Okay, let’s just say it: flying first class is the ultimate way to get to a destination. You get to skip the lines when checking in, you’re greeted with a glass of champagne, you can enjoy a four-course meal, and you get to take a snooze while laying down, ensuring you arrive at your destination feeling fresh. There’s just something about sitting in a private pod while you jet set off to somewhere new. But sadly ticket prices don’t give everyone the chance to indulge in a first class experience when they’re traveling. Luckily there are several ways to score first-class upgrades when flying coach.

While flying first class sounds like a dream, you don’t exactly want to pay for it. First class fares can be nearly five times the price depending on your destination, which is not something that most people can afford. But, you don’t have to spend a fortune to fly in style and sit in business or first class. Instead try using air miles, being nice to the airline staff, or mentioning that it’s a special occasion. There are so many ways to score an upgrade that you’ll be sitting, sipping champagne in your own private seat in no time.

20 1. Airline Miles

Travel hack the system and soon enough you’ll be on your way to first class upgrades. First things first, sign up for the best travel credit cards so you can start earning miles. There are so many different cards to choose from. If you find that you frequently fly a specific airline, then it’s worth looking into getting a card that only works towards earning miles for that airline. If you like to have options, choose one like the Chase Sapphire. You get 2x points for everything you spend on travel, which will help you earn fast. Plus you get a ton of other perks for using the card.

19 2. Bid For It

If you’ve recently booked a flight, keep an eye on your emails. Airlines will often send out an alert that you can bid to upgrade your seats. So instead of dropping a large amount of money on a first class upgrade, you get to bid for it. Some airlines have minimums, while others don’t. This is a great way to receive an upgrade because a lot of people think the same thing, “I’m never going to get it, so why am I going to bid?” So if you have a little extra money in your travel budget, why not give it a try?

18 3. Volunteer To Be Bumped From A Flight If You’re Not In A Hurry, Get Upgrade Later

One of the easiest ways that you can score an upgrade is to end up on an overbooked flight and then give up your seat. Airlines offer incentives to passengers who do this. Some give vouchers, while some will put you up in a hotel for the night if it’s late at night, and others will bump you up to first class on the next available flight. So if you’re not in a huge rush to get to your destination and you don’t mind hanging out in the airport for a while, do yourself a favor and take the bump.

17 4. Use Google Alerts To Set Price Alerts For Business/First Class

You can set up a Google alert for just about anything, so why not set one up for sales on business class or first class? Doing this will ensure that you are among the first people to know about any sales on tickets. It will also notify you of mistake fares that might be happening. And if you do stumble upon a mistake fare, make sure to book it ASAP as they usually go away when noticed by the airline. However, most airlines will honor the mistake fare, just remember that your flight isn’t confirmed unless you receive an email directly from the airline.

16 5. Travel During Quiet Times For Business Travelers

Traveling when business travelers are less likely to travel might give you a much better chance on scoring an upgrade from coach to first class. If you travel on a holiday, most of the tickets that are booked are on coach as the majority of travelers are families. It may be more likely that airlines will accommodate an upgrade if the plane is full and they haven’t sold a ton of business/first class seats. This is definitely a gamble as airline tickets are more expensive in general during these times, but you’re looking for an upgrade, so that’s a gamble anyway, right?

15 6. Spend $$$

It might sound obvious, but if you find yourself spending a ton of money on extras like overweight baggage fees or even checking multiple bags, you might be eligible for an upgrade. It never hurts to ask, and the worst thing that an airline worker will probably say to you is "no, we have no more upgrades available at this time." So if you have just dropped a bunch of money to get your belongings to your destination, see if you can travel there in style and snag an upgrade since you have basically paid for a first-class ticket to begin with.

14 7. Be Loyal To The Airline

Perhaps the simplest way to get an upgrade from coach to business or first class is to stay loyal to one airline. By doing this, you will start to rack up points that you can use towards upgrading your ticket. Over time, as your balance increases, you might be able to achieve premium airline status which will give you different perks. Those perks may include a free checked bag, free food vouchers, pre-check, lounge access, drink tickets, and more. Either way, you can use those acquired points to upgrade a regular coach ticket to a comfy first class one.

13 8. Be Early For Flight

There are often only a few upgrade slots available so if you are looking to be one of the people that can score one, then arrive at the airport early. You may end up having to kill a ton of time at a cafe or restaurant sipping on coffee or cocktails, but at least you end up giving yourself better odds on that first class ticket. An airline worker may give out extra first class seats to people who are the first to get in line for the check-in, so grab a good book, and start waiting. May the odds be ever in your favor.

12 9. Say Please and Thank You

Being nice can go a very, very long way. There are stories that float around the traveling world about how simply being nice to the airline worker at the check-in desk can give you a better chance of getting a first class upgrade. Think about it: they deal with a ton of people all day, and airports can be very stressful places, which means that people aren’t always the kindest to one another. So chat with the person at the desk while you’re being checked in and then ask nicely for an upgrade, and always say please and thank you.

