Introduction: Get a Free Upgrade to First Class

Picture of Get a Free Upgrade to First Class

Getting a free upgrade to first class isn't easy, people who've paid for first class don't want a scruffy nobody riding free when they had to pay.
Because of this the check-in attendants wont give free upgrades to anyone, you have to look like the kind of guy who would shell out that bit extra for first class,

This instructable will tell you how to do exactly that.

Step 1: Presentation

Picture of Presentation

Presentation is key, look like a bum and you'll probably get a downgrade to the cargo area.
1st Class is for business-men and billionaires, Billionaires wont be asking for a free upgrade so your going to have to be a business-man.

Business-man check list :
  • Suit
  • Tie
  • Shirt
  • Briefcase
  • Copy of Financial Times
  • Shiny black shoes
  • Glasses ?
  • Sensible Hair
  • Clean shaven

Business-man No-No List:
  • No long hair
  • No spiky/roughed up hair
  • No Backpacks
  • No other clothes other than a suit
  • No Beard/Stubble
  • No Cheesy grin
  • No earrings/piercings
  • No visible tattoos

This may seem a bit extreme and you may feel stupid wearing a suit but trust me ,on a long haul flight you would give your right arm to get out of economy.

Step 2: Body Language

Picture of Body Language

So your pretending to be a business man, you dress like one now you have to act like one.

Business men go through airports all the time and they know the drill , they could check in blind-folded whilst on a uni-cycle so now you have to know the system too,

Before joining a check in line look for an older woman working the desk, she is probbaly more experienced and more likely to give you an upgrade.

Whilst waiting in the line for check in get your ticket and passport out, hold them by your side whilst pretending to check for messages on your phone, don't clutch your tickets like a noob traveler, pretend there worth nothing to you.

Don't engage in conversation with anyone around you, Business men are solitary travelers.
Stand upright, don't slouch, Look at your phone don't gaze around. Basically act sophisticated and look like you know what your doing.

Step 3: Check-In Desk

Picture of Check-In Desk

Now your at the desk, you look like a business man and you act like a business man, now you just have to seal the deal.

• When you walk up to the desk give the lady your tickets and swiftly put your bag on the conveyor belt, this gives her time to check the tickets and see that their economy/business class.

• Look at the tickets and pretend to suddenly realize you need to ask for an upgrade (don't do this dramatically - keep calm)

• Tell her that the travel organizer in your company made a mistake and accidentally bought economy instead of 1st class, then go on to say that you have a meeting the at the other end an hour after the plane lands and you really need to work on the presentation

(note that you haven't actually asked for an upgrade yet, if you tell the story after asking then it will seem like an excuse)

• Whilst telling the story act desperate but not dramatic like you really need it but make it look like you are trying to keep calm.

• Now say something like "please i really need to work on this, are there any seats available up front"
The lady know's what you mean by "up front" but you didn't have the un-needed shock value of first class

• The lady will probably tap away at her keyboard and then say yes or no

YES = Thank her profusely, and then leave to board the plane in 1st class

NO = Now act stressed out, and ask if she's sure, lower your voice and pretty much beg and say something like "please if i don't finish this i'm going to loose my job"

now unless this woman is the biggest b**** on the planet she will give you an upgrade, there is nearly always free seats in 1st class.

So if she says no again then say " ok ok well how about business, there's gotta be seats there right?"
Hopefully there will be and she'll upgrade you, if not then pretend to calm your self down and say youll wait until later, ask her to contact you if anything comes available, take your tickets, and bag and go and wait somewhere she can see you, get your laptop or papers out and pretend to work hard whilst acting stressed (e.g. rub head, keep looking over at her)

now when the last check in call comes out go and talk to her looking expectant. Now once everybody has checked in she knows nobody is going to use those seats she'll either upgrade you or apologize and say no

No : go and cry in the toilets, spend the entire flight thinking about what went wrong and how you can correct it on the return journey, and wiping the baby-sick off your suit...

Yes : Act like she saved your life then shout

1st Class Here i Come !!

Step 4: Options

Picture of Options

After you look the part the rest is up to you, you can take it really far and go to begging, or you can just quit after asking once, I'd recommend at least going up to the "i really have to finish this" bit.

Now this isn't just speculation, my granddad helped me with this and he used the same technique on the way back from America at the San Francisco international airport on a family holiday, he just couldn't handle economy on such a long flight so he bought a suit for £30/$70 and got all the way up to the "contact me if anything becomes available" bit, eventually the Check-In lady took pity and upgraded him, Lucky though, he nearly missed the flight.

Step 5: The End

That's the end, I hope you enjoyed it

Please leave a comment and rate it !

