I was in the boarding area waiting for my flight when an airport announcement suddenly called out my FULL NAME and was asked to approach any Emirates crew.
OMG. What have I done??!
I quickly went to the Emirates booth in the boarding area thinking of any possible problem regarding my flight. Whatever it is, I should settle it immediately or else I’m gonna miss my flight!
There was a short queue of travelers and I was fifth in line. They were probably called out as well, I thought. The airport was so busy at that time and I couldn’t clearly hear what the staff was saying. The person before me handed his boarding pass to the Emirates Crew. I tried to get really close to hear what’s going on. The Emirates crew gave him a new boarding pass. While smiling with their signature bright red lipstick, she said the magic words “Here’s your new boarding pass, you have been upgraded to Business Class.”
Gone are the days when you can ask an airline staff for an upgrade because it’s your birthday or you’re pregnant with your tenth baby. Although it doesn’t hurt to try! To make things easier, I’ve summarized the real juice on how to get a business class upgrade without asking! These tips are based on my own experience while having been upgraded to Business Class more than once!
The economy seats are overbooked
With huge airlines like Emirates, you wouldn’t think that they would overbook because of a glitch in their booking system, right? Well, I do think it is intentional to have their economy seats overbooked. Then upgrade some of the passengers to fill in the vacancy in Business Class. Simply because not everyone will pay the premium to fly Business Class. And the aircraft would still fly even there are vacancies, so better to have it fully occupied at a discounted price. It’s a win-win situation!
I was travelling solo
There may probably be one or two vacant seats in Business Class. You get a higher chance of being upgraded when you are travelling solo instead of flying with a group. I have flown with Emirates alot of times before with my parents or sometimes with just my mom and we never got an upgrade. It was only during my solo travels I was able to score an upgrade. My dad also received an upgrade to Business Class when he flew alone.
Member of Frequent Flyer Program
The first time I got a free upgrade, I wasn’t even a member of Emirates Skywards. I would assume it was pure luck although I was travelling solo. It was only after that unforgettable experience I signed up for their frequent flyrer program. During the second time I received an upgrade, I asked one of the staff the reason why I was upgraded. The staff told me that selection of passenger for the upgrade is based on the frequent flyer program points system. Note that my membership was Blue Skywards, the lowest among all the categories.
I had a long layover
Spending 6 hours or more in a layover might just be one of the reasons to get an upgrade. It happened to me, it could happen to you too!
YOUR OUTFIT DOESN’T MATTER
Believe me. I was wearing a $10 shirt from H&M when I first got an upgrade. Whenever I travel, I make sure to wear something a bit loose to feel more comfortable in the economy seat. Had I known I was being upgraded, I would definitely wear something nicer. One time, I was seated close to one of the most notable Senators in the Philippines and the passengers around me were in suits. I did definitely feel I was in Business Class.
My ticket is ‘Flexible’
This might be the biggest tip I could give you. Type of fare is something I never thought I should consider as long as I’m being loyal to an airline company. When booking online, you see the ticket options with terms like, Saver, Flexi, Flexi Saver, Ultimate Flex (if there’s such thing) and so on. Terms vary from airline companies. The thing is, buy a ticket that gives you flexibility. Having a flexible ticket may cost a bit more, but it allows you to change flight details with minimum fee or sometimes no additional charge at all. Plus, the airline company can easily upgrade your seat to Business Class in their system because it’s…flexible. Whereas, if you purchase a Basic or Saver Fare, all details are fixed and the airline staff won’t be able to move you up in their system.
Have you ever got an upgrade? If yes, we’d love to hear your tips and experience in the comment section below!