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The Truth Behind How to Get a Business Class Upgrade

Hoorah! The stars finally aligned and on my way home to Australia from Warsaw, Poland, I was granted a Business Class Upgrade from my otherwise cosy elbow-nudging seat up back.

For a long time I’ve been an avid fan of Emirates Airline. I’d even go so far as to say they are indeed my favourite airline and I choose to fly with them wherever possible – which is almost always, given their base, Dubai, is pretty much at the centre of the world.

But despite my many flights with Emirates and now being a holder of the Silver Frequent Flier card (a mere one step up from the base blue card and a far cry from the Gold or Premium members), I had to this day never been upgraded. In fact, I had never been upgraded in my life… and in 2014 alone I took a total of 99 flights. Those aren’t great odds.


So How do you get a Business Class Upgrade?

There are many (too many) myths on online forums and blog posts about how to get a business class upgrade. I know because I’ve read them… all in an effort to score the golden ticket and sip on French champagne while the plane leaves the tarmac.

I got so impatient, in fact, that I even purchased a business class upgrade mid-way through last year. A special promotional email made its way into my inbox and for a reasonable $1,000 AUD, I was offered an upgrade to fly business class all the way from Hong Kong to Dubai, plus Dubai to Cape Town. It’s a pretty long route and the price seemed fair, so I jumped at the opportunity. It was without a doubt worth it, but I’ve struggled with flying economy ever since… it’s a trap you too may fall into.

The offer was again emailed to me for my flight from Warsaw to Dubai, the first leg of my journey back to Australia. I was heading home for Christmas and thus travelling at peak period, meaning that the one-way ticket had already cost more than I would have spent living in Poland for a month, however it was a special occasion given I had been away travelling for now 12 months.

I didn’t jump at the chance this time, despite the offer having the same $1,000 price tag. It was only a 5-hour flight through to Dubai, however if the offer included the entire journey back to Australia (24 hours in length mind you!) then I probably would have taken it.

But alas, I didn’t. Lucky I scored a free upgrade at the airport on arrival.

I know what you’re thinking: How?

There were a few factors that contributed to my lucky day – none of which are conclusive because, at the end of the day, there are various reasons why you will score an upgrade to business class – each varying depending on airline, travel circumstances, and your personal situation.

It wasn’t because I didn’t have a special meal request. I did. Myth #1 busted. Despite having a special vegetarian meal requested in economy class, I still got the upgrade. I had read online that this would hinder my chances of scoring an upgrade because airlines couldn’t serve food from a lower class and would thus not be able to cater to me in case of an upgrade. Wrong again. I quite enjoyed my vegetarian lasagne from economy class, however it was slightly more tasty served on fine china with silver cutlery.

It was because the plane was full. Airlines don’t throw around upgrades to anyone and everyone who will take them. Upgrades, especially free ones, are a rare occurrence. I have now flown business class a few times and despite the plane being at high occupancy, there have always been oodles of available seats in business class. Put simply, airlines won’t upgrade unless they have to. On my lucky day the economy class was full and I had received the email in my inbox some days earlier as a chance to upgrade and for the airline to make a little extra cash. I’m glad I didn’t cave to creature comforts. Almost anything is better when its free.

It wasn’t because I was dressed nicely. Although I wasn’t looking too shabby, I hope. When I checked in for the flight it was clear to me that I had already been flagged for an upgrade. The Polish man behind the counter entered my passport details into the computer and his facial expression said it all. He then uttered some words to his colleague in Polish and looked back at me with a grin. He handed over the boarding pass and charmingly stated “I hope you enjoy the upgrade to business class”.

It was because I was travelling solo. This is perhaps your greatest chance for scoring an upgrade. That being said, it took me just shy of 100 flights last year to score a free last minute upgrade. However you are most likely to be upgraded last minute if the airline has overbooked the flight and needs to bump one or two people up a class.

