IF YOU’VE been longing for the day where you’ll receive a free first-class upgrade onboard a flight, then you’ll need to dream a little harder.
According to a travel expert, free upgrades in the UK and Europe are likely to be a thing of the past.
Speaking on the travel podcast, You Should Have Been There, Rob Burgess, the founder of the frequent-flyer website Head for Points, explained why airlines no longer move economy passengers into the business cabin.
And it’s bad new for well-dressed holidaymakers looking to flash a smile at the check-in counter in exchange for a better seat.
Mr Burgess said: “Back when IT was less good, with people selling tickets on different channels and not everything being reconciled centrally, it was easier for airlines to accidentally oversell.
“[They would] therefore be forced to upgrade people because simply too many people turned up for their economy flights.”
But airlines can now better predict passenger volume even before boarding, which means free upgrades are fewer and further between.
It’s not all bad news though – while you won’t get an upgrade over here, Americans are still getting the perk… so long as you’re a frequent flyer.
According to the Head for Points founder, US airlines tend to fill every business class seat and will upgrade the five most senior status holders in economy once all the passengers have checked-in.
Given that you are going to be stuck in economy, it’s worth making sure you have the best seat.
Using TripAdvisor’s SeatGuru, Sun Online Travel has picked some of the most popular airlines among Brits and broken down the best and worst economy seats to select on the carriers’ most typical aircraft.
There are a few hidden gems worth searching out though, like seats in the middle of the economy section that provide maximum value for money with some extra features over the standard seat.
Or alternatively, try Aerolopa.com – a site that provides detailed maps of planes, allowing you to see where you’d most likely be most comfortable.
One of the best features of Aerolopa according to Max is that it shows the window alignment, so you can make sure you’re actually sitting by a window and not just next to the plane wall – which sometimes happens.
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