This article is a guest post by Randall Hanauer. He runs family-owned R. Hanauer Bow Ties, founded by his father.
How to get Complimentary Upgrades while Traveling
It seems there are certain people who are constantly getting complimentary upgrades when they travel. The rest of us just sit and wonder – how do they do it? Well after a bit of prying, I’ve gotten the how-to’s on complimentary upgrades from an expert. Read on to find out what you can do to travel in style at a fraction of the cost.
Airline – If there is an empty seat and you play your cards right, you can find your way up there into first class. So how do you play your cards right? Start out by being nice. All day airline employees are badgered by stressed out travelers who are constantly demanding, “I need this” and “I want that.” Simply getting up there and being friendly – asking how they are doing and how their day is going – can go a long way. They just might be thinking, “Wow, an actual friendly person – let me see what I can do for them.” If you feel comfortable with it, you might even bring a little bribe, like a bar of chocolate. Don’t hand it to them and ask for an upgrade, but in the interim of friendly conversation pass it along as a token of thankfulness for their assistance. Dressing nice also helps. They don’t upgrade slobs to first class! If it a special occasion – honeymoon, anniversary – feel free to speak up. Flight attendants just might feel the love and upgrade you.
Car Rental – Rental cars will upgrade you if they run out of the car you have selected, so again, it all comes down to timing. If you get to the rental place early in the morning, before many of the cars have been returned, or late in the week when the majority of cars are out for the weekend, you just might find yourself with a complimentary upgrade to a nicer car.
Hotels – Start by booking your hotel with the hotel, not an online booking service. Also, make sure you join whatever type of loyalty program the hotel offers. They want to help people who are working directly with the hotel, supporting their brand, and are part of their loyalty program. As far as tricks to getting an upgrade go, try showing up late. If you get in at 8 o’clock at night it’s possible they will see they have an open suite and simply put you in it. Remember, in general hotel staff like to make people happy – they want to make you want to come back. If they have the opportunity to upgrade your room, they just may do it. You can make them want to help you by remembering to always be nice! Go out of your way to be friendly, and they just may respond in kind.
About Ben Davis
A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.
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