Frequent flyer’s hack gets her upgraded to business ‘nine times out of ten’

Most travellers opt to fly economy thanks to the massive mark up when moving up the plane to first or business class – so getting a free upgrade is the dream.

But, while most of us may only get such a perk once in a lifetime (or never as is more common) some frequent flyers claim to get upgraded almost every time they fly.

One solution is to “bid” for upgrades ahead of time.

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This method is popular with Air New Zealand and Qantas where passengers are emailed to enter a cash amount or points to get an upgrade in the few days before they fly.

But, one travel influencer claims there’s a far easier and cheaper way to get the upgrade, reports

Allie Marshell, who shares travel tips and tricks on TikTok claims she’s upgraded nine out of 10 flights she takes completely free – sometimes to an exit row seat with more leg room and sometimes to a higher class.

She claims that around 15 minutes before boarding you should head to the airline desk.

In a TikTok video, Allie said: “You are going to walk up to the desk and you are going to do it with a big smile … like the ‘best day of my life’ smile.

“Like, just nice in your core energy.

“You’re gong to say, ‘Hi, good afternoon’.”

She continued: “Then you’re going to say ‘I’m so sorry – I didn’t pay for an upgraded seat, so I’m in a middle seat in the back. I was just curious if any aisle or window seats opened up today?’.

“Still talk with a smile.”

Allie claims she gets the upgrade almost every time.

She noted: “If the flight sold out sure, it’s not going to happen and you’re in the middle seat at the back but it works a lot (for me).”

Almost 70,000 people liked the viral post – and hundreds commented to agree with her.

One person wrote: “It does work a lot. I make bffs with the gate ppl, the desk ppl, the baggage ppl … even TSA, it HELPS.”

While another added: “When travelling alone I always tell them that I’m willing to move seats if anyone needs to sit together. I usually get."

“The key, as you indicate, is to wait until they’re almost done boarding. It worked for me Chicago-Lisbon on TAP Portugal,” said a third.

A frequent flyer commented: “When travelling alone I always tell them that I’m willing to move seats if anyone needs to sit together. I usually get upgraded.”

But, one former gate worker said to always be nice to the staff, but not to expect an upgrade.

They wrote: “We will do all we can if we have seats available.”

While another added that their “stomach knotted up” when being asked for a free upgrade. They said: “We know when someone is overly nice and wants something.”


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