Oh yes, the future First Daughter aspirant has advice for that.
Ivanka Trump is a hotelier and a respect one at that. But she clearly knows the ins and outs of aviation, too:
- Her father used to own an airline
- She has flown in her father’s 757
- There’s even a navigation waypoint named for her: IVNKA ONE.
So I couldn’t wait to see what she could teach me about scoring upgrades.
- Wait until the last minute when the price of premium seats goes down.
- You’re more likely to score a one category upgrade than a double upgrade. No advice on how to get into business class once you’ve paid for premium economy, however.
- Upgrades are more likely from smaller airports. She suggests flights from secondary airports won’t be as popular so there’ll be more empty premium seats. Of course such flights are usually operated by aircraft that themselves have fewer seats. Let’s dig in though, shall we?
For long-haul flights (we’re talking 12+ hours) when you’re dreading the thought of sitting up in an economy seat, fly out of small international airports, like Oakland International Airport. Those flights are less in-demand than those leaving from airports like San Francisco, so your chances of getting bumped up are increased.
By her logic though wouldn’t these flights be less likely to get overbooked in coach, thus there wouldn’t be a need for operational upgrades in the first place?
Of course, there are no “12+ hours” flights from Oakland. The closest thing would be Norwegian’s Oslo and Stockholm service (with London Gatwick commencing in May). Oslo clocks in at 9 hours 45 minutes, Gatwick at 10 hours 5 minutes.
- Build loyalty. “Register for the airline’s loyalty program to keep track of the miles you rack up.” And I suppose show your impressive mileage balance to the gate agent.
- Just buy a first class seat. Because even if your father only has half the net worth he claims, that’s still enough to fly up front.
There’s actually a lot packed into this one, though it reads more like a string of random sentences culled from various travel bloggers rather than having anything whatsoever to do with buying a ticket.
The trick is to use your miles strategically. Get a credit card that accrues miles so that you can use your points on a variety of carriers. Book one-way tickets for each leg of your trip, which tend to use up fewer miles than round trip tickets. The alternative is to use a credit card to buy miles, which airlines occasionally sell at a discount. Then, put those miles toward first class tickets.
So there you have it. Ivanka knows upgrades.