Used to be that if you dressed nicely and asked politely, you can get an airline upgrade to first-class. Those days are largely gone.
But it’s still possible to work your way into a better hotel room.
Andrew Harper, the pseudonym of a writer who produces a great luxury hotel newsletter, offers these tips to getting a hotel upgrade.
1. Contact management before you arrive: Let them know if you’ll be celebrating a special occasion.
2. Book a mid-price room: You’re more likely to be upgraded if you’re not in the cheapest hotel room.
3. Timing counts. Large city hotels tend to be busier during the workweek. For a smaller hideaway in the country, try midweek.
4. Arrive during mid-afternoon.
5. Dress up a bit. If you look first class, you might get to stay first class.
6. Be personable and friendly: Ask nicely. Mention that you’d be happy to mention the counter clerk’s name in customer evaluations.
7. Be specific: For example: “Would it be possible to be upgraded to an ocean view?”
8. Mention relationships: If your company does a lot of business with the hotel, let the hotel know.
9. Take advantage of minor misfortune: Laundry lost? Noisy neighbors? Kindly let management know that an upgrade will wipe the slate clean.
10. Tip nicely. Thank the concierge. Write a letter to the manager. It will be remembered.
As I said, there’s an art to this. One of the masters of the game is Joel Widzer. His book, The Penny Pincher's Passport to Luxury Travel, offers the best strategies I've read on consistental getting upgrades.
Do you have any tricks for getting upgrades? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks: World Wide Will