in mind is that "there's just not as many seats to go around these days."
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I forgot the Directors name, it was years ago, but, I had one of the FBI's Big cheese , head honcho, with his bodyguards on Board. I had a couple of open seats in F/C (this was before the big frequent flier giveaways, we have these days). I offered F/C to him, and his guards, and he said no thanks, the American people don't pay us to fly F/C. Man, I was awed. That guy should have run for President. he got my vote.
I did upgrade Eddie Money to F/C ,and scored some free concert tickets for that. So, sometimes we have our own agendas..lol. The article is right, treat people with respect, and that can be helpful on a crowded flight. You may not land a F/C seat, but, maybe a exit row seat with lots of legroom, which I would take anyday over F/C. I deadheaded (ride as a passenger to work a flight downline), and when we deadhead, we get F/C if seats are available (rare these days) .The agent offered it to me, because I was the most senior of the crew. I declined, as my crew had the choice exit row seats, with a middle empty seat. We all declined, and the lower seniority employee traveling on her day off... got F/C.
Be nice, dress ok, and maybe it will be your lucky day. Be demanding, and enjoy the last row by the lavs, middle seat between two 300 pound guys.
I don't know why they act this way because in my observations they got a great gig; just make a few announcements, pour a few drinks, then spend the rest of the flight chit chatting in the back galley behind a stupid curtain that airlines have installed over the past few years. That curtain didn't used to be there as I had a habit of standing in the back on a flight. Now they pull this curtain as if this is their private break room. They've even told me I can't stand there as they're 'on break.' On break? Really?
I could go on and on about how airlines have managed to ring all sense of humanity out of flying; wrong forum though. Apologies...
A box of chocolates goes a very long way with cabin personel. I have used it many times, even to get 4 of us upgraded to first class. Gotta love surf and turf on the airplane.
I was looking for other ways to save money. I found this. Have you ever purchased a Happenings book? I recently became a referdia 2.0 customer. It's an social commerce site like a Happenings book on steroids. Over 500,000 active deals from companies like Target, Best Buy, Taco Bell, etc.
Here is the link. my.referdia.com/49239 Happy savings.
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