Don't Ask for This If You Ever Want to Score a Free Flight Upgrade

Updated 07/13/17
a woman walking on to a plane
Natalie Off Duty

Whether your destination is a far-off isle or a hip metropolis, one thing's for sure about air travel: When done properly, it can be the key to starting your dreamy getaway on the right foot. Seasoned globetrotters and amateur travelers alike might know all the usual travel hacks like limiting luggage to a single carry-on or signing up for an airline's frequent flyer program, but one travel industry veteran reveals one little-known trick that can maximize your chances of scoring a flight upgrade (without having to accrue thousands of miles first).

Insider notes some sage advice from Nik Loukas, a longtime cabin crew member who's now the blogger behind plane food review blog InFlightFeed. He shares that there's one tiny request that you should never make if you're crossing your fingers for a free upgrade to first class: Even if you're a vegetarian, pescatarian, require kosher food or have other preferences beyond standard food, don't request a special meal when flying.

"If there's a special meal request in your booking, the airline won't even look at you (for an upgrade)," reveals Loukas. "Because you've got a dietary requirement, [the airline] might not be able to cater for you if they upgrade you." Although many of these special dishes are made individually and require "a little more love and care," it may be worth forgoing the fine in-flight dining if it means you'll be higher up on the eligible passenger list for a roomier seat or other perks. (You'll no doubt have plenty of opportunities to treat your taste buds during your vacay, right?)

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