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Claire's Tips

Ways to Get an Upgrade

Well, there is nothing nicer than getting an ‘upgrade’ when you are traveling…there are lots of ways to increase your chances of getting one…but here are my top five:

Look for at times when companies are less busy…so flights that are less full, days when hotels have lower occupancy, and times when rental cars are sitting idle on the lot. If you don’t have this information, call the reservations line and ask.
Pay a little more.

Sounds crazy…but more & more travel providers are blocking the lowest airfares and room rates against upgrading. So, even the most generous clerks can’t override the computer’s block without losing their jobs. The good news…the difference between the lowest fares and the upgradeable fares is often as little as 5 percent…worth paying to get a fare that is upgradeable.

Use your points for upgrades on flights or for a nicer hotel room… don’t use them for cheap airline tickets and hotel rooms. You will get far greater value using them for business class flights or a swanky hotel room…which may cost thousands of dollars if you had to buy them.

And leverage your loyalty. Companies rely on their best customers…especially in these tough economic times. And you don’t have to be in the super-elite ranks…even the first tier of membership should give you an extra edge, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Another way to get an upgrade is to tell hotel or airline staff if you happen to be celebrating a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary…most people who I have encountered will go out of their way to help you celebrate…and what better way to celebrate than with a free upgrade. In my opinion an upgrade can absolutely make the difference between a good trip and a great one.



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