10 Shameless Tricks for Scoring Free Travel Upgrades

Of course you want that bigger room, that Jacuzzi tub, that first class upgrade. So what’s a budget traveler to do? If you want a travel upgrade without having to splash your cash, swallow your pride and pull one of these shameless moves:

Special Occasion

We’ve all heard this tip, but that’s because it works! Letting the staff know it’s your honeymoon, birthday or anniversary is a great way to grab you and your special anyone a free upgrade. Try not to overdo this one because you know, karma.

Special-OccasionAugustino / Shutterstock

Put Your Best Face Forward

Even though traveling in sweat pants and flip flops is a lot more comfortable than a freshly pressed suit, if you’re expecting to get upgraded to first class, you’ve got to look the part. Not only that, feel it! Be happy and excited about traveling. Travel can bring out the crazy in many individuals and flight attendants and airport staff have to suffer through a lot of it. They will appreciate a polite and calm demeanor and hopefully reward your good behavior with a treat.

Put-Your-Best-Face-ForwardOPOLJA / Shutterstock


If you’re lucky enough to get on an overbooked flight and aren’t in any rush, volunteer to take the next flight. These opportunities always come with some kind of pay off. Whether it’s free travel points or an upgraded seat, if you have the time to spare, it’s definitely worth it. If no one volunteers, someone is going to be voluntold, so you may as well take advantage of this potentially awkward situation.

Volunteermichaeljung / Shutterstock