It was because I was a member of Emirates Skywards. Finally, the icing on the cake. I only received the special invite to upgrade last minute at a discounted fee because I was a member of the Emirates Skywards (frequent flier) program. Why I was upgraded instead of another traveller was purely due to brand loyalty – something Emirates obviously values which you can see even in the separate check-in line for holders of Gold or Premium cards, despite their travel class. If you want to score a free upgrade, sign up to the airline FF programs and aim to stay loyal to one or two airlines when you travel. Once you start accumulating points you will move up through the tier system and even be able to purchase upgrades with your points. Last minute upgrades at check-in or once on board are also heavily subsidised, so be sure to ask if you’re feeling spontaneous.

Have you ever been upgraded? Was it better because it was free? Would you pay for a business class upgrade at a discount or use the money to book future travels?

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    I Work to Travel
    April 29, 2016 at 3:00 am

    Our party of 8 (yes, EIGHT people) was upgraded to business class for the domestic leg of our recent overseas trip (sadly only 1 hour, but an absolutely wonderful hour). Apparently this was because the flight was overbooked, and I guess this was the easiest way to fill 8 more seats at once. We certainly weren’t dressed for business class (my 2 university student sons were part of the party, which speaks for itself), but my partner had done the booking so our initial boarding passes all said ‘frequent flyer’, which may also have helped. My partner and I are flying with Emirates (our 1st choice airlines) to Koh Samui next month, which involves 2 long-haul flights each way, and I’ve been considering paying to upgrade our tickets to business class as a surprise for my partner, so we can enjoy the extra legroom and the opportunity to get some decent sleep … but, after reading your post, I’m going see whether there isn’t a cheaper way to accomplish this!

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    Annika Ziehen
    January 27, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    I am also a big fan of Emirates – the shower at the Dubai lounge alone is worth being loyal to the. But also keep in mind that certain tickets are eligible for upgrades others are not. I learned that from an inside source after purchasing the cheapest ticket category – no upgrade options 🙁 Something to consider if the price difference between the two categories isn’t too big. And you also get more miles!

    January 27, 2016 at 6:55 am

    […] you’re a quadzillionaire, it simply isn’t an option. Wrong. There’s a secret or two to getting a free upgrade and many ways to hack frequent flier systems to be able to fly Business or First more often […]

    January 3, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    I am quite shocked that you never received an upgrade in 99 flights!!! I’ve been upgraded a few times, the first on BA from Heathrow, when I was not on their ff programme, not particularly well dressed or looking like a biz class traveler! I had loads of bags, and looked like a hippie fancy-shopping-bag lady!! My partner was horrified that I turned down the champagne, as I won’t drink alcohol on flights (best tip I ever received!), but I did love the space and comfort! Slept most of the way, tho, as I’d been partying with friends for days in between short flights elsewhere!
    I have asked at check-in on other flights, tho, and have occasionally been upgraded.

    December 23, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Thank you

    Lisette Gibbons
    November 5, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Interesting reading your experience about only being upgraded once in 99 flights. When we moved back to the UK from Australia in 2013 we (2 adults and 3 kids) got upgraded on the first leg of our flight from Melbourne to Dubai on Qantas. My husband was a gold member, but it’s not very likely to get upgraded with three children. On this occasion I know for a fact it was the children’s behaviour and the way they were dressed. My mobile had fallen out of my pocket getting out of the taxi and my son, then 13 was patiently waiting outside for the taxi to return with my phone, and my youngest (then 9), dressed in a red blazer was patiently waiting in the check-in area without throwing a fuss. The ground stewardess even apologised that she could only upgrade us on the first leg and that it took her so long to arrange it, but I can tell you it was a marvellous 15 hours in the sky. And then to think there were only 12 seats in First and we took up 5 of them.

    September 24, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Wow 100 flights and 1 upgrade! Thanks for the post. It is good to know that it is not something I do or don’t do but mostly luck of the draw in obtaining an upgrade. Thanks everyone for your honesty, I was beginning to feel like I had to go to Bloomingdales to dress for a flight (not happening lol).

    Nahidul Ehsan
    September 6, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Once I got the chance to be in Business class lounge. It has been around four years from now but still I can recall the days. I was in Paris for my business purpose. I seems that it’s just four days.

    The Digital Nomad
    July 11, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Travelling as a family kind of excludes us from flight upgrades, so were collecting points for the experience. We do manage room upgrades at hotel, normally by asking for certain creature comforts at check in time. However, this only works when the hotel is at low occupancy.

