Could you blag your way into a premium cabin such as Virgin's Upper Class?

78% of airline staff are willing to give upgrades for free

Ever boarded a flight and wished you were turning left instead of right?

For most travellers, business class is sadly out of reach. Those extra inches of legroom, and in some cases flat-bed seats, can add thousands to the cost of a flight, making it an unaffordable luxury.

Yet there are ways of blagging your way into business class without paying: 78% of airline staff are willing to give upgrades for free, according to a survey of 1,000 flight attendants, check-in counter workers and other airline employees by travel search engine Jetradar.


Gold and silver members of airline loyalty programmes are in the best position; 71% of staff would not refuse an upgrade request from these travellers.

If you are not a frequent flier, you still have a chance simply by asking nicely; 14% of airline employees would respond positively to a polite request.

Other reasons include complaining about the airline’s service (7%), feeling unwell (3%) and travelling with children (1%).