Insider Tips to Get Free Flight Upgrade


You’re all packed up, ready to relax, unwind, and savour your well-deserved break. But of course, your airplane seat is right between a stubborn toddler and a heavy snoring guy. If happens to many of us, and no amount of wine or soundproof headphones can calm the situation down. Fortunately, we have a solution for that: Get upgraded to first class!


We’re not suggesting paying for this ridiculously expensive upgrade. Instead, we have some tips to get yourself upgraded from economy class to first-class for free!

  1. Be Loyal

Loyalty has its rewards. Pick one Singapore airline and fly with them every time you travel. A few points at multiple airlines won’t give you anything in return, while accumulating more points from one airline will bump up your status, resulting in increased chances of free upgrades.

  1. Work for Those Three Letters—SFU

As a regular flyer of a certain airline, you’re more likely to get those most coveted letters—SFU, which stands for ‘Suitable for Upgrade’. That three letters next to your name on the passengers list makes the difference between free soda in economy and free glass of champagne in business class.

  1. Pick the Right Plane

Choose a flight that will be using an aircraft with larger first class cabin. Knowing the configuration of the plane before booking a flight can help increase your odds of getting an upgrade, as well as help you find a good spot in economy if your upgrade plan fails.

  1. Wear Business Attire

While it’s not the main reason why you may get an upgrade, it increases the chances if you do so. Keep it classy to help your cause. Airlines want their first-class to feel, well, first-class—and they might approve your request if your look like you’re really a part of it.

  1. Have Good Timing

Requesting for an upgrade when the agent is trying to check-in passengers isn’t going to work. Do airline agents a bit of courtesy by sparing plenty of time when making your request. Also, make sure to come in early before passengers start lining up, so no one else is competing for the agent’s attention.1412155733952_wps_5_AA67JW_Businesswoman_at_a

  1. Be Reasonable

Being overly demanding only encourages agents to pick someone else over you if the opportunity for a flight upgrade arises. Do not waste everyone’s time if you know that you’re not a good candidate for the upgrade. If you’re travelling with your family, have a pet dog in a cage as your carry-on, you probably don’t want to spend your time and energy demanding for an upgrade.

  1. See If You Know Someone From the Airline Company

If you have friends at the check-in desk—or higher up in the airline company—they may be able to help you score occasional privileges. Some airlines give their staff upgrade vouchers, which can buy you an upgrade if there’s a higher class seat available.

  1. Let Them Know About Special Occasions

If you’re on a honeymoon, on a birthday getaway, or other special occasion, let the airline agent know. This is a popular trick and is often honoured by airline companies, but make sure to bring a copy of your wedding document or any supporting details of your claim. And while it won’t always result in a flight upgrade, you can possible get a free glass of sparkler and some special in-flight treats.

  1. Check for Breakages

If there’s any problem with your seat, such as broken seatbelt or seat can’t be reclined—or even a bawling child—then get up and discreetly ask the flight attendant if they can transfer you to another seat. If there’s no space available in your current area, they may move you up a class.

  1. Use Your Charm

This isn’t just a myth. It may be rare, but being nice and articulate has work wonders for many. When you happen to encounter an airline issue and asked to speak to management, if you articulate yourself calmly and professionally, you might be rewarded with a free upgrade (for this flight or for another time) or other perks like free drinks or even lounge access.

Surely, there are many more ways to get a free flight upgrade. What’s your flight upgrade tip to share?


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