An Aussie woman has revealed how she managed to get herself upgraded to business class on her last three domestic and international flights — once for just $25.
In a TikTok video captioned, "I did it again! How to get business class for $25", the traveller can't contain her excitement at being moved from economy to business on a domestic Rex Airlines flight.
The trick? Bidding for it.
The woman explains she received an email from the airline about upgrading her seat but waited until the last minute to respond. "Remember to bid for your business class flight at the last minute and put in the lowest amount. It will work," she says.
In a subsequent video, the woman goes into more detail about how she was upgraded on a flight to Bali, explaining that most airlines will send you an email about bidding for a business class seat a few days before your departure date.
"They'll try to get you to bid higher, but my theory is if you place a bid the day of your flight or last-minute, all the people who've been outbid or don't have business class will give up," she said.
The woman said she was even contacted again to be notified she'd been outbid, but she didn't reply. "I waited and the next day they emailed me and suddenly I was upgraded and my bid was accepted."
The theory received mixed reviews from viewers, with some flyers agreeing it was a good way to snag an upgrade while others weren't so sure.
"I always go $1 more than the minimum and have never not been upgraded," one user commented, while another claimed, "It works better if you're travelling alone as single business class seats are commonly spare."
However, some people argued that the upgrade tip wasn't worth shouting about. "Could just be they had no other offers and needed to fill those seats," responded one viewer.
"But you didn't 'get upgraded', you paid for an upgrade," someone else said. "Spending $400 on top of the flight price isn't lucky, it's privileged," another agreed
More tips for a seat upgrade
We spoke to several travel agents who all had a few tips of their own on how to score a free seat upgrade.
One of the best ways to get what you want is to ask. There's no reason you can't ask staff on check-in if there are any upgrades available or simply mention it's a special occasion. Airline staff will try and work to upgrade passengers celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary or birthday.
It's all about timing
Many of us try to avoid peak school holiday time, but this can increase the likelihood of an overbooked economy cabin. It means you might be asked to move seats to accommodate families wanting to sit together who won't shell out the cash to sit in business or first class.
Seating in first or business class is likely to be solo, so it can help travelling on your own to increase your chances of an upgrade. Airlines are less likely to want to give a free upgrade to a larger group anyway.
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