Get a Free Flight Upgrade With This Life-Changing Travel Hack

If you have first-class aspirations but want to save your hard-earned miles for another trip, you may be able to have your cake and eat it too the next time you fly. Frequent flyer and points expert Gilbert Ott, who runs air miles site God Save the Points, spilled his secret for scoring that first-class upgrade without miles or elite status with athe airline.

Ott shared his “very good trick” with Business Insider, saying that while “upgrades are generally a function of loyalty and money spent,” he’s found another route. All it takes to set yourself up for securing a superior seat is a little planning and some flexibility. The trick, he reveals, is to take advantage of any schedule changes or overly crowded flights. “If the flight’s oversold,” he says, the airline will “usually ask for volunteers who are willing to take the next flight.” Ott coins this as the “bumpertunity.”

Not only are flexible travelers rewarded with vouchers for future travel, but according to Ott, many airlines also “let you fly up-front on the flight you’re moved to.” So if you book that oversold flight and are prepared to get bumped, you could essentially be paying for your original ticket with the voucher and earning yourself a free first-class experience.

“I’m getting more money than I actually paid for the ticket and quite often I’ll also get the upgrade too,” admits Ott, adding, “That’s your best opportunity if you don’t have miles or status with the airline.”

Have a trick of your own that scores you first-class upgrades when you fly? Share your wisdom in the comments.