It never hurts to ask for flight upgrades on your flight, however there is a right way and a wrong way.
Right Way – Be nice to the Flight Agent, but avoid flattery. “Has anyone told you that you look just like Julia Roberts?” The boarding attendants have heard it all before and they rarely fall for the schmooze anyway. Just be polite when you ask for an upgrade. It’s not difficult.
Wrong Way – When asking for free flight upgrades, passengers with a demanding “Don’t you know who I am?” kind of attitude will be lucky if they even get a pillow once they board. Leave the attitude home.
Dress nicely for your flight. Don’t show up looking like you just woke from a night on the couch. There used to be a time when passengers took pride in their appearance. Alas, those days have gone the way of the Pan American Clipper.
Show up early or be one of the last to board. When the agents are handling the chaos of the boarding throng, asking about free flight upgrades is ill-timed. Your chances are slim to none that you’ll receive anything other than a resounding, “Sorry … Next!”
Arriving before the masses, when things are calm and quiet, that’s the time to inquire politely about improving you seat assignment from cattle-car to nirvana. But be observant. Does one agent have a smile while the other looks like they are frustrated or flustered? We all have bad days, even airline check-in agents. Pick the agent with the smile. Their good mood may be to your benefit.
If your budget allows, our final piece of advice is – Spend a few extra bucks. The airlines often have a great upgrades available for a few measly dollars. Especially on a longer flight, this could be money well spent.