How to Get Yourself a Travel Upgrade

It’s Easier Than You Think

At our PHL parking company, we know that the majority of travelers are “average Joe’s” who stay in four-star hotels and book economy class flight tickets, but there are ways you can score a travel upgrade and spend a few moments with the elite:

Get the right code.

When you book your flight ticket, pay attention to the economy ticket booking code. If you book one with a Y or a B, there’s a possibility of being upgraded to first class as soon as any extra spots are available.

Wait until the end.

If you’re renting a car, wait until the end of the day to get it. By then, most of the standard and compact vehicles will have been rented out and you’re more likely to get a complimentary upgrade.

Fly solo.

Extra first class seats are more likely to be available in singles instead of doubles, so fly by yourself for a better chance of an upgrade.

Ask when it’s slow.

If you booked a hotel room on a day or weekend when business is slow, politely ask the front desk if you could be upgraded to a suite – just wait until there are no other customers around. Many times, hotels have no problem giving you an upgrade when they’re slow.

Dress nicely.

When they are looking to fill first class seats, many airlines will look for people who fit in with the first-class crowd. If you’re dressed in something nicer than jeans and a t-shirt, you’ll be more likely to be considered.

Be willing to be bumped.

Many flights end up overbooked, which means passengers are bumped off the flight and are forced to take the next available flight. If you volunteer to be bumped, you may be compensated for the inconvenience (and your good attitude) with a first-class seat.

Join a program.

When you join an airline rewards program and are considered a frequent flier, you’ll have a better chance at scoring an upgrade.