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The Unreliable Guide to… Getting an Upgrade

By Nat Shepherd on October 19, 2016 in Other

Definitely not Jetstar

Definitely not Jetstar

Sometimes a holiday can be a horror story, largely because of the unrealistically high expectations we have for those two weeks of freedom. Read any one-star Tripadvisor review and you will become privy to the angst of a person whose disappointing hotel, meal or guided tour was practically a life-changing experience. First-world problems? Certainly, and we need to get some perspective, but the Unreliable Guide has some tips to help you experience that first class feeling every time…

The Unreliable Guide regularly gets upgraded, whether to a better room in the hotel or a better seat on the plane. My friend – let’s call him Jack because that’s his name – has never been upgraded anywhere and he’s always furious when I mention my own regular upgrades. When I asked Jack if he’d ever actually asked for an upgrade he said, “Oh no, I couldn’t; it would be like begging.” Well begging it may be, Jack, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Just make sure you ask politely; your chance of a first class experience lies in the hands of that poorly-paid receptionist, so make sure you charm them.


Part of the reason that the Unreliable Guide so often gets upgraded is because I reserve the best seat or room that I can afford in the first place. If you book a nice, mid-range premium room, the hotel is far more likely to upgrade you to a gorgeous suite than if you’d reserved their cheapest standard room. Plus, if you don’t get the upgrade at least you still have a nice room. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that money makes money, and things are only given away free to those who can afford it anyway.


This tip goes for restaurants too. If you want to be treated like a first class customer it really helps if you look the part. Turn up looking like yesterday’s laundry and you won’t encourage anybody to give you something for nothing. Remember, only the truly rich can afford to look scruffy.


We should always try to celebrate our ‘special occasions’, and if you are, make sure that you let the airline or hotel know all about it. You will be amazed at what they can do for you. The Unreliable Guide has been upgraded, and given champagne, chocolates, flowers and cakes on various occasions. If you don’t have a real special occasion, just make one up and tell them about that.

Finally, the Unreliable Guide suggests that the real upgrade should be to your own attitude; if you treat every occasion as a special treat, it won’t matter if the place isn’t perfect. Be polite to everyone, smile and be gracious – you’ll be amazed what delights the universe will provide.