Here’s How You Can Get A First Class Upgrade On Your Next Flight

By : Alex Mays |



While languishing in a stuffy, cramped economy class seat on a long-haul flight, I’m sure we’ve all longed for a first class upgrade. 

Half decent food served on a proper plate, unlimited booze, more than an inch of legroom – it’s pure luxury. And there’s no plastic cutlery in sight.

For most of us, the first class flight could actually be better than the holiday we’re travelling to.

But for 99 per cent of us this kind of elite travel is out of reach, right?

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Well, according to travel expert Gilbert Ott that’s not true at all and it really is possible for us mere mortals to get a free upgrade without any air miles whatsoever.

Speaking to Business Insider UK, he said there was only one sure-fire way to get a First or Business Class upgrade and that is ‘to use oversold flights and schedule changes to your advantage’.

He said:

If the flight’s oversold, [the airline will] usually ask for volunteers who are willing to take the next flight, I call that a ‘bumpertunity.

Emirates' First Class. Experience you will never forget #emirates #emiratesairline #firstclassflight #luxurytravel

A photo posted by First Class Living (@firstclassliv) on

Ott, who runs the air miles site God Save the Points, explains that it’s really the flexible travellers among you that can really benefit from this technique.

If you’re happy to take the next flight, you’re more likely to get money back from the airline for the inconvenience you suffer.

Gilbert gave an example about an oversold flight to Los Angeles, for which he has paid $300 (£231). In return for switching to another flight, the airline might give him a $500 (£385) voucher for future travel and bump him up to business class if there’s space.

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He said: 

I’m getting more money than I actually paid for the ticket and quite often I’ll also get the upgrade too. That’s your best opportunity if you don’t have miles or status with the airline.

And as for the old-fashioned methods? Well, Ott says just don’t even bother going through the trouble:

Wear the suit, put on the cast and pretend you’ve got a broken leg – that’s not gonna happen.


Well knowledge is power and all that, after all.


Business Insider UK