Almost every site that publishes Travellers Hacks has advice about getting free upgrades.
Well in something over 300 flights I have had 5 free upgrades to Business Class and around 7 free upgrades to Premium Economy . . . . . so here some reasons why you, and I, probably won’t get an upgrade on the next flight.
Spare Seats In Economy
The airlines don’t like paying for more expensive meals, wine and amenities so most upgrades are only when economy is overbooked.
A Cheap Ticket
There are an enormous range of ticket prices for the same plane.
Most of us go for a basic ticket non refundable ticket on a certain flight.
Business people although flying economy may have a refundable ticket that can be changed at any time.
Their ticket may cost 2-3 times as much as yours yours, so its no surprise they may be ahead of you in the queue for an upgrade.
Low Frequent Flyer Status
First to be considered for upgrades are high status, frequent flyers.
All but two of my free upgrades were several years ago, when I was a Qantas Gold Status frequent flyer.
You Aren’t Alone
During the time I was high status I was upgraded several times when travelling alone.
Travelling with my wife I was never upgraded.
That’s because it’s easier to upgrade individuals than couples.
You Created A Bad Impression
This one doesn’t apply to me as I always tried to be empathetic.
I do however see a lot of people who behave badly at check in.
What many don’t realise is the staff who check in a flight are also those who then go to the gate.
Upset them at check in, and your chance for a late upgrade at the gate are gone.
Why do you think you missed out on an upgrade?