First class for free: Secrets to scoring airline upgrades - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

First class for free: Secrets to scoring airline upgrades

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FOX19 -

As space in an airplane’s coach section continues to shrink, the appeal of first class is growing.

But the pricey first class tickets are a turnoff – unless you know the insider secrets to scoring an upgrade for free.

Industry insiders say it’s important to know how full the coach section is for your flight.

In some cases, if coach is oversold, the airline will upgrade a coach passenger if the plane has empty seats in business or first class rather than bump a passenger for a flight. Airlines call this “operational upgrade.”

If it looks like your flight might fall under this category, let the gate agents or flight attendants know (very nicely) that you’d like to be considered if they need a passenger to bump to first class.

Most of the time, passengers with elite status or points might be bumped first, but industry insiders say the average traveler has a good chance of getting bumped as well.

Experts say another key is looking like you “belong” in first class - so dress accordingly. Flight staff has been trained to look for passengers who set a good impression as a representative of the airline’s customers.

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