Video: How to Score Airline Upgrades

Yesterday I posted video advice on scoring the best hotel upgrades.

The message I got from readers is that some people like video, others don’t. Many want the high points or transcript in writing along with the video, point taken for the future. Some find these too basic, in some ways that’s the point, others find them pitched just right. Hopefully those who find them useful will watch, others will ‘get’ pretty quickly that the next post(s) down on the blog are more in line with preferences.

A companion piece that Sean Colahan put together with my advice late last year is how to upgrade airline flights, which follows up on yesterday’s “Why International Mileage Upgrades are So Expensive and Hard to Get”.

Sean did a fantastic job with these considering what he had to work with (my mug, less than ideal shooting conditions). I look sad in the still shot prior to the starting the video. That’s probably because of required cash co-pays to use miles for upgrades.

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. any reason why your right eyebrow is permanently cocked?

    You have good presence on video.

  2. Nice video. I’m glad at the very end you touched on what’s relevant to me, which is simply paying for upgrades outright. Sure, it’s risky, but with no status and no desire to pay rack rates for F, there’s no downside, only pleasant surprises! Nothing like walking up to the kiosk and having it feel like Christmas morning!

    I also generally fly odd hours for personal travel (very early morning Saturday flights, etc.) which tend to be light on elites, and I find myself with more than enough opportunities to upgrade. I’ll take a 50% chance at a AA LFBU over paying a big copay and a ton of points for a guaranteed upgrade.

  3. Did you say I can book economy award ticket and get business class upgrade with more miles?
    I tried this last time and it didn’t work. I was asked to pay extra upgrade fee in cash only. I used miles to buy the coach ticket than called for economy plus or business class upgrade but the phone reps told me it can be done with extra cash only and not with miles.
    This was an international flight round trip ORD-BKK

  4. I like the video. Like a lot of people said about the hotel one… I was expecting to not like video, but did. And a transcript would be nice.

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