Now a few of you know, I do quite a bit of flying, mainly long haul flights of 8+ hours. On such flights an upgrade is a blessing from the heavens. In fact, when flying eastbound through the quickened night to the UK from America an upgrade is quite simply a gift from God because sleeping on a night flight across the Atlantic flight is far more important because you’re stealing hours from your clock, hours that invariably you would have spent sleeping.

So what are the tricks people use to get upgrades? The BBC have run an article on their website today about this very subject, and according to them people have faked injuries, worn false beards and pretended to be the airline owners brothers, and all sorts of other stunts!

I’m always loathed to ask for an upgrade. I just think that they must hear that -SO- much it must become extremely tiresome. One Delta check-in staff member joked with me that no matter how bad a persons English was, one word they could all say was ‘upgrade.’ But on the two last occasions I flew I asked for an upgrade and was upgraded both times.

There are apparently no clear cut rules to getting upgraded apparently. Each airline have different policies, but it’s generally agreed that certain things will ensure you are not upgraded. Being drunk, abusive, loud, or looking like a member of the studio audience from the Jerry Springer show will most certainly ensure you never sit in the fake leather chairs of business or first class.

So what does get you upgraded? Well, according to the BBC, if you don’t ask you won’t get. So you should always try at least asking. However, you should couch this in a little charm and chit-chat. Being gloriously late for a flight or having a wickedly scant connection has actually worked for me on various occasions. I hate to think how much I have cost Delta in late leaving fees at Manchester Airport in the UK!

Dressing well also really helps your chances. Though I can’t say that it’s particularly helped me. I’m always very casual, so I think maybe it’s the charm that helped in my case? But apparently men (and women) of the cloth are favorites for upgrades. I asked a couple of Rev friends of mine too and they agree, the title comes with its own kind of kick-backs. It makes me wonder, Rev Simon Jones… hmm, that got a nice ring to it. I might have to give that one a go sometime!

Of course maybe I should try and fake celebrity and get a hoard of screaming girls to surround me as I walk into the terminal wearing wrap around shades of which I must have about 30 pairs! I have a mate who runs a security company and he could be my body guard for the stunt. He even has those funky ear peices. It’s a long shot, but it might just work!

BBC article
Rev. Simon Jones’s church website
Christian author Simon Jones Author of aptly titled “Why bother with Church”