How to get an air­line up­grade

Scor­ing a seat in busi­ness class is eas­ier than ever

Time Out (Melbourne) - - TRAVEL SPECIAL -

1 Bid to up­grade

A ‘bid to up­grade’ sys­tem is now of­fered on Qan­tas, Vir­gin Aus­tralia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pa­cific, Eti­had Air­ways and Sin­ga­pore Air­lines. You’ll be in­vited to bid for the up­grade by the air­line, then will have to se­lect your of­fer, and you’ll be told if it is a good or bad bid. Some­times the en­try-level of­fer will work, but of­fer a lit­tle more and you should be suc­cess­ful.

2 Use points to up­grade

One of the best value Qan­tas up­grades right now is from Flex­i­ble Econ­omy to Pre­mium Econ­omy be­tween Syd­ney and Los An­ge­les for only 18,000 points one-way – that’s a tad more than a Syd­ney-mel­bourne econ­omy re­ward seat. Tip: se­lect the op­tion for also be­ing up­graded at the gate, as there is al­ways a chance of a ‘no show’.

3 Pay to up­grade at the air­port

In some in­stances, the cost of the jump to a seat in busi­ness can be as lit­tle as one tenth the cost of what the seat is sell­ing for. Bri­tish Air ways, Fiji Air­ways and Hawai­ian Air­lines are three air­lines that of­fer this to and from Aus­tralia – so get to the air­port early.

4 Score a free up­grade

Those with sta­tus on the air­line will be se­lected first. Even with­out, it’s pos­si­ble: for the best chance have a fully flex­i­ble air fare, don’t have any un­usual meal re­quests and of course, dress well and be po­lite.

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