Thanks =SMART=


PurplePassionMe (author)2017-02-16

Thank you for this.

The downgrade to cargo area is pretty funny!

ajofkandy (author)2016-01-19

Don't know about you guys talking about the "formal way" of upgrading but for me I am definitely going to try this. I am from Sri Lanka and I travel a lot on business but my company never worries to get an actual business class ticket for me. And a good suit is always cheaper around here than paying on an upgrade so hopefully in my next travel I will cry out "1st class here I come"...

Thanks for the instructable SMART

SoLongSidekick (author)2016-01-19

The "logic" behind your statement is painful to try to understand. You really think "because I buy first class tickets in comfort wear, one should easily be able to get a free upgrade to first class wearing it!"? Really?

KSWriter (author)2015-08-06

Is it best to ask at the check in desk or the flight attendants when boarding for possible free upgrade? We do not fly that often, but I would ask for my wife - not that I don't wish to sit with her, but because she is an amazing woman and deserves first class treatment. I would love to sit with her, but thinking of her in first class would make me smile the entire flight.

flintwo2 (author)2012-10-27

Instead of wasting a couple of hundred dollars on a good suit you cold just buy a first class ticket.

I don't know where you're flying to, but, I've never seen where you can upgrade to 1st class for an extra $200.00.

romstar36 (author)2008-09-02

Looks like Bangkok Airport

Actually, I'm pretty sure it's San Francisco International.

kmmich (author)trappedinafreezer2009-03-26

sure? I also immediately thought about BKK... the new one of course...

kmmich (author)kmmich2009-03-26

Also some of the other pictures in this ible look very much like Bangkok... Nice tips btw. Not sure you would need the whole set, but looking smart really helps. My parents once got an upgrade to first class on the condition that they put on real shoes instead of their slippers...

flavouredginger (author)kmmich2014-09-21

ha, I always carry my slippers in my carry on.

lucjoker (author)2014-05-22

upgrades are given to passengers who have the most air miles .

So never use your air miles to buy an upgrade or what ever .

Let your miles grow and never touch them (unless they are too old and will be lost )

lucjoker (author)2014-05-22

upgrades are given to passengers who have the most air miles .

So never use your air miles to buy an upgrade or what ever .

Let your miles grow and never touch them (unless they are too old and will be lost )

interceptor (author)2014-05-11

The author needs to learn the difference between the possessive " your " and you're.

shadowram (author)2014-04-15

In response to the comments

1) Buy a nice suite at a thrift store - name brand for $20

2) "based on deception and lies and nobody else questions this" WELCOME TO AMERICA!

3) It's immoral to judge a person by their looks so the person doing this is just 'playing the game'

4) There are different ways to get an upgrade, this is just one.

jolshefsky (author)2014-04-15

What if you're a woman? ;)

HMice (author)2012-09-27

Yes I believe in Karma. It is perfectly rational reasoning. Haven't you ever seen a movie or read a book when the nasty guy gets his comeuppance?

jolshefsky (author)HMice2014-04-15

What you're doing is to allow the person working the desk to get good "Karma": big semi-comfortable empty seats get moved just as far as full intolerable seats, so to let someone have an opportunity to have a better flight is a good thing. It's not like airline employees can offer you a free upgrade. ;)

pbillings1991 (author)2014-04-07

I'm a business man and I currently have 5/8 inch plugs in my ears.

Srabado (author)2014-04-03

isnt this illegal?

pkramer2 (author)2013-05-25

You can still attend the meeting with the ticket you booked, is what she should think. I would come up with a better excuse.

Honda Enoch (author)2012-12-03

Many highly respectable business men wear earrings.

EdM (author)2009-04-02

So your entire how-to is based on deception and lies and nobody else questions this or calls you on it - and Instructables allows it? I would hope airline personnel are experienced and smart enough to see through this kind of dishonest behaviour. The lack of character and integrity that allows one to try this technique probably shows through somehow and a savvy agent would never fall for it.

johndoe5516 (author)EdM2012-09-06

Its called a "CON" its a very simple idea that doesn't necessarily cause problems for others but benefits you and/or allies...i see no moral issues here at all.

=SMART= (author)EdM2009-04-04

This instructabe was a theory, i won the competition too. You have to lie in life, that's how it is. If you don't you wont get anywhere

QePBqF (author)=SMART=2012-05-23

If every person on the earth acted with integrity, there would be no need for law enforcement, security, or rules of any kind. And every extra person that acts without integrity, lying to get what they want, increases the need for rules that would make everyone's lives easier if they were gone. Things like this article are the reason we have to wait hours in line to get past TSA security.

drawkcab (author)=SMART=2010-01-07

Yeah...go ahead lie through life to get what you want and you will eventually realize your life is one big lie. Try honesty, that can get you just as far in your upgrade instructible...perhaps if you just told the airline attendant how you never get to fly first class because you are a student (or such) and can't afford it and would love to experience it that would work too (and you probably would feel alot better about yourself).

