1. Look the part
Not everyone in business class will be wearing a suit, but if you look like you'd be at home in a Price Waterhouse Coopers' meeting room, you stand a better chance of being given a seat at the front.
Most airlines have a staff travel policy that specifies no singlets, no sneakers, no thongs or jandals, smart shoes for women and a tie for men. Follow that policy and you might get an upgrade into premium economy at least.
2. Be first and be polite
Arriving early for check in is prime time for upgrades as the ground staff will know if the flight is oversold (it usually is) or not.
Being friendly and patient could land you a few rows further forward, and if you ask politely you could score a better seat.
If you're willing to take a risk, ask how full the fight is and if there's any option to upgrade. You an even put in a bid for an upgrade on some carriers such as Lufthansa. It's worth a try and luck just might be on your side.
3. Join a frequent flyer program
A BA spokesperson lets The Telegraph in on an industry secret: “It is sometimes necessary to upgrade customers," he says. But … "This is rare and will normally apply to frequent flyers who are members of our loyalty programme first.”
Flying regularly not only puts you front of queue for upgrades but will provide you with more chance of buying one with your points - which feels like a free upgrade anyway.
If you're not a member of an airline loyalty program such as Qantas but you're lucky enough to share your name with a celebrity, you might get chosen the night before the flight, when, according to an Expedia report, many upgrades are made.
4. Wait until you're on the plane
A flight attendant revealed to Inc.com that if you wait until you're on the plane you still stand a chance if there are empty seats.
"Gate agents don't care," she said "But once you're on and that door is closed, make sure you have something to give your flight attendants … such as candy or a Starbucks card."
So, be prepared with extra Tim Tams and coffee vouchers. If you miss out on the upgrade, you can ease your sorrow with the biscuits.
5. Fly solo
Flying alone is one of the best chances you have of getting a flight upgrade.
Families and groups are far less likely to be moved into business class as single seats are more likely to be available.
We're not saying ditch the kids, it's simply setting your expectations.
If you're travelling with a friend, check in separately and be sure to be wearing your best outfit at all times.
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