Leveraging your way to first class

Leveraging your way to first class 2016-01-31T19:41:58-08:00

Hi Penny Pincher,

We are a family of four traveling economy class (First Choice Airlines) to Florida this year and wondering what the chances are of getting free upgrades on the plane. I very much doubt we will have much chance as we are traveling during peak season to a popular destination.

My only possible angle to get some leverage is that I have a web site of interest to people living in my area that covers all sorts of subjects and receives an average of 100 visitors per week. I have started a new page which details companies or individual workmen who have provided good service in the area. I have honestly personally received excellent service from my travel agent on the phone and in the branch and have dedicated a page to them.

What do you think?


edited question

Answered by The Penny Pincher

Dear Zoe,

Thank you for your question and link to your website, I enjoyed your site. I can offer you a few options for landing your family in first class. Traveling during peak season can actually work in your favor. Most of the individuals who will be traveling on your flight will most likely be non-loyal passengers, holding low-priced economy tickets.

Having leisure oriented travelers on full flights provides the right formula for first class travel. A full coach section is the savvy passenger’s ticket to upgrade.

I suggest you do two things. Contact your influential travel agent and see if they can secure you advance upgrades. Stress the powerful word of mouth advertising the travel agent receives from your web site. If the agent is unable to assist you, I recommend that you approach the lead gate agent at the airport and explain your situation to them. You might find it helpful to check on the flight’s load factor in advance so that you will have a sense of how full the coach section is. Most likely coach will be full with empty seats in first class—for your taking.

Have a nice trip.