11 10. Dress The Part

There’s some controversy on whether or not dressing the part has anything to do with scoring an upgrade. However, it doesn’t hurt to arrive to the airport dressed in a little bit more than baggy sweats. Try to look a little more put together-- that doesn’t mean that men need to wear a suit and women need to wear heels. It just means that if you look a little more kempt, then maybe the airline will put you in first class when you ask for an upgrade. Plus you never know who might be sitting next to you, sipping champagne, when you do score that seat.

10 11. If You’ve Had An Issue With The Airline, Ask For One

If an airline has lost your baggage, if your flight has been delayed or canceled, it’s okay to ask for an upgrade. It’s actually the time when you’re most likely to get one. Most airlines will want to accommodate you if they’ve done wrong, so don’t be shy, ask for that first class seat. They may not be able to give you one for your entire trip if you’ve got a connection, but you’ll probably end up with one for at least a portion. In most cases, customer service is everything, so before getting frustrated and yelling, take a deep breathe and ask what the airline can do to you to fix their mistake.

9 12. Use An Airline Credit Card

Airline credit cards combine two things: loyalty and miles. And by being loyal to one airline and using their credit card you get a ton of perks that regular travelers don’t. Using an airline credit card makes it easier to achieve status. And status means perks specific to that airline. Plus, you can often earn double the amount of points when you buy a flight with that card. This means that acquiring points ends up being a whole lot easier and you’ll be able to score those upgrades a lot faster than a regular passenger who doesn’t have the card.

8 13. Book Super Early and Put Your Name On An Upgrade List

If you book your next vacation or business trip with a travel agent you can occasionally be added to an upgrade list with the airline. After booking, some airlines will offer the chance to be upgraded depending on availability. This is almost always on a first-come-first basis. Travel agents generally have better access to these lists, so definitely inquire about it if you’re booking through one. Again, the worst that could happen is that the airline you're traveling on doesn't have a list or there are no upgrades available for your flight. It just takes an extra phone call or email to your travel agent to find out.

7 14. Travel Solo

Increase your chances for a first class upgrade by traveling solo. Aside from the fact that traveling solo is an absolute blast and a great way to meet interesting people, it also makes that upgrade easier. If only one person needs to be upgraded for the flight, there are better odds for you. Solo travelers have a great opportunity because there is often only one seat available in first or business class. Many people don’t want to sit on the plane without their significant others or friends near them, so if you’re alone you’ll end up with the seat instead.

6 15. Just Ask

The most obvious thing that you can do to get that upgrade is just ask. Ask during check-in. Ask at the gate. Ask after the plane has taken off. The worst that anyone can say to you is, “No, I'm sorry, it’s not possible at this time.” At least you’ll know that you tried. Each airline has a different policy and getting that upgrade can also depend on who you talk to. Some airline employees may not have the authorization to give you an upgrade while others can. So remember, all you have to do is ask.

5 16. Make Sure Everything At Your Seat Is Working When You Sit Down

If you didn't score your upgrade before getting on the plane, don't worry, there's still hope for you. When you get to your seat on the plane, check to make sure everything works. Make sure the seat reclines, see if the tv screen works and if the audio is okay. Look to see if your armrest is functioning properly and if your tray table stays in place. If something is broken, notify a flight attendant. If there are empty seats, they’ll usually move you. And if you’re on a full flight, they might just move you to first class.

4 17. Share Special Occasions

Are you traveling on a birthday or anniversary? Is it your honeymoon? Did you just score the promotion you've been dreaming about forever? Let the airline worker at check-in know! If you’re celebrating a special occasion, someone might upgrade you as a “gift from the airline.” If you feel bad mentioning that it’s a special occasion, then wear a birthday button or a bachelorette sash. This way it’s obvious to everyone around you, including the person at check-in. If you want the more subtle approach, check in with a friend and have them mention it for you.

3 18. If The Flight Is Overbooked Ask About Seats Available In First/Business Class

If you’re traveling during a busy time and you not been assigned a seat yet, odds are your flight has been overbooked. And if you weren’t given a seat, you should absolutely ask about available seats in the first/business class. The airline might ask you to travel on the next flight if there is nothing available on the one you booked into, but they’ll usually offer you an upgrade if that happens. And if you end up getting bumped from the flight, you'll probably end up with a flight voucher, hotel room, and seat upgrade for the next flight out to your destination.

2 19. Look For Sales

There are always sales going on. Whether it’s through an airlines website, a third party site, or you happen to find a mistake fare, sales happen all of the time. It helps to subscribe to different newsletters to find out about them. By doing that, you’ll be the first to know about one and you’ll be able to score amazing prices on flights and even upgrades. There are a ton of great sites that offer you newsletters that tell you about prices and mistake fares. They basically do the work for you. A quick google search will find you free subscription services that do this.

1 20. Be Nice To The Airline Workers

Flight attendants and other airline workers deal with a lot of people on a day-to-day basis. So being nice can go a really, really long way. Take the extra time to smile, ask “how are you?” and say please and thank you. A little can go a long way in the service industry. You could be the only person who has smiled to them all day that in a while and that could make all the difference between coach and first class. So remember, be kind and respectful, and you just might find yourself flying in style.