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33

Probably not the answer you were hoping for, but I think the best way to get upgraded is to fly a lot with the airline. Generally when the flight's overbooked in one class, and they're trying to pick which person to upgrade, frequent flyer status is the first metric they use. The higher your status, the higher up the list you go! Having a high status with a ...


22

Courtesy! In my experience, simply being courteous to those behind the check-in counter (and the baggage handling staff, too) helps a great deal. Most airline staff is perennially overworked, and dealing with grouchy passengers doesn't help their cause. I have gotten upgraded (not only in traveling class, but also with excess baggage) a few times, by just ...


20

Congratulations, I wouldn't complain! Airlines are pretty good these days at managing their passenger load, but sometimes they might overbook a flight or make some mistake and move people around between classes. Worst case, they made a mistake (and notice) and you'll fly economy just like you booked. Best case, you'll enjoy bigger seats and fancier food.


14

Some airlines sell "last minute upgrades". For example Air Canada does this on almost every flight. At first it seemed to be about $100/hr - $500 for a 5 hour flight, for example - but I think it is somewhat less than that now. Depending on whether you think that's a good deal, you could choose either an airline that offers LMU (so you can have a chance to ...


14

I never managed to get upgraded myself, but my supervisor's technique is as follows: He always tries to fly with one airline, collects miles and has the highest possible frequent flyer status. He arrives quite early for check-in and goes to the Business Class/frequent flyer desk, and there he just asks if it's possible to get upgraded. It seems to work ...


13

Bonus tip - on a flight two weeks ago from Los Angeles to Auckland, I was stuck in the 2nd to last row, in the middle between two big military folk. I was not looking forward to this. I'd tried at check-in and at the gate for an aisle seat, but no luck. However, on board I kept my eyes open and noticed the guy next to me had a buddy a row ahead. This was ...


12

The #1 rule of upgrades is to not believe most of what is said and written about them. There may have been a time (decades ago) when upgrades were at the discretion of the gate or flight crew, and being pleasant and well-dressed might work. These days, some airlines don't even have a premium cabin, and those that do have strict rules about upgrades. There ...


12

It is perfectly possible that there is no Business/First class cabin on the plane - you don't say how long the flight is. For example, British Airways flights within the UK are sometimes booked as "C" class tickets (Business), even though there is no business class - it simply means you have an expensive, flexible ticket with benefits (e.g. lounge entry). ...


10

One way that worked for me was when the airline was overbooked, and needed volunteers to take a later flight. It turned out that there was one no show in business class, so they gave my seat to a standby, and gave me the business class seat.


10

As to the reason for the name, from the Terms and Conditions: Each upgrade is valid for 500 miles of travel. Each flight segment requires at least one upgrade. Thus, if you wish to upgrade your seat on a flight which is 1500 miles long, you would need to use three of these 500-mile upgrades.


10

In addition to the scenario identified by Andrew Ferrier, where the cabin displayed is an artifact of the fare class and not the actual existence of those seats on the aircraft, there are several other scenarios where an economy fare can yield a premium seat, though admittedly I do not think any would apply to Avianca. -UP Fares In the domestic U.S., ...


9

Check in early! I've been upgraded only once, LAX to Cincinnati. It was a night flight and overbooked, so it was quite nice to get a nicer seat to sleep in. I did not have a frequent flyer deal with the airline nor did I pay or give anybody anything. I also don't fly that much either. The reason I think I was chosen for the upgrade is because I checked in ...


8

Being 6'4" on a Japanese airline. I was checking in on a partially empty daytime JAL flight from Sydney to Tokyo and they upgraded me to the exit row for free, even though I initially expressed my concern about understanding Japanese in an emergency. No techniques or tricks, just "otherwise"! It's possible that checking in early helped, though. JAL only ...


7

Getting hotel upgrades is indeed like getting flight upgrades -- the odds are low, and stay low even if you try to game the system, but occasionally you win. First of all, it's important to understand that there are "upgrades" and then there are upgrades. A slightly larger room or a room facing the park instead of the parking lot is a small upgrade and ...


7

As Gagravarr says, having elite status with an airline can sometimes lead to upgrades due to overbooking. However, as well as offering to pay cash, some airlines will allow elite status members to upgrade in other ways. For example, I have Executive Platinum status with American Airlines. They give me 8 free 'Systemwide' upgrades a year to spend on ...


6

You can always try and give the flight crew something as a token of appreciation. This is usually something with chocolates (as this is easy to divide among the personnel), but that is definitely not necessary. You should never automatically expect something in return though, but it sure might help! Here's an article with some tips: 10 tips for thanking ...


6

I fly regularly with the same few airlines for business (even though I always purchase standard tickets) and have noticed that maybe one in every 8-10 flights, I am upgraded in some way, whether its 'first class' on a short haul flight (larger seats) or invited to the first class lounge on longer flights without much notice. They don't directly tell me this ...


5

I once booked a compact (i.e. cheapest available) car at Avis in Germany via Internet, and included a satnav option. Because they didn't have (or didn't want to bother with) a portable satnav, I got a Ford S-Max with a builtin one.


5

Ask for it. Don't be shifty. Don't be sneaky. Don't be shady. Ask them if they have the extra seats to upgrade you. If you don't complicate things, you don't run a chance of making the situation awkward, if you are not awkward you are confident, and if you are confident you can run your charm on the person behind the desk for something that isn't even ...


5

AAdavntage has a section on their site explaining what the 500 Mile Upgrade is: 500-mile upgrades allow you to upgrade from Economy Class to the next class of service for travel on American Airlines or American Eagle: Within and between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, The Bahamas and Bermuda Between the U.S. and Central America ...


5

I have verified that you can upgrade two segments of a ticket, but there has to be something special about the segments. In this case, the trip goes JFK-MLE and stops in Singapore's hub SIN. However there is also a short stopover in Frankfurt between JFK-SIN. After booking the JFK-MLE ticket (which has the following stops JFK-FRA-SIN-MLE) I was able to ...


4

This isn't a specific answer to your question since my experience is with ANA (not SQ), however, both are Star Alliance (SA) so they may have similar policies. Think of this as a warning (that was too long to fit into a comment). My wife and I booked a round-trip IAD-NRT on ANA using miles. We then used miles to upgrade the outgoing flight but not the ...


4

While there is a wide range of options for redeeming points at https://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/redeemMiles/main.jsp there doesn't seem to be any facility for transferring Upgrade packages to any other reward. It doesn't look like they are transferable to other named individuals either, so you may be out of luck here...


4

The most usual case when the rental companies will upgrade your car to the next better class is when there are no cars of your class available, so if you rent from an off airport office you're more likely to get a better car then when you rent from a larger office like the ones at major airports.


4

From FlyerGuide.com: An e500 (also known as a “500 miler”) is an upgrade certificate that allows a one-cabin upgrade on a flight of 500 miles or less within Region 1. They can be combined to upgrade longer flights (details below). Mileage Plus elite members who are Premier or above earn 4 e500s for every 10,000 miles flown on revenue tickets on ...


4

Fare class is one, but far from the only, determinant of whether a ticket is upgradeable. You must also factor in the type of upgrade instrument you want to use your frequent flyer elite status whether one or more segments is a codeshare upgrade restrictions imposed on certain routes, aircraft, or travel dates restrictions written into the individual ...


4

Given that you are looking to upgrade a flight on an airline other than the one you have status with, what you are referring to is a Star Alliance Upgrade. These upgrades are generally only available on very expensive fares - on most airlines (including United) they are only available on "B" and "Y" fares, which are the two highest level of Economy fares. ...


4

Most airlines limit the number of seats on each flight for upgrades. Sometimes there's a fixed number from the outset, but otherwise they may release them in bits - a few at a time. If it turns out tickets for a date are really popular, it's better for them to sell pricey tickets, and offer upgrades on the quieter days. So some more may come up if you ...


3

Yes, you can ask for an upgrade while checking in online or checking in at the airport using a self-service machine. That being said, it's always better to request an upgrade well in advance to increase your chances of getting one. You can do that online either when you buy your ticket or later. That applies at least to all major US airlines. American ...


3

In my experience, there are four things which affect your chances of getting an upgrade. The first, and easiest to arrange, is being a member of the loyalty program for that hotel chain. You'll often need to be at least off the bottom rung to get a very good upgrade, and suites tend to only come for people with the highest status. However, when deciding who ...



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