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10 Ways to a free upgrade to business class

10 Ways to a free upgrade to business class

The summertime is over but the period of the year for the true jet setters has arrived. If you can pack your bags and travel around the world in first class, you will feel like Frank Abagnale.

Not that long ago, it wasn’t a surprise when during a check-in or at the gate, a flight agent slipped you a new boarding pass with a very low row number. But times have changed. The ‘Catch me if you can’ period is no longer the scene and there are big challenges present to get a free upgrade.

Below you will find some industry insider tricks that you can use to greatly improve your chances of getting a free upgrade to the first cabin.

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1. Get a miles card

Loyalty, a.k.a., spending lots of money and time flying with one airline. Try to always fly with a specific airline and join the frequent flyer club. When flights are oversold, airlines will first turn to their most frequent travelers. Same goes for complimentary upgrades. Even if it’s the lowest level, you still get rewarded first.

2. Know someone in an airline

It doesn’t matter if you’re best friends with the pilot or know the gate agent responsible for check-in. If you know someone who works high enough for the airline, chances are that he or she can get you a free upgrade.

3. Travel when no one else does

If business class is already sold out, it’s practically impossible to receive an upgrade. Travel when there is a low volume of business class passengers, and you greatly increase your chances. Commuters tend to be frequent flyers and receive priority. Try to travel during mid-day, mid-week or weekends rather than early mornings or late afternoons.

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4. Dress well

Dress to impress. No airline wants a chump sitting in business class. Airlines want first and business class people to look a league above, so make sure that you do, too. You don’t need to look like a Wall Street banker or Hollywood actress, but dress well.

5. Be nice

Compliment the flight assistant at check-in with a big smile. Be complimentary, but don’t overdo it. Be patient and make a quick connection. Then, politely ask for a complimentary upgrade.

When making your request, use the word “because”, and then insert a legit reason (such as an early meeting when you land or a recent unfortunate event).

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6. Be late or early

If airlines need to move passengers between cabins they will generally know within several hours before the flight. So, being an early bird will pay off. Likewise, last minute passengers might have the same luck if more passengers show up than expected.

Never show up the same time as everyone else if you want to opt for a free upgrade.

7. Fly solo

Flying on your own will greatly increase your chance of receiving a complimentary upgrade. In fact, I’ve never received an upgrade when flying accompanied – only when traveling alone. It is much easier to upgrade a single person and your mobility can be used for the airline to make room for other passengers.

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8. The honeymoon or anniversary trick

Traveling with your loved one? Mention that you are on your honeymoon trip or traveling to celebrate an anniversary. This works great at hotels and sometimes airlines will also bump you up to the next cabin if it is (or you pretend it is) your special day…

9. The peanuts trick

Take a bag of peanuts and crush them underneath your seat. Press the flight attendant button and let them know you are heavily allergic to peanuts and that you’ve got penaut residue all over your seat. Then, ask for a re-accomodation. Within two seconds you might have a new seat and an apology. (Credit to Justin Ross Lee for this little trick.)

10. Check for breakages

It may not be typical, but if everything else has failed and you’ve got to get out of that uncomfortable economy seat, check for all the possible breakages that can take place. Perhaps the seat, seat belt or the entertainment system is broken. Also, check if your seat can fully recline. If not, log a complaint.

On packed flights, there might be no where else to put you than in the front cabin.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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