Jetting off on holiday is already an exciting experience, but boarding the flight or arriving at your hotel to find you’ve been given an upgrade is bound to boost the travel experience. These days, getting a flight or hotel upgrade for no reason is extremely unusual.
However, according to personal finance experts at My Favourite Voucher Codes, there are some “tips and tricks” that are “worth knowing” to up your chances of “blagging a free upgrade for your next holiday”.
How to boost your chances of a flight upgrade
Become an airline member if you travel frequently
If you regularly travel and are loyal to one airline, it is worth becoming a member of the airline’s frequent flyer scheme.
According to the personal finance expert: “If you travel on a regular basis, particularly with one airline, it’s definitely worth becoming a member of the airline’s frequent flyer scheme.
“This way, you will build up air miles to reach a higher status in the scheme.
“Then, when it comes to upgrades, you’ll be at the front of the line as a frequent flyer. Even if you don’t travel super regularly, it’s still worth it.”
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Travel with a frequent flyer
Even if you aren’t a frequent flyer yourself, travelling alongside one can work in your favour.
If you’re travelling with a colleague, friend or partner who is a member of a frequent flyer scheme, it’s worth getting them to make the booking.
The expert explained: “As mentioned, they’ll be at the front of the line to get a free upgrade and you’ll also be listed on the itinerary.”
Volunteer to take a bump to a later flight
In the rare case a flight has been oversold they might offer some passengers the chance to wait until the next flight.
According to My Voucher Codes, volunteering for the later departure could bode well when it comes to an unexpected upgrade.
The expert explained: “An airline might be hesitant to offer too much monetary compensation, whereas an upgraded seat might be an easier perk to negotiate with a gate agent.”
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Dress the part
Though this won’t always ensure you bag a flight upgrade, it can help in boosting your chances if an upgrade is already on the cards.
The personal finance expert said: “Many airport lounges won’t let you in if you’re wearing jogging bottoms or have a t-shirt covered in slogans or profanities, even if you’ve paid for access, and similar can be said about the nicer parts of your upcoming flight or hotel.
“If you look the part and act the part, you’ll find your requests are dealt with accordingly.”
How to get a free hotel upgrade
Arrive at check-in later
Admittedly, this one may seem like a gamble, but according to the expert, it could work to boost your chances of a room upgrade.
The explained: “If you don’t check-in until later in the day, you might just arrive after the hotel has run out of standard rooms.
“In this scenario, the hotel’s only other option is to put you in a higher quality room. It’s a shot in the dark, but could just work.”
Much like frequent flyer schemes, being a loyal customer with one hotel chain can also be a benefit.
My Voucher Codes said: “Hotels are more likely to reward loyal customers and have similar schemes. It’s worth signing up to one.
“A hotel will have more interest in upgrading a regular visitor to a nicer room rather than a random customer.”
Be polite to staff
Like in any situation when dealing with customer service staff, being pleasant and police is essential.
Though this shouldn’t be done with personal gain in mind, it could certainly boost your chances if an upgrade does crop up.
My Voucher Codes’ expert explained: “If there’s an issue with your current room, being polite to the hotel staff will likely go a long way.
“Let’s be real, while the issue might be super annoying, it’s not the receptionist’s fault.
“If you’re polite, sincere and understanding in your approach, the staff will feel more inclined to upgrade your room.”
Celebrate all occasions
Though this has the potential to work on flights, milestone celebrations are more likely to be taken into consideration by hotel staff.
Even if it isn’t the room upgrade you were dreaming of, you might just land yourself a free bottle of bubbly to enjoy.
The expert said: “Whether someone in your party is a year older, you’re celebrating an anniversary or maybe returning home for a reunion, make sure everyone and their dog knows about it, including your hotel.
“You may just get a celebratory freebie along the way to sweeten your break.”