Flights that come with an upgrade to Business Class or First Class can be very exciting for many travellers. Britons keen for the extra special treatment may well consider splurging for superior seats. However, a travel expert has revealed his top tricks when it comes to bagging an upgrade. Nicky Kelvin, Content Director of The Points Guy UK, explained that it’s important not to splash out when it doesn’t make enough of a difference.

Kelvin spoke to about how vital it is to “compare the cash difference,” when looking at airlines.

This is key when it comes to weighing up how worth it is to upgrade on that flight in particular.

“You always need to compare the cash difference, against the difference in the various bits the upgrade might get you,” he said.

“Think about the better food, comfort, lounge access, space and priority treatment (for example at check-in, security and at the boarding gate) you might get, and work out if it’s worth it.

“I would attach a far higher value on getting a bed on an overnight flight, than I would on a day time flight when I’m more than happy sat up watching a movie, or having priority access at an airport that is always incredibly busy and queues are normal, that at one where you might glide through even as an economy passenger.”

Kelvin also shared his advice for those hoping to wing it and get an upgrade at the airport.

The first trick to maximise your chances is by flying with the right airline and planning ahead.

Kelvin pointed out that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are the most likely UK airlines to give out upgrades.

“Across the board, airlines will not just dish out upgrades, no matter what you wear, what you say, or how nice you are,” Kelvin told

“The key to flying nice is to plan ahead! Out of the UK, both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, and their partners can get you all around the world, and, if you know how, upgrading is possible for most people!”

So what should a traveller do if they’re looking to upgrade their seat from Economy?

“Using miles and points to either upgrade your existing ticket or to buy a ticket outright in miles in business or first class is the way forward,” said Kelvin.

“It takes some planning, and learning the system, but anyone can do it. That’s what we teach people at The Points Guy UK!”

A former flight attendant told that checking in late can sometimes be a way to improve your odds. 

“Economy could be overbooked and the seats already allocated to other passengers – but this may also help your chances of missing the flight altogether if you leave it too late,” she said.

However, she said passengers should never ask flight attendants about upgrades. “You have more chance of a free flight to the moon,” she told the New Zealand website.

However, flight attendant Simon J Marton disagreed, he explained his upgrade process in his book Journey of a Reluctant Air Steward.

It was nothing to do with manners or appearance, as far as Marton was concerned – it was how much passengers deserved an upgrade to Business Class.



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