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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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