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How to get first class without paying for it?

How to get first class without paying for it?

Old Feb 7th, 2020, 02:34 PM
  #1  
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How to get first class without paying for it?

Need tips on how to get first class without paying for it at the time of booking!!! Whats are the secret tips?
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Old Feb 7th, 2020, 02:54 PM
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Surely you jest.
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Old Feb 7th, 2020, 03:36 PM
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Steal someone else's credit card.
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Old Feb 7th, 2020, 04:25 PM
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You can take a chance that First Class (or Business) is not full at the time of check in. Then, if there are empty seats, you can ask for an upgrade - but you will still have to pay for it. The price will be less than you would have paid when you booked, but not free by any means. We used to do this on long haul flights from the west coast to Europe - we were successful most of the time, but not always. Nowadays, we are retired and spending our children's inheritance, so we just buy the seats when we book.

It does seem that more and more people are using miles/points to upgrade, so there may be fewer seats available at check in these days.

Last edited by scdreamer; Feb 7th, 2020 at 04:27 PM.
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Old Feb 8th, 2020, 05:15 AM
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Simply put, there are no secret or well known tips, or that matter. The days of getting a free upgrade to First Class are long gone. As the previous poster said if you want to sit in FC you either have to pay for it or use FF miles or credit card "travel points" to book a FC ticket.
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Old Feb 8th, 2020, 07:44 AM
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The secret is you buy it.
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Old Feb 8th, 2020, 08:20 AM
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You might be surprised to know that First Class is always sold out, at least on the flights I've been on. There is simply no way you can get into first Class without paying for it.
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Old Feb 8th, 2020, 04:34 PM
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I still read ridiculous articles that suggest that if you dress nicely or it's your birthday or wedding anniversary or you're on your honeymoon, you can score a free upgrade. That just doesn't happen. There was a post a few years ago in the AA forum on Flyertalk from a guy who'd be traveling in coach somewhere with his girlfriend. He thought they'd be eligible for a free upgrade to first because they were good looking people and they would add "class" to first class. I think the word he used was "cuteness." Oh, was he laughed off that board never to return!

And in the case of American, they'll let the first/business seats go out empty if they're unsold or not upgraded with miles or cash.

Last edited by Jeff_Costa_Rica; Feb 8th, 2020 at 04:42 PM.
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Old Feb 9th, 2020, 12:00 PM
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Once my wife got airsick on a flight to Singapore and she threw up, so they moved her to first class. That was back in the day however.

But you could give that a try.
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Nelson View Post
Once my wife got airsick on a flight to Singapore and she threw up, so they moved her to first class. That was back in the day however.

But you could give that a try.

These days I think they would be more likely to make an unscheduled stop the nearest airport and take you off the plane.
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 06:48 AM
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how much does it tend to be at the time of check-in?
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by scdreamer View Post
You can take a chance that First Class (or Business) is not full at the time of check in. Then, if there are empty seats, you can ask for an upgrade - but you will still have to pay for it. The price will be less than you would have paid when you booked, but not free by any means. We used to do this on long haul flights from the west coast to Europe - we were successful most of the time, but not always. Nowadays, we are retired and spending our children's inheritance, so we just buy the seats when we book.

It does seem that more and more people are using miles/points to upgrade, so there may be fewer seats available at check in these days.

how much does it tend to be at the time of check-in?
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 07:34 AM
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Again there are no bargains and as far as I know the airlines rather the seats go empty than offer them at a reduced rate. It might be good to know that on some airlines, the earlier you book the cheaper the rate.
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 08:15 AM
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About 8 years ago on a flight from Lima to Houston I was seated next to a couple in their 20s. Soon after takeoff the guy started freaking out and a doctor was called. Turns out he took an Ambien for the flight but it was the first time he had ever taken it. The economy section of the plane was full so they moved me to sit up to the business class section while the doctor attended to the guy who had been sitting next to me.

The flight was one of those departing close to midnight, so as soon as I got to that business class seat I laid that seat all the way down and went right to sleep, figuring they wouldn't wake me up to return me to my economy class seat if they ever calmed that guy down. I was right and kept that seat for the entire flight. That's the only kind of circumstance I can think of where someone might luck out and get moved up to business/first without paying for it.
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mleary92 View Post
how much does it tend to be at the time of check-in?
No set answer as it depends on what the actual First Class fare would be for that particular flight, how much you paid for your Coach fare seat and the upgrade fare policy of the airline you are flying. In most instances you would simply pay the difference between the cost of the ticket you purchased and the cost of a First Class ticket (plus any "change fee" if required by the airline). A hypothetical example would be as follows: Let's say you are flying from Point A to Point B and you purchased a Coach ticket for $400. Let's also say the fare for a First Class seat on that same flight was selling for $2,000. In this case it could cost you an additional $1,600 to sit in First Class. As pointed out in previous responses some airlines will offer the upgrade for slightly less for upgrades purchased on the day of travel so in this hypothetical case if the airline were to discount the fare on the day of travel the upgrade might cost you an additional $1,500.

If you are thinking you can upgrade from Coach to First Class for $50 for $100 per seat you are living in a dream world. The thing is, it is not going to be inexpensive to upgrade from coach to First Class assuming there are seats available. Most casual travelers purchase the cheapest non-refundable Coach ticket available because the don't even want to pay for the higher priced fully refundable Coach fare ticket let along a Business or First Class ticket which can cost anywhere from 5 to 10X's (and in some cases even more) the costs of a Coach ticket.
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 10:24 AM
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I have so called "Elite" status on AA and have quite a few "500mi upgrade stickers" as they used to be called on file. On a recent flight I requested an upgrade to 1st class. The good news is they show the upgrade list online. The bad news is was #92 on the list.... That was a transcontinantal flight, and my expectation of getting an upgrade were somewhere south of nil, and I was not disappointed.

ymmv.

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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mleary92 View Post
how much does it tend to be at the time of check-in?
It all depends on the airline, as well as how many seats are available. As I posted earlier, my husband and I have had luck with this strategy - but the last time we opted for this was probably five or six years ago. And, no, we never paid the total difference between our coach fare and the first class fare. Why wouldn't you just pay for it when you're making your initial booking, if that were the case?

I think I can remember one time that we had coach seats on KLM from San Francisco to Amsterdam - and we upgraded at check-in for $400 each. The full fare for First Class would have been much more than the $400 plus an economy ticket. But - remember that was just for one-way, so not really even close to "free."
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