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    Posted September 5, 2013 by
    Dallas, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    100 Ways to Travel Better: Your tips

    More from PoshVoyage

    How to: Score a Flight Upgrade


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     PoshVoyage's second and third tips come from a survey of airline cabin crews from travel website Skyscanner.
    - rachel8, CNN iReport producer

    Flight attendant: “Passenger Stefanie Kronemeyer, please come to the gate. Your upgrade to first class has been cleared.”

    For a frequent travelers like me, being devoted to a particular airline in order to earn Executive Platinum Status (or whatever your airline calls it) is what we live for. And as embarrassing as it sounds, seeing your upgrade request clear in the gate screen is almost as exciting as getting a comp room at Hotel du Cap.

    Yes, limiting your travel options to one single airline can have negative repercussion, due to the auto monopoly you create in your head; you don’t get the best fares, the best aircrafts or even the best routes. However, there are far more advantages in doing so, than drawbacks, so start looking for an airline to wed.

    How to score an upgrade:

    1. Marry an airline: If you travel quite a lot (especially for business), you need to narrow down your airline options to one and start earning the big miles. If you find this hard, then stick to either Star Alliance, Skye Team or One World Airline alliances. Each have a collection of airlines that have a program in place to transfer the miles you flew to “Your main airline”. This way, you still get the credit although you traveled with a different airline.

    2. Look the part: A smartly dressed traveler is more likely to get bumped up according to Sky Scanner’s survey to 700 cabin crew. The flyers voted least likely to get bumped up are teenage girls wearing revealing clothing and travelling with a loud group.

    3. Travel alone: Almost 72% of cabin crew said they were more inclined to offer a free upgrade to a passenger who was flying alone.

    4. Travel during quiet times: Travel on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. According to FareCompare.com the slowest and cheapest day to travel is on Wednesday, followed by Tuesday and Saturday. Also, you get a better chance of upgrading to business on bank holidays and at other times of the year when business travelers are less likely to fly and the seats tend not to fill up.

    5. Request an upgrade: Request an upgrade when making your flight reservations. The earlier you request your upgrade, the better. Upgrade requests are prioritized based on your elite level. American Airlines notifies you up to 100 hours prior to departure if you are Executive Platinum at no cost, 72 hours to Platinum for a few 500-mile upgrades and 24 hours for travelers with no status. You can also buy an upgrade at the ticket counter at a heavily discounted price, as a result the sooner you check in, the better.

    6. Have a good reason: On a flight back from St Tropez to Dallas, my 6’7 ft friend sat on his coach seat for a 11 hour flight. The stewardess felt so sorry for him, that she called him to the front of the aircraft and placed him on an empty Business Class seat. So the moral of the story is to either be very tall, very large or have a broken bone to have the stewardess feel sorry for you (no joke).

    If you manage to earn a descent status, the upgrade perks are worth the sweat. Upgrades in any airlines today are more appreciated by travelers than ever before due to the sudden frugal shift they all instigated after 2008 (e.g. $6 for toy-looking headphones, $5 for a scratchy blankets with other people’s hair attached to it, $10 for a glass of bad wine and $12 for a tasteless cheese plate).

    I know this is a whole different subject (and maybe a for a potential next article), but what is the deal with the airline food suppliers? All of it is awful without exception.

    Well… I take it back, excluding the delicious warm nuts they serve on American Airlines Business Class Cabin. The recipe is not complicated; we are not flying to the moon guys!

    I would not be traveling as frequent as I do, if it were not for my beloved status that helps me get my 3E domestic Business Class seat 80% of the time. There is something about starting your trip with a glass of Champagne and smiles that makes me want to travel even more. So marry an airline and start your vacation the moment you set foot in the plane.

    By Stefanie, Founder of Luxury Travel Blog, Posh Voyage
    This iReport is part of an assignment that we created with Travel + Leisure:  100 Ways to Travel Better: Your tips
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