28 Apr 2019 AT 11:03 AM

Fly first class with these smart tips

If you fancy upgrading from economy for a long-haul flight, follow our guide
28 Apr 2019 AT 11:03 AM
Fly first class with these smart tips

1 Better class
It’s not just the leg room and service that is better in first class. The people are better, too. It is hard to prove, but how else does an airline justify the price for the people on the other side of the curtain? At the back of the plane are the sort of people who fold over a corner of a page of a book instead of use a bookmark, wear sunglasses indoors or take fries off your plate without asking. Up front are finer folk. People who have excellent taste in A/C temperature, never pinch the last piece of trifle at a brunch and stay silent in cinemas. Whatever it takes (apart from paying, obviously) you need to try and get a free upgrade.

2 Be nice
Smile, be polite and cross your fingers. You never know!

3 Friends in high places
Find yourself some mates who work for airlines. Pilots and cabin crew are always sneaking friends and relatives into good seats without them having to pay. Why should you miss out on all the fun?

4 Dress the part
On the spectrum from comfort traveller (in slippers, onesie and carrying no case, but extra pillows as hand luggage) to businessman (in a top hat, monocle and holding a briefcase) the possibility of an upgrade is always more likely to go to the latter. You’re probably not going to be upgraded, but dressing like your boss’s boss will help.

5 Be a frequent flier
Fly around the world four times, diligently collect loyalty miles and travel in the dead of night with no luggage and you might just earn enough air miles to fly first class from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.

6 Baby seats
Sitting next to a toddler is the worst thing to do on a plane. Everyone knows that. It is a high-risk strategy, but if you select seats right next to them, then cabin crew may take pity on you.

7 Carry balloons
Ground crew are generous and wonderful people just looking for an excuse to dish out upgrades as though they were complimentary packets of cheese biscuits. Give them a little nudge by suggesting it is your birthday. We’d encourage you to wear a badge which says “Birthday Boy” in big gold letters.  Why not?

8 Don’t have children
Kids are magical. They are cute. They are funny. They are your legacy and a glimpse of a future. They are also, it must be said, the anti-upgrade. If you have to travel with them, be prepared to leave them if you are moved to the front of the plane.