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How to Get a Free Airline Upgrade on Your Flight - Fly Business Class

by Dave Smith

Everyone wants to buy a cheap economy ticket and get bumped up and upgraded to business class or first class. Who doesn't want more comfort, more legroom, better service and the lounge access which come as standard for first and business class passengers. The current generation of flat seats in premium cabins of major carriers make flying long-haul much more comfortable than ever before.

Here are a few basic tips for maximizing your likelihood of getting that elusive upgrade and rubbing shoulder with the first class jet-set.

1. Become a member of your airline's frequent flyer program. If you can reach 'elite status' then you will greatly improve your chances of getting upgraded if there is any availability on the day you fly. Please note, business class is sometimes full and there will be no free upgrades available at these times.

2. Avoid flying from your carrier's main hub. You will be competing against masses of frequent flyer members so your chance of a free upgrade is minimal. In other words it is more difficult to get upgraded with British Airways if flying out of London Heathrow.

3. Choose one of the smaller frequent flyer programs with fewer members to reduce competition. The biggest programs in Europe are those of Lufthansa, AirFrance-KLM and British Airways with literally millions of members. US programs are massive – the top 3, United, American and Delta probably have well over 100 million members between them! A good option is to join a quality Asian based carrier like Thai Airlines or Cathay Pacific who have far fewer members.

4. Book a flight that is likely to have a full economy section. A few days before your flight, check the availability of business and first class seats by doing a pretend booking on your airline’s website or use one of the class availability tools on the web.

5. Choose a destination that doesn't carry heavy business traffic. Also try to fly on wide-body aircraft like the Boeing 777 with plenty of available first class and business class seats.

6. This is a cliche, but you should try to dress well in ‘smart casual’ or business attire and carry decent looking luggage. If you don't fit in with the flying elite the airline may not upgrade you. Turn up with an economy ticket and a backpack and you'll probably be sitting at the back!

7. If you are serious about flying in business class but only have an economy budget then you should invest in the Ultimate Airfares & Upgrades Guide. This includes a simple and highly effective strategy to gain immediate upgrade priority, shows you hidden criteria the airlines use in selecting people for upgrades and gives you many more insider tips and tricks in getting that elusive upgrade and finding the very lowest possible airfares in any class.

This is part 1 of a 2 part series on how to get a free airline upgrade on your flight. Part 2 is only available in the free articles section of

The Ultimate Airfares & Upgrades Guide is available at The secret insider tips and techniques in this ebook will help you to crack the airfare code - this really could save you thousands of pounds, dollars or euros in future travel costs.

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