Are Free Airline Upgrades Even Possible?

Read on How to Get Free Airline Upgrades

Author: The Traveling Professor/Monday, July 22, 2019/Categories: Save on Airfare

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Although The Professor will give some tips on getting upgraded, upgrade opportunites, especially on trans-Atlantic flights, are few and far between.  For instance, I have been an American Airlines customer since 1984, have flown over 1,600,000 miles with them, and have NEVER received a free trans-Atlantic upgrade.

But there are ways to get upgrades.  Let's look:

Use Miles:  Airlines will permit "free" upgrades, based upon availability, if you have enough miles to do so.  Airlines only make a few seats in first class available on overseas flights, so the key is to request them very early (flight schedules and seating come out 330 days before the flight) or 30 days before departure.

Be Elite:  Enroll in an airline elite status program like American Airlines AAdvantage.  In short, American's program works like this:  the more you fly, the more upgrade "coupons" you earn.  You can redeem those coupons for free upgrades on domestic flights only.  Here are the details: https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/miles/redeem/award-travel/500-mile-upgrades.jsp.  When using my "coupons" to upgrade, I try to select flights that don't have a lot of business travelers who have way more seniority in elite programs that I do.

Negotiate:  Cancelled flight?  Schedule change? Overbooked flight?  These might give you some negotiating tools to ask for a better seat.  It always help if you have elite status with an airline.

Begging, Being Nice to Airline Crew/Agents, Medical Excuses:  they don't work.

Have some tips?  I would love to hear them.

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Paris Left Bank Restaurant List

Paris Left Bank Restaurant ListLots of people go to Paris just to eat. Travelers have no problem in finding restaurants. The Traveling Professor has compiled a list of his favorite restaurants, many of them used on his small group tours to Paris. There are a wide variety of restaurants, some specializing in fish, some in traditional French food, and some in more modern French food.  For those looking for a break, we've also including a favorite Italian restaurant with comfortable seating an view of Luxembourg Gardens.

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