I’m currently writing this from the Emirates business lounge in Dubai, using their free wifi, enjoying wonderful food and sitting on a comfortable lounge. If you’re not a member of an airline – join for your next flight. You never know when and how often you will use them and even if you don’t travel a lot, you could still receive a free domestic flight out of it. After travelling long haul for nearly a decade and using numerous airlines, my preferred airline is now Emirates. Even if you don’t have a preferred airline, just join who you travel with.
Points accumulated from the past few years of flying Emirates, today got me a business class upgrade from New York to Dubai on the A380 airbus. The plane which has the upper deck for First and Business Class, with a Bar at the back.
Dress comfortably but dress nicely, arrive early and as when you approach the counter (even if you check in online) ask if the flight is full. Only if it’s full you have a chance. Be pleasant and say “if there are any upgrades available, I’d love to be considered.”
In my case I travel alone, I work in the travel industry and I am now a silver member so I mention these things as well. I think so far they’ve helped.
Some of my points were going to expire soon and I only had a few flights to upgrade on so in the case of todays flight, I called twice in advance (everything was full), asked as I checked in and asked again before we boarded. As I boarded my ticket didn’t scan and I was quietly hopeful my asking in advance worked. It had.
I’ve been lucky to have been upgraded on Qantas and Emirates four times now. The first time was completely random but the other 3 I worked on. It didn’t take much yet completely changed those hours of my life.
It’s definitely worth asking a few polite questions and then hoping for some good fortune.