How to get a seat upgrade for free

If you’ve always wanted a seat upgrade but never got one, here’s how to get it for free. But it comes down to two important rules.

It’s something we all hope for when traveling, especially if you just want to nap out the window or have some extra space.

But how exactly do you score a seat upgrade without paying a single dollar?

Bidding for an upgrade is one of the most common ways to move from economy to a business class seat.

Some passengers are invited by email in the days before their flight to redeem points or dollars for an upgrade.

It is usually popular with airlines such as Qantas, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and Singapore.

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However, if you’re flying in Economy Class and you just want the freedom to stretch your legs a bit, you can choose your own seat, but sometimes there is a charge.

So, how do you go about not paying a single dollar?

American travel influencer Allie Marshell, who is known for her hacks and tips, revealed how passengers can get a free upgrade to an exit row, which generally offers more space, or a window seat.

“I refuse to pay for an upgraded seat. As $19 ($A27) is too much for me to pre-select my seat on American Airlines,” Allie said in a TikTok

“I would rather sit in the middle seat in the back.

“I feel stupid saying this as a ‘travel hack’ because it’s really just being a nice person, but this is what you do when you want an upgrade. It worked for me twice.”

Allie recommends going to the airline counter 10 to 15 minutes before boarding the flight and saying the following — emphasizing that it should be done with a big grin.

“You’re going to walk up to the desk and you’re going to do it with a big smile…like the ‘best day of my life’ smile.

“Like, just enjoy your nuclear energy.

“You’re going to say, ‘Hello, good afternoon,'” adding that that’s the most important thing.

“Then you’re going to say, ‘I’m so sorry – I didn’t pay for an upgraded seat, so I’m in the middle seat in the back. I was just wondering if an aisle or window seat opened up today?’

“Still talking with a smile.”

Allie said nine times out of ten the approach works for her.

“If the flight is definitely sold out, it’s not going to happen and you’ll be in the middle seat in the back, but it works a lot (for me),” she said.

Allie’s post drew hundreds of comments from fellow solo travelers who say it often works for them, too.

“It does work a lot. I make friends with the gate ppl, the desk ppl, the baggage ppl… even TSA, it HELPS (sic)!” one TikTok user responded.

“When I travel alone, I always say I’m willing to move chairs if someone needs to sit together. I usually get an upgrade,” another person wrote.

“The key, as you point out, is to wait until they’re almost done boarding. It worked for me Chicago-Lisbon on TAP Portugal,” a third person suggested.

A gate agent also chimed in, saying that being nice to your gate agent is “the key”.

“We will do everything we can if we have seats available,” they wrote.

But a former gate agent disagreed, saying that when Allie asked for a free upgrade, their “stomach was in a knot.”

“We know when someone is overly nice and wants something,” the former employee continued.

Others advised to “check in early”.

“If you don’t have an assigned seat and you’re one of the first to check in, you get one of the better options by default,” they wrote.

“Hello – good idea – FYI – please know that all open seats are available 24 hours before departure at no extra cost. you’re 100 percent right that your way works too,” added another.

“When I travel alone, I always say I’m willing to move chairs if someone needs to sit together. I usually get an upgrade,” said a third person.

Read related topics:TikTok

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