It’s great living the high-life. And we all know that upgrading from coach to first class is a great feather to have in your cap. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to upgrade things in life. There are a few tricks and tweaks you can make to your upgrade strategy in order to get the primo bump up that you want, but you have to be diligent. Take a look at some of these tips and be on your way to upgrade bliss. At least in some areas of your life…
First Class Tickets
Nine times out of ten — and we’ve done the research — asking a ticket agent at the counter for a free upgrade does not work. Most airlines won’t do it unless you have frequent flyer miles coming out of your butt or you just pay for the upgrade. And here’s where the trickery comes in…
There are special codes that airlines put on tickets that show you are eligible for first class upgrades. This comes into play when you are at the gate and there are still first class seats left unclaimed. All you have to do is request that the ticket agent put the code on your ticket and they will usually do it. You do have to learn the upgrade eligibility code for the airline, so it will require a little research. Making friends with a first classer at the gate will get you started in learning the code. But being creative will help you find the code pretty quickly. Once those letters or numbers are stamped on your ticket, you’ll be flying first class in no time.
Rental Car Upgrades
If you can rent from the same rental car company on a regular basis, do it. Over time, they recognize that you are a loyal customer and will start to throw you a bone or two. That aside, always request economy and pick up the car first thing in the morning. Yes, it sucks waking up before 9am, but the early bird gets…the…upgrade.
Here is the reasoning: most people check their cars in at night and those check ins are usually economy cars. And the nighttime check-ins won’t be ready for renting the next morning. So if you have requested economy, you may very well end up with an SUV. If they try to pass a minivan off on you, deny it on the grounds that you have a business meeting and you are the transportation. And you have to make an impressions. Or just say minivans are lame.
Buy a Foreclosed Home
You will need to know the ins-and-outs of buying a house that is in foreclosure. So do that research first. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, here are some other nuggets you need to grab a sweet home for cheap. An agent that specializes in foreclosures can help you, but it’s not necessary. If you go it alone, you need to pour over all the real estate listings, classifieds, Fannie Mae and HUD listings you can find. Don’t ignore public records, because foreclosures must be filed at the county clerk’s office before they can go on the market.
When you get a list of the ones you want to place a bid on, go check them out. Upgrading a home for cheap is great, but if you get a lemon, it will turn into a nightmare. You don’t want to be doing extra repairs, paying to get things up to code, hiring someone to move the squatters to a Super 8, etc. Bottom line: check everything out first before you buy your foreclosure. There are some great buys for you. Just try and avoid the potential nightmares.
Hotel Suite Upgrade
Okay, hotel upgrades can be tricky, we admit that. Sucking up to the reservations agent is a no-brainer, so be prepared to do that. In doing this, check in early. You’ll get in line for the upgrades before the other stragglers. That’s the ‘day of’ stuff. It’s best to contact the reservations agent (or manager) a few days before and sweet talk them a little. More than one call will be needed so they won’t forget you. With some decent conversation on the phone and even by e-mail, you can politely suggest you are ‘willing’ to be upgraded to a better suite. You know, to take one for the team.
Put all this in your own words, of course, but the reservations wizard is the portal to your upgrade. Also, make sure you choose the correct hotel. Not every hotel will dole out upgrades, so make sure to focus on the ones that are flexible in the upgrade department. And when you show up, dress the part. Don’t roll in with sandals and a ripped t-shirt (Vegas hotels not included). Avoid wearing a tux, but don’t dumb it down for them either.
Your 27” entertainment soldier may still be able to function, but you’ve had your eye on that 42” HD beauty at Best Buy for two months now. No matter if it’s at Best Buy, Circuit City, Costo, or some of the mom and pop places that sell the greatest TVs in the world, you need to ask questions. Obviously ask questions about the TV, its functions, compatibility, and channel history deletion system (for the wife…and FBI). But then you will also want to ask about the floor model.
Yes, the TVs that have been set out on display for a month and cannot be sold for the going rate. Stores sell the floor models on a regular basis and for a major discount. Plug yourself into the info pipeline and get a date from one of the employees when this sale is going to happen. You’ll score a great TV and pay less than half the price you normally would.
VIP Lounge Treatment
First of all, be the man. Dress the part for the place you are attending. If you know someone that has an ‘in’ with the club, work that. If not, then start making some phone calls. Start with calling the club and putting your name in for a reservation. Say that you are bringing ______ amount of people and you are likely bringing ________ (name of celebrity) with you because they are in town on a project.
Then make phone calls to all your bros that can show up with a bunch of sexy chicks. They will now know your name at the door by now and have a prime spot for you in the VIP area. The fact that the celebrity you pretended was going to show up never will, doesn’t matter. You’re in and for all they know, the celeb is en route.
Front Row Tickets
If you know someone at the venue that is giving out the tickets, great. You’ll have an inside track on the front row stuff and score some sweet spots. You will also know what events will be announced in advance and can start making plans. However, most of us don’t have the hook-up, but still want to get the front row tickets without paying front row ticket prices. The first place to start is ticket reseller sites. They dump off the premium tickets that the holders need to get rid of and don’t really care about the price. They bought early but can’t make the event, so they might as well get rid of them. And you will benefit from that.
Obviously, other sites then come into play…eBay, CraigsList, etc. As a last ditch effort, local radio stations and other organizations will also be giving away great seats if you want to try that route. Keep your eyes and ears open and you will likely score some prime tickets.