Travelling can be really stressful, from getting to the airport and the endless queues at check-in, to going through security and lost luggage. But as we covered in part one of this blog earlier, it’s not just airports and airlines which stack on the pressure; you can arrive at your hotel after a long haul flight only to be told your room isn’t ready, or worse, that they don’t have your reservation, and the hotel can’t accommodate you! Frequent travellers quickly learn the ropes of getting from A to B and enjoying their stay as painlessly as possible, but there a number of other tips anyone can use to help them look like they are travelling like a pro. One example is to dress nicely if you want to be in the running for an upgrade on a flight. While the good old days of politely asking for an upgrade on check-in have long since gone, outside of a flight being oversold upgrades rarely happen for no good reason. They usually have to be approved in advance, and put in the system, with the only exception to this rule being frequent flyers, with high ranking members especially having the change to move forward, or upward, in the plane if there is space available.
For a non-member travelling in economy, however, the best you can hope for is that your class is oversold on your flight, requiring some people to get “bumped up” to the next class, from economy to premium economy, or economy to business if there isn’t a class in between. If this is likely, and you are not a member of the airline’s frequent flyer program, you will stand a better chance if you are smartly dressed, you are polite to staff, you’re travelling on your own, and you are not travelling with kids. Another frequent flyer tip is to choose your seat carefully, then ask for an upgrade to an exit row. Choosing where to sit on a plane can make a big difference to your comfort – especially when travelling long haul. Different aircraft have different seat configurations, and some seats in economy are also better than others when it comes to the level of recline, or quietness of location. Another great tip for economy travellers is to upgrade your seat before you fly to an emergency exit row for more leg room. Most airlines today allow you to book these in advance, although you will have to pay extra for the privilege. You will also need to meet specific exit row requirements which include that you are not travelling with anyone who may need assistance, and you can carry out certain tasks if required.