    Upgraded Then Stripped
    June 11, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    I once flew Qantas domestic weekly between Melbourne and Sydney for 10 months straight. I got a surprise call one day from Qantas with a lovely lady saying that I’ve been upgraded to Business Class. That made my day except when I arrived at the airport, I was rudely stripped of my upgrade at the counter. No reason was given except that it was a computer error. Was I dressed shabbily? Absolutely not. Did I say anything nasty beforehand? Not a word except “Good afternoon and how are you?”. Was I flying alone? Absolutely. Did I have a premium ticket? You bet – I was even at Silver level “privileges”.

    To this day, I still don’t know what happened, but it was certainly the rudest shock I had ever received. Heck, if I had to pick a fight, I could even finger point that the lady at the counter could have been racist. I would never know and she didn’t care. In the end I concluded that what ever level of loyalty membership you’re at, it doesn’t matter to Qantas who just merely treats you like anybody else. Needless to say my Qant ass membership card is sitting at the bottom of a drawer somewhere, long forgotten.

    June 9, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I was once upgraded at the gate to business class on an Emirates A380 flight from London. For me it was pure luck – I was not dressed nicely at all (just comfy hoodie and jeans) and wasn’t part of the frequent flyer programme, though I was travelling solo!

    May 25, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I’m a frequent traveller with Emirates. I’ve been told that they when overbooked more or less strictly follow card status when upgrading. Pax with highest card status get the upgrade. An economy passenger would normally never be upgraded to First. They will then upgrade the highest card in business to First, and then the highest card value in Economy to Business. With all your travel, it could prove well spent money to pay for business until you get Gold (Probably only 2.5 long hauls return tickets beyond Dubai). I had Platinum status in 2013/2014. Upgrades all the time In Emirates, there are only about 5000 Platinum members vs about 120,000 Gold members. Good luck Brooke!

    Anne Slater-brooks
    May 25, 2015 at 1:18 am

    I have been upgraded a few times and both times have been because of an issue with seats or overbooking. I think therefore it pays to be firm and polite but if you are not happy with something then make it clear and politely ask whether an upgrade is possible. Once was at the gate and the other time was once I was onboard and there was an issue with double booking our seats.
    I have also flown business using my reward points through OneWorld and the companion voucher to get 2 business class flights London to Tokyo for just over a thousand pounds compared to around £6000 for the full fare for 2!

    May 20, 2015 at 3:35 am

    I have ! Once ! Such an experience, such a treat, such a bucket list check !
    It was with air Canada, and i got the Classic Pod.
    And just like you said, it was much a case of luck and circumstances than anything else. It was for a flight from Toronto to Paris, a good 7hours overnight, so the full bed was a luxury ! As was the AAA steak, the ice cream, and the delightfully hot viennoiseries come morning.
    I was supposed to take a flight from Montreal to Newark, and then from there to Paris. But i’m at the airport, and the first flight i’m supposed to take is cancelled. They have to rescheduled me. But everything is booked, except this one place in business. So I fly to Toronto and from there, up to Paris in luxury !
    The only thing left to say is the flight back home on my economy class ticket was way harder to cope with. A hard return to reality :p

    May 14, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Its good to see some honest opinions, i agree there is so much online about “how to get an upgrade”, i actually did an interview series with a few flight attendants around upgrades and it was interesting to see their answers and how its not that easy! …
    I tried to a free upgrade on my Rome to Adelaide flight with Singapore airlines, which unfortunatley was unsucessful but they did move me right up to the bulk head which was nice to have the extra leg room – however the guy i sat next to was smoking an elec cig 😐 not pleasant…

    I also agree, it really is so difficult to go from to “cattle class” after you have lived it up in Business class.

    April 24, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I was lucky enough to be upgraded on all 4 of my QANTAS flights when heading to New York last year. 3 upgrades to business and one to premium. It will be very hard to go back to economy.

    March 16, 2015 at 5:37 am

    i have been on board many flights with different airlines and I can honestly say that Emirates for me is cream of the crop! Although i did enjoy my business class upgrade with British Airways 😉 .. best 10hr flight from London to Rio de Janiero!

