It seems a little bizarre that I am writing an article about how to get a free easy upgrade on your holidays. The reason for this is because until I turned 30 I had only been to France and the Isle of Wight, both as a child. I had not been abroad either on my own or as a couple.
Luckily my wife who I married not long after this was very well traveled and I caught the traveling bug. There was only one issue with both of us having a love for traveling. Invariably you need to have the money and time to do it.
We were having to pick the slightly less glamorous holidays despite working long hours trying to earn extra money to afford the holiday in the first place. This is when I started to do some research on how booking holiday works. Not only that but how to get free upgrades on flights and free upgrades to your hotel rooms.
There are several ways to gain free easy upgrades on holidays. Although you will not always be successful, it is quite simple and quick to apply them.
This is the very first thing you are going to do other than discuss the places you want to go with your significant other.
Now although gaining upgrades cannot be done at the booking stage it is worth making sure you follow some simple recommendations.
Every time you and your partner sit and open your laptops or phones to search for holidays you are making your first fatal mistake. All holiday internet companies websites will place cookies on your computer. This is a perfectly legal thing to do and is a normal practice.
However, once that cookie is on your computer it remembers where you have been and when you revisit the website the prices will quite possibly have changed. Never search together for the holidays.
My best piece of advice is for one of you to be searching for the holiday and the other to be searching for the hotel reviews on TripAdvisor. This way it will keep the prices low. Each session make sure you delete your computer history (guys you know how to do that right?) and all of your cookies. Then search away to your heart’s content.
Some holiday firms will ask you to ring them for their best price, this is where you can haggle and get that price down. Some also have notes you can attach when booking. You can ask for a sea view room even if you haven’t booked one.
The Flight Upgrade:
Before you get too excited this doesn’t happen that often. I dont have some secret whispered words that are going to get you into first class or head up the stairs if you’re on an A380. I do however have some tips that will give you the best chance of a cheeky upgrade though.
If you have flown with an airline before and enjoyed it then stick with them. If you like flying with Emirates then make it known. Join their loyalty program. Sure you are not going to be upgraded on your first flight but it will be noted you are a loyalty member. You are far more likely to be upgraded as a loyalty member than not.
I always like to arrive early anyway, It gives me a good chance to people watch but also I like to relax before my flight and running late will not be relaxing. If you arrive early and they have spare upgraded seats you are way more likely to be offered them.
No, you dont need to dig out that dicky bow. However as comfortable as you may like to be on a flight are you ever going to get upgraded wearing tracksuit bottoms and a hoodie? Probably not. Trouser, shoes and a nice shirt should do it. Worst case scenario at least you arrive looking smart.
Be sure to keep an eye on your emails as airlines can email you on the day if your a rewards or loyalty member and offer you free or very cheap upgrades. Dont forget to check.
For me, airports are stressful places. I dont relax really until I’m in the air but it does pay to be nice and smile. Smile when checking in, smile through security. Just be nice to all that serve you and you never know.
Travel When Quite
So although you get lots of people flying on a Sunday or bank holiday, most business people are not, which means the chances of an empty seat or two and you using the above techniques means you may well get a positive result.
That old saying If you dont ask you dont get. It is true and what’s the worst that can happen. Be nice and polite while dressed nice and early and you never know they may just say yes.
The Hotel Upgrade:
So whether you have booked the hotel separately or as a package along with the flights they don’t know you. You are just a name on their database at that point. What you need to do is make contact with them.
Most hotels will have some kind of customer relations manager or concierge that you can contact. You can usually find this information on the hotel website.
Next, you need to fire off an email to them and build a little rapport. Explain that you are coming to their beautiful part of the world and give your names and dates. Make sure you tell them its for a special occasion, birthday, anniversary, New Job, whatever it may be.
Ask if there are any rooms of a better standard than the one you booked. It is a little cheeky and you may have to just steel yourself before asking. Let them know that you are sure they are busy and if they can’t provide that for you then you will still have a great time regardless.
I seem to have become a bit of an expert in this field. I have in the last couple of years managed to get an upgrade to a suite in Rome, A Massive Room and corner balcony facing the palm in Dubai and $250 of resort credit for free when In Mexico. All of this was for free and just for sending a few emails. The room upgrade in Dubai alone was worth an extra £150 per night. We Stayed there for 5 nights so that should have been £750 extra.
If you subscribe to my blog you can gain access to the very email I use to get these free upgrades. All you need to do is hit that subscribe button.
Again like the airlines most hotels will have some kind of loyalty membership, make sure you join it. If you haven’t already sent an email then when you check in to be nice, smile and as a loyal customer you may get lucky. You can always just ask at check-in as well.
Tweet the hotel or send them a nice message on Instagram. Either way, explain your excitement, make sure you are following them and like and comment on a few pictures. A simple tweet could get you a private message and an upgrade. Even if you do not remember to tweet them during and after your holiday just in case for next time.
Now I have never really looked at new hotels as I do worry that there will be teething issues as well. I’m also not the only one so this means there is a high chance that the hotel will not be fully booked meaning the chance of an upgrade using some of the above techniques is high.
So hopefully you are going to use some of these tips and get a free upgrade on your flight and your hotel and hopefully save some money and get way more luxurious settings then you could have hoped for. Please let me know in the comments if you have ever been upgraded and also if you have used any of my techniques. Remember to subscribe and receive the free email template I use to grab free room upgrades.