Choose a broken seat, sit next to an apoplectic baby, check-in really late with a broken limb – there’s a wealth of tips on how to blag an upgrade into First Class.
Alas, a lot of the advice is flawed.
You may simply get moved to another seat in economy, get stuck with the baby and who wants a broken limb?
There is one trick , however, which author and frequent flyer Tilly Bagshawe swears by.
So much so, she claims it’s never let her down and the best part is, you can do it before you’ve set off for the airport.
We’re all ears…
Explaining that she’s enjoyed First Class for many of the 100,000 miles a year she’s flown Tilly adds it’s all because she knows how play the system.
Namely, two little words she uses when calling the airline up ahead of her flight.
Corporate-sounding as it is, the phrase is an almost sure-fire way of ensuring airlines release seats in First Class that would otherwise go empty.
44-year-old Tilly told Bloomberg this trick means she’s not yet paid for an upgrade with Virgin Atlantic, the airline she uses the most.
She’ll call the reservations team and say: “Have revenue management released any first-class seats for miles upgrades yet?”
Then: “When they say no, ask them to check or just be put through to revenue management so you can ask when they will release some, as well as how many seats are left.”
Here’s when you us the real trick which, according to Tilly is to ‘politely respond like this: “You have 20 seats unsold? Why aren’t you releasing them?”‘
She says that by the end of the conversation, the person on the end of the phone has almost certainly released an upper class seat for her.
This tactic does come with a slight drawback – it works better for loyal customers, and Virgin themselves expressed their doubts over its efficacy.
A spokesperson for the airline told MirrorOnline:
“We’ve heard some pretty tall tales from people trying to get a sneaky upgrade over the years – and this is certainly one of the most creative!
“As helpful as our lovely revenue management team are – they don’t handle upgrades, and customers can check the latest availability of our reward seats by calling our contact centre or via our website.”