    Lucia Turner
    March 15, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Great post! I always travel solo and my friends are always telling me to ask for an upgrade and I am always too shy but strongly feel I deserve one. I have been dressing nicely as I read that too. One time I got called over to the first class que, I thought this was my moment but it was just due to my oversized luggage!

    March 10, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I’ve only been upgraded on domestic flights, and one very lucky time from LA to S.Korea. It was an amazing 12 hours. I didn’t know too much about the details to be upgraded on international flights, so thanks for this!

    Characters & Carry-ons

    March 10, 2015 at 12:00 am

    I never been upgraded for a flight (yet), but was once lucky in a hotel in Brussels. Instead of having a one tiny room that I booked, I was given a 3-floor luxury suite. For no evident reason!!! I was really happy)))

    March 9, 2015 at 8:36 am

    I’ve never been upgraded but we have paid for business class once and it was fab! I especially loved the business class lounge in the airport where we waited before our flight 🙂

    heather x

    March 9, 2015 at 3:52 am

    On our flight from Bangkok to Copenhagen, with a short stopover in Dubai, we had the pleasure to travel on Business Class by Emirates in the huge Airbus A380s . On the last part of our flight we where in a little older plane, a Boing 777-300ER which still holds the very high standard of the Business Class, but as the planes is a little older, the layout of the seats is not as private and comfortable as in the A380, but still a lot better than Economy. ;))))

    March 9, 2015 at 3:49 am

    On our flight from Bangkok to Copenhagen, with a short stopover in Dubai, we had the pleasure to travel on Business Class by Emirates with A380s. On the last part of our flight we where in a little older plane, a Boing 777-300ER which still holds the very high standard of the Business Class, but as the planes is a little older, the layout of the seats is not as private and comfortable as in the A380, but still a lot better than Economy. 🙂

    Helena Jones
    March 7, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    This confirmed pretty much what I had thought about upgrades.

    I was upgrades last year from Hong Kong to London with British Airways. World Traveller Plus up to First Class, again – being Silver status in the executive club helped.

    Many thanks British Airways!


    March 7, 2015 at 1:42 am

    only once – on the way back from NYC and i was too young to appreciate it!

  • Friday Link Love, Vol. 72 - The Heart's Delight
    March 6, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    […] what it used to be. Make the most of the situation and set yourself up with the best chances to SCORE A BUSINESS CLASS UPGRADE. […]

    Madeline Langley
    March 6, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    I’m a member of American Airlines flight program and I agree with you that loyalty pays! On a full and over sold flight from MIA to JFK, I got boosted from my lowly economy seat to a first class seat!


    March 6, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Hopefully ill get an upgrade on my journey to Germany from Cape Town

    Sarah Anton
    March 6, 2015 at 5:08 am

    Can’t wait to try this one out honestly! 😀

    March 5, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Getting upgraded is always nice especially on the long haul flights. The only time I got upgraded were for short flights in the USA. Hopefully one day it will happen on a long flight. Depending on how much they were offering would depend on upgrading or use for future travel. More than likely use it for the upgrade it’s free money.

    March 5, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    That would be a dream come true to fly first class! My flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong was 14 hours so could have used it then!

    • Brooke Saward
      March 6, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Oh my goodness – image getting an upgrade on a 14 hour flight!!! I would be dancing up and down the aisles haha!

    March 5, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I used to fly every week with British Airways during 2.5 years. I think I’ve got upgraded 3 times but it was a short flight. The last upgrade was while travelling to Budapest, upon boarding they printed new tickets for us, 1a and 1b. He got spoiled as being the guest of the flight. It was a lovely flight. I thought it’s because my silver membership was about to expire and they want to make sure I still fly with them 🙂

    March 5, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Probably we will never know why they give you an update, maybe it’s totally random anyhow my friend who is living in Saudi and this year travelled back home twice shored an update, she’s not like a super frequent traveler, but of course every time she goes somewhere she takes Emirates. However I am sure she didn’t have that many hours in the sky as you.

    March 5, 2015 at 8:56 am

    I am flying Emirates for the first time in May. I am so excited! Wishing for business class….

    • Brooke Saward
      March 6, 2015 at 8:28 am

      You will LOVE Emirates, I have never had a bad experience with them!!

    March 5, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Now this only tells me that I need to travel way more. I also need to get to Australia sooner than later. I have heard nothing but great things about it and it is on my list of places. Thank you for sharing this with us all.

    March 5, 2015 at 7:02 am

    I’ve never been upgraded, though I have been tempted by discounted upgrades at the airport. The only reason I haven’t taken one is because I fear how much harder it would be to fly long-haul economy after a taste of the business class life. Maybe, someday, I’ll cave…or score a free upgrade!

    • Brooke Saward
      March 6, 2015 at 8:29 am

      Erin – sooooo true! Once you have a taste of business it is VERY hard to go back to economy haha…. two different worlds!!

    March 5, 2015 at 6:29 am

    You are always sweet for me. I find learning point in your post.

    March 5, 2015 at 5:47 am

    Thanks so much for this informative post <3

    March 5, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Lucky you girl, but 100% deserved! I’ve been upgraded twice, both times by Lufthansa, which my mom worked as a flight attendant for back in the day and was a frequent flier for. Quelle luxury!


    Marie @ Marie Away
    March 5, 2015 at 4:46 am

    I’ve never been upgraded or flown business class, but my boyfriend did once and he said it was pretty lush.

    Staying loyal to an airline is a huge part of it, though it’s tough when the cheapest ticket dictates your selection. For now, I’m stuck with trying to snag the aisle seat in an exit row. It may not have any fancy silverware, but I can make do with the extra legroom.

    March 5, 2015 at 4:22 am

    I’ve only flown business once in my life, while on my way with my grandparents to Chicago, but I must admit that it was pretty nice. I’m quite tall so the extra leg space felt like heaven (not to mention; ice-cream!!!). When she was younger, for business, my mom used to live in Texas for a while, and came home to Belgium almost every month. She said that she received free upgrades several times. So what you’re saying is totally right; solo and frequent flyers have higher chances on receiving them. (Never seen a whole family receive an upgrade anyways :p).
    I totally enjoy reading your blog and it awakened my urge to travel a lot. Your stories on solo travel have inspired me a lot, this summer I’ll be making my first solo trip, and I’m even going to be studying in Finland early fall.
    – Axelle

    Liz Hathway
    March 5, 2015 at 2:46 am

    Many years ago, I had never been on a plane. My husband did a lot of travelling (flying) for business and I was quite whiny about being stuck at home with 3 small kids while he went gallivanting off all over the place. He surprised me with tickets to accompany him on one of his business trips so that I would find out first hand that it wasn’t all that much fun. Much to his chagrin we were bumped up to first class (we never figured out why) where we were wined and dined with champagne, delectable sea food platters, and amazingly – chateau briand flamed to our taste at our seats! When I floated (wobbled) off the plane several hours later he was still repeating over & over “It isn’t usually like this, you know!!!” Never happened again but it certainly made for a very memorable first flight.

    Dara & Belle
    March 5, 2015 at 2:33 am

    I’ve always wanted to fly with Emirates Airline because I’ve heard they have exceptional customer service! Good for you, you deserved an upgrade for sure! Thanks for the special tips!

    Hey Rita
    March 5, 2015 at 1:30 am

    Lucky you! I’ve never been upgraded on a flight, nor I have ever flown business class. Economy all the baby, that’s what my wallet says!


    March 4, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    wow you got lucky! I can totally see how this must have ruined economy class for you.
    Since I’m still a studen flying business class isn’t going to happen for me some time soon, not even with a discount. So I keep dreaming of an upgrade, maybe it will happen some day 🙂

    Flow Traveller
    March 4, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Brooke great blog as always. On one occasion after successfully swinging a bulkhead seat at the checkin desk I proceeded to the gate only to be pulled up by airline officials who took my boarding pass, crossed out the seat number and hand wrote a new seat number! When I objected that I wanted the bulkhead seat he gestured with his hand for me to relax and pointed me to board. Feeling disappointed I approached the plane door and handed my boarding pass to the stewardess who took a quick look and she raised her right arm pointing me towards the front of the plane! It was the best flight even though it was only until Dubai after which I was back to economy for my connecting flight but I still think of it fondly. Thinking back I remember that the boarding gate and plane were packed with passengers and I can’t be sure if overbooking was the reason for the upgrade. I agree with you Brooke – that brief experience I had travelling business has completely ruined economy for me!

