Expert shares little-known tip to help tourists get cheap upgrade | Travel News | Travel

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A well-known travel personality has shared a useful tip that can help tourists get an upgrade for a heavily discounted price or, in some cases, free.

Megan runs the YouTube channel Portable Professional and regularly uploads videos giving viewers tips which can help them save money on flights and stay comfortable on long journeys up in the air.

In one of her most recent videos, Megan reminds tourists to see how many loyalty points they have with airlines, stating that they may be able to use them to get a free seat upgrade.

She explained: “When you book a flight using cash, consider using your accumulated airline points or miles to upgrade the flight ticket to a higher class. This approach often offers better value when compared to redeeming for an economy ticket directly.

“For instance, American Airlines provides a chart detailing the cash and Miles [points] required for upgrades, making it easy to see the potential benefit of using miles to get an upgrade.”

In the video, Megan explains that frequent fliers who have built up points with an airline are often able to exchange them in order to be upgraded to premium economy or business class.

Typically, the amount of points that passengers need to upgrade will vary depending on the company and the length of the journey.

However, tourists should see if they are able to upgrade as soon as they book their flight, with many airlines only allocating a small amount of seats to eligible passengers.

Later in the video, Megan suggested that tourists should also check if the upgrade system for the airline they will be using is based on demand, with quieter flights requiring fewer points to upgrade.

She added: “Some airlines, like Delta, price mileage upgrades dynamically based on demand. Instead of giving you a clear pricing chart, like American Airlines does, if your flight ticket is eligible for an upgrade, you can log in with your flight information on and you’ll view a self-explainatory ‘Upgrade with Miles’ options.

“Check the airline’s website or give them a call after purchasing your ticket to see how much it would cost you in either points or in cash to upgrade your ticket.”

However, Megan also advised that tourists should keep checking their emails for upgrade offers from their airline, which may be sent just a few hours before takeoff.

She continued: “As your flight approaches, the airline may also email you directly with an offer to upgrade your ticket. Keep an eye on your inbox as these time-sensitive deals can pop up in the days or even in the hours before your flights are due.

“What’s great about getting an email like this from the airline with an update offer is that it’s going to be straightforward and instant. I’ve ignored these emails from the airline in the past, only to realise later that I missed out on a chance to upgrade to business class for a very reasonable amount of money.”


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