The Women’s Travel Group Opines About How to Get UpgradeĀ  This article was written for The National Association of Baby Boomers. Enjoy:

Does looking the part get you upgraded? There are various theories about this but the consensus is YES. founder George Hobica, an airline expert was told by an agent that it might help since airlines would not put someone wearing flip flops next to an important traveler. The rule that goes for being seated in the front of the restaurant goes for getting into First Class for free.

So without carrying too much luggage, how can a woman look the part while traveling?

Dark colors, crisp white shirt, throw over the shoulder scarf and sensible carry on bag. Think designer or knock off designer large purse. No pizza in a box, no sneakers, no labeled college tee or sweat shirt. No big jangly jewelry or heavy perfume. Leave home the sneakers and wear leather toe closed shoes. The more you look like you are going to the office, the better. Boomers: do not look pants suits/rayon/1960’s. Look senior executive.

When you approach check in, be polite and ask please about upgrades and ask how full the plane is to give you an idea of your chances. Remind them you are traveling alone and available for it. Though not an upgrade, ask about the emergency row seats there as only English speakers can use them and some airlines only fill them at check in.

Volunteer to help a family sit together but ask about the upgrade as your trade. If you are with a friend, and she/he is upgraded, have them ask about you.

If you are military, wear that uniform.

Upgrades are supposed to be done on metrics, but I have seen them toss the list, wink wink and let insiders and staff off duty into First Class. Let us know your tricks!

Phyllis Stoller

646 309 5607