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Cabin crew reveal how to get an upgrade

Smartly dressed single men most likely to get a free upgrade, according to survey of airline staff.

A smartly dressed, single guy in his 30s is the passenger most likely to get a free upgrade according to our survey of 700 cabin crew. We found that nearly two-thirds (61%) of cabin crew have given someone a free upgrade and it’s single guys that are bagging the premium seats.

However, you can kiss goodbye to the chance to sip complimentary cocktails in First Class if you’re flying as a hen party. The flyers voted least likely to get an upgrade are women in their late teens, wearing revealing clothing and travelling as part of a group.

For those who don’t fit the bill, crew have outlined how passengers can up their chances of getting that elusive free upgrade. While a few manners will go far, frequent flyers and solo travellers are odds-on favourites to get bumped up to premium, if seats are available.

Almost three quarters (72%) of cabin crew said they were more inclined to offer a free upgrade to a passenger who was flying alone. Other factors that increase the likelihood of escaping economy are being a frequent flyer and having an injury. Nearly two thirds revealed that a passenger with a broken limb was more likely to get the premium experience for free.

In a separate poll of passengers, we found that travellers will do pretty much anything to get a luxury seat up front. Three quarters said they would tell a few fibs if it improved their chances, while others would pretend to be newlyweds (14%), 6% would feign illness or injury and 7% would ditch their partner and pretend to be travelling solo.

For more ways to get bumped to business class check out our 15 ways to get a flight upgrade.