How to get an upgrade!


Intercontinental Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus

Intercontinental Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus

I remember my first upgraded flight with KLM. We were going to Toronto and had reasently been upgraded to becoming a gold-member. I had heard that the chances for an upgrade was close to zero, still I had also heard that people had gotten an upgrade. I crossed my fingers that the flight was fully booked. 

Luckily the flight was packed with academics (Mr. No-Backpacker was going for a coneference) who usually use their minds on other things than studying loyaltyprograms. When we passed the boarding-agent the sound from the machine didn’t give the normal “bip”, and the agent said: “Oh Mrs. No-Backpacker, you have gotten a new seat!” At that point I understood we were not sitting in monkey-business, but in the front. I remember I wanted to jump and dance, but told myself to behave and pretend I was used to this. My initial plan was to sleep during the flight, but when I sat in my business-class seat, I understood that I would rather enjoy my first, and maybe only, business-class trip.

I often get this question: “How do you manage to get all those amazing upgrades?” To be honest, I’m not sure if there are anye rules here. However I do have some advices on how to increase your chances for an upgraded airfare or hotelroom. With that said, I wouldn’t call myself an expert although I have been quite lucky with my upgrades.

  • Be sure to be a member of the airlines/hotels loyaltyprogram. I would suggest to concentrate around one or two programs.
  • BEHAVE at the check-in counter. I have sometimes been upgraded to economy comfort when checking in at the airport (but never to business). To be honest my business-upgrade ratio isn’t that high, but Mr. No-Backpacker has been upgraded to business many times on loghaule-flights. However I have heard about platinum-members who have never gotten an upgrade at all.
  • Dress, not to impress, but at least don’t show up in your pyjamas!
  • With airfares, it helps if you are alone, as the airline usually never upgrade more people than they have to. The chances for an upgrade is also bigger if you book your flight at days/times when there are fewer business-people and more people on holiday. The latter one are usually not a member of the airlines loyalty program.
  • I don’t know if this is true, but I have heard that, for an upgrade at hotels, it also helps to book at the hotels own booking-site and a category over the cheapest room.

IMG_6839I think the best advice is to behave, smile and never demand anything. Usually I don’t ask for an upgrade, but it has happened that I have approached, in a nice tone, if there are any possibilities to get a better room since I’m a xxx-member. Sometimes I get it and sometimes not. However I never expect it, as long as I’m not at an Intercontinental where I have the highest membership-level, Royal Ambassador.

If you get an upgrade, be sure to say thank you!


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/lavfodma/public_html/ on line 405

4 thoughts on “How to get an upgrade!

    1. Cecilie Post author

      Ah, I am sure you will love it! I did… and every time I board now, I wait for that “upgrade-sound” from the machine that reads the boarding-cards… 🙂 Just love it! 🙂 However an upgrade to a nice suite is not bad either. In HK, some years ago, we got a suite with a “butler-bell”. I never dared to use it… 🙂

  1. Ann-Mari

    Ah! Jeg fikk en gang til Tokoy med SAS, til ekonomi ekstra, fy fader for en forskjell. Og en gang til NY, en vei på business. Fader. Det er nesten bedre å ikke få, for da vet en ikke hva en går glipp av. Det er jo dessverre så mye kjekkere der fremme…..

    På hoteller har jeg fått flere ganger, og det tror jeg bare er fordi en har lojalitetskort, som du sier. Og da har jeg bare booket vanlig rom, faktisk. Men er jo ofte på jobb, og da går en jo ganske greit kledd, og er jo ikke turister. Det kan jo også hjelpe på. Samt si at man har bodd på hotellet før, det hjelper hver gang!

    1. Cecilie Post author

      Vet du, jeg tenkte akkurat det samme da jeg ble oppgradert til business, at det kanskje hadde vært bedre å ikke vite hva man går glipp av. 🙂


Leave a Reply to Ann-Mari Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *