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Sunday 28 June 2015

How to get an upgrade on your next international flight

You are at the check-in desk for your international flight and have your passport, economy class ticket and your fingers crossed behind your back. 

Just how do some people get upgrades while others seem to always get a middle seat in the back row of the plane? 

The truth of the matter is that it has never been harder to get an upgrade - no matter which airline you are flying with. 

There are, however. some tactics that you can use to boost your chances of being one of the lucky few; just don't expect them to work on a regular basis. 

# To lift your prospects try to fly as much as possible with an airline that you are a frequent flyer with. If you have gold or platinum status then your chances of an upgrade are increased. If economy is full and they need to move someone up to business, they'll almost certainly choose a loyal customer over some random. 

# Dress nicely and look the part. You might feel more comfortable in shorts and sandals, but you are not going to spring to mind as an upgrade candidate unless you look like you belong at the pointy end of the plane. 

# Be as polite as possible, no matter how hard this might be for you. And if you have a special reason for wanting/needing an upgrade then make that clear at check-in and ask politely. If you have a sore back or your dog just died, you might, just might, strike a chord. If you have 10 million followers on Instagram that might also count in your favour. 

# Always check yourself in personally rather than doing so online. A real person might be willing to help you; a computer certainly will not.  

# Travel solo and travel at the right time. If you check-in with your wife and two kids there is absolutely no chance one of you will be upgraded and the others left back in row 58. Upgrades are limited, so it pays be on your own. Also, if you are travelling at peak periods, Mondays, Fridays for business people or during school holidays, then there will be more competition for that treasured upgrade. 

The reality is, however, that your chances of getting a lie-flat bed when you have paid for a budget economy ticket are close to zero, There is only one thing to do: pray. It certainly can't do any harm. 

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