Flying in business or first class is a luxury that most people cannot afford. A flight upgrade is a wonderful thing; you get to enjoy more overhead space and many other perks. Not a long time ago, surprise upgrades happened so often that many passengers got the opportunity to travel in style.

These days, an upgrade costs no less than $400 for some airlines and everything flight-related comes at an additional price. There are many factors that have affected this increase in price.

If you are wondering if there’s still a chance to get upgraded for your flight, the answer is yes. There are several ways to get a free flight upgrade but most of the time, you have to shell out a few bucks to make it happen. Here are some ways to get a flight upgrade in 2020.


Free Flight Upgrade

Types Of Flight Upgrades

Depending on the airline, some upgrades only include additional perks, like seat assignments or early boarding. If you are lucky, you can possibly move to the first-class section where you can enjoy exclusive perks like extra legroom and privacy, culinary highlights, and more.

Premium Economy

Being upgraded to the premium economy flight isn’t a bad thing because there are additional perks including extra inches of seat recline, larger food selection, and power outlets.

Business Class

Flying in business class is worth every penny as you get to enjoy several perks like additional baggage allowance, priority check-in, priority boarding, upgraded facilities and amenities, access to the business class lounge, and more.


First Class

While it is rare to get a free upgrade to the first class, you can certainly opt to spare a few bucks to experience the phenomenal in-flight treatment. Aside from extra legroom and larger armrests, you can also have better privacy because of the partitions. Additionally, the food and drinks are absolutely better than what is served from economy seats.

Because you are in first class, you get to board the plane earlier and have special treatment for the duration of the flight.

Getting A Flight Upgrade In 2020

Upgrading a flight can be great if you are after comfort and flexibility. For instance, if you want to fly at an unusual hour and you badly need sleep, then paying extra money for a business class is worth it.

For the paid upgrade, you can simply make the necessary upgrade online and pay for the additional charge. Usually, some airlines, like Emirates and Malaysian Airlines, offer last-minute flight upgrades that are cheaper. While this option is cheaper, you do not usually earn miles on this type of transaction. In addition, this will not guarantee access to the lounge.


The best way to enjoy a flight upgrade is to make changes a few days before the flight. The cost is not cheap but you can enjoy the full service.

For free flight upgrades this year, here’s what you can do.

1. Politely Ask For An Upgrade

The oldest trick still works on some airlines. Asking politely if you can be upgraded to business class might just work. This usually happens when you are sitting next to a toddler or if there are more seats in business or first class.

2. Join Upgrade Bidding

Some airlines auction unsold seats to different platforms like the Plusgrade. Major airlines use this platform to let passengers bid for unused space in business and first-class.

3. Join The Loyalty Club

Most of the time, upgrade priority is available for those who are members of the loyalty club of airlines. Individuals with higher flyer status get prioritized for flight upgrades. Therefore, it pays to become a member of loyalty clubs.

4. Purchase An Upgrade-Eligible Ticket

The easiest way to ensure you upgrade your flight is by booking an upgrade-eligible ticket. This serves as your ‘golden ticket’ to secure a business or first-class ticket if seats are available. However, these tickets are generally more expensive than regular tickets.



If you are on a mission to travel the world, you may want to travel in comfort. Scoring an upgrade while booking a flight seems complicated but there are several ways to do it. Aside from the old trick of asking the flight attendants if you can be upgraded, you can also try to book upgrade-eligible tickets and become a member of loyalty clubs. At the end of the day, it’s always best to check with the airline to know if any of these processes will work.