    Claire and Laura
    March 4, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    We were upgraded for free once with BA from Heathrow to NYC. Again, we’re pretty sure it was simply because the plane was full and we are members of the BA loyalty scheme. In December we also paid discounted rates for a business class upgrade from Heathrow to DC. If you’re willing to pay, it’s worth waiting until the day you fly, and going to the promotions desk before you check in. The day before we flew, prices to fly business were around £1,500 each, on the day we paid £500 each!! The only problem once you’ve flown business is that you never want to go back to economy!

    Katina Linda
    March 4, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    This happened to my family once! We became members of V Australia and were flying to Thailand. We paid for premium economy and we were waiting near the gate and got a loudspeaker announcement for us (we thought we did something wrong). We were so happy when they told us they were upgrading us to business class – horrah! 🙂

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    March 4, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Wow, that’s amazing! Traveling business (or first) class is a total dream of mine, but it seems like getting upgraded is a once in a lifetime kind of thing. Congrats on getting the upgrade!

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

    Little bits of Now
    March 4, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Lucky! Wish i could get upgrade someday! =)

    March 4, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Wow you are lucky 🙂
    I never flew buisness class… but well… I just flew about 2 – 3 times in my life. Nothing compared to 99 flights in a year alone! Haha 🙂

    March 4, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    The one time I’ve flown business class was Bangkok to Dubai on Emirates about 10 years ago. The flight was overbooks so I got an upgrade I wasn’t a member either and I was travelling with my family so I’m still not sure why I got upgraded above everyone else…

    March 4, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    The airline I fly most frequently uses the automated kiosks for check-in, so I doubt an upgrade will ever happen with them, alas.

    pau braniecka
    March 4, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    I think all depends on lucky in this case! 🙂
    I had my first big trip in november last year ( flights jakarta-dubai-praq) by Emirates.
    the y upgride my flight from dubai to prag to buissness class.
    It was the very first time in my life I took long flight and im not a member of Skywards and I trevelled with my boyfriend. We looked not that pretty after 3weeks travelling with backapcks in Thailand Cambodia and Bali 😉
    but we experienced it! and it was marvelous!
    after 3 weeks on eating rice and vegetables on breakfast we finnaly got easter breakfast with croissant and great coffe on board! 🙂 we where in heaven!

    greets and good luck for travellers! 🙂

    March 4, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    In October of 2013 I was coming home from LAX to SYD via BNE with my dad. Our flight from LAX to BNE was delayed therefore we were most likely going to miss our connecting flight back home. Turns out we would have made it in time and I was upgraded to Business class for all of 90 mins but it was so worth it. We sat in the front row and I was the first person off the plane!

    Susan the farm quilter
    March 4, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    I got lucky…twice! Both times on the same trip even! I was flying standby from the USA to England and back again and got business class on both trips across the Atlantic. Of course, coming home, my stay in England was extended for 2 days because all the flights were totally full. If you have a bit of flexibility, standby is a great option and business class doesn’t fill up like the back of the plane does. The only difference I have found between business and first class is that first class in the first few rows in the front cabin and business class takes up the remainder of the rows in the front cabin. Service and amenities are the same in both from what I have experienced.

    Food is Travel
    March 4, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Just looking at those business class seats has me sighing… and wishing I could get one. Especially on long flights it would make the difference between arriving a little haggard and being refreshed and ready to go – at least I hope so! One day…. 🙂

    March 4, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    thankyou for posting this!! i will be thinking about this next time i go overseas. business class looks amazing!!

    March 4, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    I would love to score a free upgrade, one day. I would prefer not to pay for it unless it was a long haul flight, because I could use that money when travelling. I am a part of two FF programmes. Hopefully, it will happen soon.