ToolboxGuy (author)drawkcab2012-03-18

My wife and I have been upgraded for free thanks to being honest and helpful.
Whenever we fly, and we have extra time, we offer to give up our seats if they've overbooked. In one case, it got us 2 FREE TICKETS TO ANYWHERE American flew, plus the next day, they seated us in First, even though we had Economy seats on the original flight.
We just check back in when they announce the prepare to board, and if they say they are not overbooked and don't require the seats, we simply ask if there are any seats available up front. We try to travel carryon only, and we mention that as well. If they're open, we get them. It usually means we have our luggage under, but that's fine by me.

Riojelon (author)drawkcab2010-06-19

What if I'm a rich student but don't wanna pay but I wanna seat on First class?

shawntherobot (author)=SMART=2009-10-23

thats how you move forward in life and good instructables but i dont think most of those pictures are yours

=SMART= (author)shawntherobot2009-10-28

the pics are not mine

benz_z (author)=SMART=2009-04-04

too true great ible by the way

=SMART= (author)benz_z2009-04-07

Thanks :)

brendangillespie (author)EdM2011-06-22

Hopefully the airline employees, in their infinite experience and wisdom, are giving the free upgrades to those who truly deserve it, such as the elderly or those with injuries that would most benefit from a bigger and comfier seat.

amaurer11787 (author)EdM2009-09-04

relax man its a free country to act however you want even if you dont agree with his morals.

bounty1012 (author)EdM2009-05-09

Haven't you ever lied for your own pleasure? I'm sure you've lied before, not everyone is perfect.

Nando_Kommando (author)EdM2009-05-05

I'm sure the airline personnel could prob. give a crap where you sit. As long as you have a good excuse.

Danish M1Garand (author)EdM2009-04-26

SAles is a LIE. All he is doing is selling

dakrasywun (author)2010-11-21

i fly southwest.... :(

Danimalk82 (author)dakrasywun2011-06-06

Haha... where EVERY seat is first class!

EtCetera112 (author)Danimalk822012-08-30


SIRJAMES09 (author)2011-06-26

good thing I don't fly's too dangerous

paddyc (author)SIRJAMES092011-07-31

it is not unsafe

SIRJAMES09 (author)paddyc2011-07-31

If you say so....still I will never fly unless I can have a parachute with me, & we both know that will never happen.

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying that I will never fly because I don't trust the airline companies. They have a reputation of not caring if you live or die....all they want is your money.

voyageur10 (author)SIRJAMES092011-11-06

I feel sorry for you.

SIRJAMES09 (author)voyageur102012-01-02

I answer to a higher authority, & he does not like it when I do something immoral to get ahead and/or to get comfortable at someone else's expense.

Cheating the system means someone is having to pay more at some point just so you can be more comfortable. THAT is wrong & immoral & I will never condone that...nor should anyone else in my humble opinion.

What goes around, comes around. that's not just life, that's karma.

I bid you peace Sir.

EtCetera112 (author)SIRJAMES092012-08-30

gah, christian mumbo jumbo!

SIRJAMES09 (author)voyageur102011-11-06

save your pity for someone who cares...

I couldn't care less if people agree with me or not; I don't care if what I do works for anyone but me; all I'm saying is this is me, this is but a part of who I am & I WILL NOT lose any sleep if someone disagrees with me.

So do not pity me, either be my friend, or get out of my way, because I am gonna do & go where & when I want to go & do.

In the mean time, I bid you peace....may life always be kind to you Sir.

kyleslab (author)SIRJAMES092012-01-02

I also feel sorry for you. You have no clue whatsoever. Obviously you have never flown on a good airline, the only one with the best safety record for the last 20 years (can't mention any names.)

SIRJAMES09 (author)kyleslab2012-01-02

if I'm gonna die, it will be by my hand or by the hand of GOD....not some over worked airline pilot who is asleep at the wheel.

I have flown in the past on some of the most technically advanced aircraft...some that the public will never see the inside of(compliments of the US Air Force, US Navy, & US Army). Flying scares me, always has always will. I would rather swim to Ireland as opposed to flying there.

As I said earlier, I'm not saying I'm right & you're wrong, I'm only saying that I refuse to fly.

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