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Ever wondered what it’s like to travel in luxury and style? While the idea sounds nice—for many of us—it’s just simply out of reach. We’ve put together some travel hacks to help you get an upgrade on your next flight.

flight board

1. Arrive early

You can maximise your chances by arriving to the airport early. About 10 hours to be precise. Yes, that’s right it does sound early, but may be your only way to secure tickets to business class. If this plan doesn’t work, you might need plan B — which will be killing your time in the airport lounge.

2. Kick up a storm

Well, within reason. You could kick up a bit of a storm at the check-in desk if the airline has stuffed you around. Whether it’s a flight delay, overbooking you on a flight, or another issue that’s causing you distress—let them know. Airlines really don’t want to see their passengers losing their cool, especially in front of other passengers waiting in line.

3. Just ask

When you check-in, it’s worth asking them if they can upgrade you to business class. What have you got to lose? Be nice, dress well and smile, and see if it works. It could be a long-shot, but the worst they could possibly say is no.waiting at the airport

4. Keep on checking your emails

Keep your eye on your emails a few days prior to travelling. Some airlines may invite you to an upgrade at an additional fee—which is usually quite reasonable. You’ve got to be quick though—so be sure to monitor your email so you can take advantage of these kind of deals.

5. Loyalty program

Make sure you’ve signed up to the airline’s loyalty program. You’ll accumulate points, and even if you’re at the lowest level—you never know what’s around the corner. Airlines like to reward good customers, especially those who travel regularly using the same airline. Keep your eye on your emails, and see if you’re the lucky one.

6. Dress the part

business attire Have you ever heard the saying ‘dress for the job you want’. Same goes with airlines. Dress like you’ve come straight from the business lounge, and it might just work. Leave the tracksuit at home, and dress professional or business casual. It’s worth a shot, and will help you secure a business class upgrade.

7. Ask how much an upgrade is going to cost you

airport line upAsk the person behind the check-in desk how much an upgrade will cost you. You might be pleasantly surprised. You might only need to pay a few pounds more for an upgrade—which really is not much for some luxurious champagne treatment.

8. It’s not what you know, but who you know

This old saying really hits home when it comes to securing business class tickets. If you know someone who works in the airline industry as a pilot, flight attendant or baggage handler—they might be able to help you secure business class tickets at little or no cost. You may need to bribe them with something—but it will be completely worth it just to get your hands on some golden tickets.

9. Buy an upgrade using your points

There are plenty of credit cards and airline loyalty programs that will allow you to redeem your points for business class tickets—especially airline credit cards. Avoid flights with lots of business travellers like early or late afternoon flights otherwise you may run into some trouble.

10. Tell them it’s a special occasion

It’s worth it. I know it sounds cheesy, but tell them it’s your birthday or wedding anniversary and see what they say. Be sure to let the check-in desk know you’re on your honeymoon and see how they respond. They may ask you for proof, so make sure you’re not telling them a little white lie. Again, it’s a long shot, but worth a try.

If you want the perks of flying business class like better service, higher quality drinks and food, and a spacious seat all to yourself—then what are you waiting for? It might not be easy to secure a business class ticket, but it’s truly worth the experience and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed especially if it’s a long-haul flight.

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