    Jennifer Stevens
    March 4, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I’m so glad you wrote this post! I always hear about all these people getting upgraded, and I always wonder, “Why not me?”, as I travel ALL THE TIME. I just started looking into miles programs, as I now live in China and am constantly hopping on 14+ hour flights.

    March 4, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    I didnt agree much when you said ‘It wasn’t because I was dressed nicely.’ Its unlikely they would give a free upgrade for someone who dosent look nice instead of some gorgeous good looking lady!! Of course that was not the only reason you got a free update, but ONE for the reasons that you explain on the post. Just my point of view!
    Great post anyways Brooke!

    March 4, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    I didnt agree much when you said ‘It wasn’t because I was dressed nicely.’ Its unlikely they would give a free upgrade for someone who dosent look nice instead of some gorgeous good looking lady!! Of course that was not the only reason you got a free update, but ONE for the reasons that you explain on the post. Just my point of view!
    Great post!

    March 4, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Oh it would be a dream to be upgraded from Australia to Europe. What a long set of flights!!
    But I can totally see how it would ruin economy for you! I find it really quite hilarious taking a moment before each of my flights and recognising that myself and all these strangers surrounding me, are going to be trapped in this shell, high in the sky for hours together. It’s such a funny thought!

    Chalsie | The Workshop Co. x

    Pavla @ Greetings from...
    March 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    I flew business class twice. First when the flight from Krakow to Paris (to NYC) was cancelled and they rescheduled me for Krakow – Frankfurt – Newark later that day. I was lucky to enjoy the longer part of the flight in the business class.
    Second, I flew stand by from Frankfurt to NYC. When flying stand by, there are great odds of getting the business class (or not get on board at all, lol). I was lucky I got in, as I had some hiccups before with flying from Prague and had to make my way to Frankfurt sick as a dog!

    March 4, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    So lucky of you! I’m still a student so paying for business class is totally a no-go for me but I’d hope to experience it one day! 🙂

    March 4, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Lucky you, Brooke!

    My last flight to South Korea via Korean Air put me into surprise and none of the above-mentioned factors caused my upgrade to the business class, not even the myths – simply it was because one of the business class passengers switched with me since the lady sitting next to me was her friend and they wanted to chit-chat the whole 6-hour flight LOL. One of the best experiences in the sky!

    S. J. Pajonas
    March 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I’ve only ever been upgraded once on a flight, and it was because it was our honeymoon AND the airline had screwed up our flights. Lol. This is NOT a tactic I would suggest, as it was quite stressful, and after planning and executing a wedding almost by myself, I wanted NO stress. It was definitely nice to be upgraded 😉

    March 4, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Great post Brooke! I will be flying business class for the first time in April (Canada to Nepal) and I am scared it will ruin me for life! Economy sucks big time when you have legs as long as mine! Haha


    March 4, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Oh I will always remember when I used to travel as a Unaccompanied Child between St Barths (where my parents were) and France (where my friends were). My parents sent me over a couple of times over the 4 years we lived there, and each time they would usher me up to the higher classes! It was like christmas!

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    March 4, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    You know Brooke, this is about the most sensible post I have read about scoring an upgrade in this era! Twenty years ago airlines used to give away upgrades left and right, but now the computer does it all, and there is less flexibility! I too am a loyal FF member (Virgin Velocity) and although they haven’t bumped me up yet, there’s always a chance. I would definitely pay a little extra if a good promo came through my inbox – which it did. I am flying Etihad Business from Tokyo to Europe return in September!

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    March 4, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    You know Brooke, this is about the most sensible post I have read about scoring an upgrade in this era! Twenty years ago airlines used to give away upgrades left and right, but now the computer does it all, and there is less flexibility! I too am a loyal FF member (Virgin Velocity) and although they haven’t bumped me up yet, there’s always a chance. I would definitely pay a little extra if a good promo came through my inbox – which it did. I am flying Etihad Business from Tokyo to Europe return in September!

    The Dame
    March 4, 2015 at 11:47 am

    One of my bucket list items is to fly Business Class long haul. I don’t travel very often tho, so it looks like I’ll be paying for it! 🙂

    Have you ever flown First? I hear Biz is better.