Etiquette expert reveals how to charm airline staff into giving you an upgrade

WHO doesn’t dream about strolling onto a plane and ‘turning right’?

While it’s become an unlikely scenario, holidaymakers who are on the hunt for a free upgrade will be relieved to know that there are still ways to to be moved into a better seat.


William Hanson has revealed the cheeky phrase holidaymakers should use to try and nab a free upgrade at the airportCredit: William Hanson

William Hanson, the television etiquette expert, has revealed the cheeky phrase holidaymakers should try at the check-in counter to try and nab an upgrade.

He told Sun Online Travel: “It’s very unlikely to get a free upgrade; however, if a passenger does get a free upgrade it’s usually because something has happened.”

For example, the airline might’ve overbooked the plane and have no choice but to move economy passengers into a nicer seat.

If this does happen, William explained that it’s often frequent flyers or solo travellers who are moved.

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He said: “You’re unlikely to get a free upgrade if you’re a family of four travelling together.”

But for anyone who wants to try their luck and ask, William has the perfect phrase up his sleeve.

“At the check-in desk, you need to say this phrase to the check-in staff: “If you do need to move anyone on the plane, then I’m fine to move into the first class cabin,’ or something to that affect.”

“It’s good because you’re not quite asking, and you’re making it seem like you’re being selfless and doing the staff the favour.”

While William also said the only way to guarantee an upgrade is to cough up the cash, the Sun Online Travel’s resident cabin crew columnist had some advice.

The flight attendant revealed it was all a matter of timing.

They said: “The best thing to do is wait until the very end and board with the final group because obviously if you’re the last person, we’ve got a lot more time to deal with you and to talk to you.”

It also helps to know cabin crew members because they will try and help get free upgrades for their friends.

Members of cabin crew and airport staff have been known to give freebie upgrades to couples who are on their honeymoon and people celebrating special birthdays too.

If this might be you on an upcoming trip, our flight attendant said: “Your best bet is to just tell everyone throughout the whole process from arrival at the airport to boarding the plane.

“That includes the check-in desk, the bag drop people, the security guys and of course the gate staff.

“You never know who is able to help you out and that way you will increase your chances of finding someone willing to give you an upgrade.”

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Meanwhile this frequent flyer revealed how they sometimes manage to get upgrades on plane journeys.

And this flight attendant explained how to improve your chances of sitting in first class.

Let all airline and airport staff know if it's a special occasion or wait until the very last to board and then ask for an upgrade


Let all airline and airport staff know if it’s a special occasion or wait until the very last to board and then ask for an upgradeCredit: Getty

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