Working the System

Want to get an upgrade next time you check into a hotel? Or a seat in first class where you might actually get a blanket? Here, a few tips.

DRESS NICELY AND ACT NICELY
Nobody is going to upgrade you in your sweats unless you’re a Kardashian, and even then maybe not. When you check in to a hotel, be polite. Even a mogul will not get that suite upgrade if he’s acting like a jerk.

ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
Hoping for an upgrade? Ask. Would you like a room on the concierge floor? Ask. Would you like a patio, a room on a higher floor? Ask. Oh, and never take the first room offered.

BOOK CORRECTLY
Book through Virtuoso Travel Agent, American Express Platinum Card or the hotel directly. Do not book through an online discount site. If you find a great price online, ask the hotel to match it; they will. Don’t negotiate with the general manager, talk to the sales manager.

JOIN EVERY LOYALTY PROGRAM
Even if you aren’t looking to pile up nights for a free stay, most brands offer perks such as special discounts and free breakfasts—simply by joining. Picking an airline and sticking with it will get you better treatment. Gone are the days of upgrades just by sweet talking the agent.

ASK FOR LAST-MINUTE UPGRADES
Hotels would rather sell a suite at a discount than let it sit empty. Ask at check-in if there are any upgrades available. This is also true of airlines; you can often purchase a discounted upgrade during online check-in or at the counter.

 

 

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