There is nothing nicer than getting an upgrade when you are traveling…and it may just be easier than you think. Here are a few things you can try, they can’t hurt!
Before you go, send a note to the company through Facebook or Twitter. Write on their facebook wall, tag them in a tweet or an instagram about how excited you are to visit their hotel or resort. Your enthusiasm may be noticed by the property manager who can pull up your reservation and arrange for an upgrade.
While many flights are stuffed to the gills, there are still days and times when empty seats can be found. Typically, that is more likely really early morning flights or on off-peak travel days such as Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Gate agents tend to feel less pressured early in the day, so they may be more inclined to dole out upgrades if available. Always worth asking politely!
You also might want to look at staying a new hotel… often staff are more likely too try to woo new guests, so upgrading you to a higher room category encourages valuable word of mouth from their guests – to friends and family.
Pay a little more. Sounds crazy, but more & more travel providers are blocking the lowest airfares and room rates against upgrading. So, even the most generous clerks can’t override the computer’s block without losing their jobs. The good news is that the difference between the lowest fares and the upgradeable fares is often as little as 5 percent, so that’s worth paying to get a fare that is upgradeable.
Use your points for upgrades on flights or for a nicer hotel room- don’t use them for cheap airline tickets and hotel rooms. You will get far greater value using them for business class flights or a swanky hotel room, which would have cost thousands of dollars if you had to buy them.
And leverage your loyalty. Companies rely on their repeat customers, and you don’t have to be in the super-elite ranks, even the first tier of membership should give you an extra edge, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Another way to get an upgrade is to tell hotel or airline staff if you happen to be celebrating a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. Most people who I have encountered will go out of their way to help you celebrate, and what better way to celebrate than with a free upgrade. In my opinion an upgrade can absolutely make the difference between a good trip and a great one.
The bottom line is that it’s always worth asking! And the earlier and nicer you ask, the better your chances are. Try these out on your next tip and leave a comment below what worked for you.