The fares are subject to seat availability in the corresponding booking inventory. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights and dates. The fares are non-refundable, non-exchangeable, and non-transferable. The fares and their governing rules are subject to change without prior notice. Other restrictions may apply. Airline-imposed baggage fees are not included and may apply.
Joe also recounts that Air France emailed him a couple of times on the day of departure offering a cheap (not free) upgrade. “I’ve twice missed this because I didn’t check my emails close enough to departure. One of these times I had even called the airline to ask if they had any deals and they said no! So keep checking your emails even up to a couple of hours before you fly.”

Over the past years, first class travel has been undergoing unprecedented improvements, as more airlines upgrade their “upper decks” to meet the growing expectations of the most discerning flyers. At the same time, a growing number of carriers choose aggressive pricing strategies, offering volume discounts and wholesale first class airfares through select consolidators with results-proven distribution channels.


Qantas – Bid Now Upgrades scheme is available on selected domestic and international flights by invitation only for passengers holding economy tickets. Passengers may receive an email from Qantas up to seven days prior to travel if their flight is eligible. Travellers make a minimum bid using a mix of frequent flyer points and cash, (non-Qantas frequent flyers can pay in cash). You will find out if your upgrade bid has been successful between 12 and 24 hours before your flight.
First class is a travel class on some passenger airliners intended to be more luxurious than business class, premium economy, and economy class. On a passenger jetliner, first class usually refers to a limited number (rarely more than 20) of seats or cabins toward the front of the aircraft which have more space, comfort, service, and privacy. In general, first class is the highest class offered, although some airlines have branded their new products as above first class. Propeller airliners often had first class in the rear, away from the noise of the rotating propeller, while first class on jet aircraft is normally positioned near the front of the aircraft, normally in front of the business class section, or on the top deck for aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380.

Also, ask about availability at check-in, particularly on international flights, where the check-in agents sometimes have more control over the seating chart. Then, if seats appear to be available, check in again at the gate. The final, “miracle” upgrades always happen at the last minute, when all passengers are checked in and any remaining availability becomes clear. Make sure you are within earshot of the gate desk, although hovering over agents is not recommended.
Certainly it wasn’t all chance that brought first-class upgrades floating one’s way, and a heavy battery of hard and soft tactics arose to increase your chances. Dress neatly, speak politely, fly the same airline regularly, inquire when offering your frequent flier number to the telephone booking person, stand a little taller at check-in if you can (for the tall-person sympathy upgrade), volunteer to give up your economy seat so a family might sit together, volunteer to be bumped on an overbooked flight.
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