The Aussie way to score free upgrades

The Aussie way to score free upgrades

Australians are world leaders at getting bumped upstairs: Here are the local secrets
flight upgrades
"Look, you're the third person today to offer me blood for business class, and none of you have said I'm pretty."

That big, fancy Dreamliner has been flying over Australian skies, so travelers’ attention has turned to scoring a little luxury in their flights.

Australia’s a long way from anywhere, really, so business class airtime never goes astray.

And while a price war has seen some business class tickets to Europe drop below AU$4,000, including aboard China Airlines and Garuda Indonesia, it’s still a bit rich.

That’s why Aussies are the world leaders in two departments: trying to score a free upgrade and trying to scam one.

Scamming extra legroom is elementary

Locals have been exposed by an American Express survey.

A quarter of Australians try to score that seat that comes with complementary Champagne on arrival -- with men (29 percent) a little more likely to hustle than women (21 percent).

For two-thirds of travelers, the most common tactic is to straight out ask -- but you have to be a little more inventive than that.

One in five go for the old favorite: pretending it’s their honeymoon, while some are even silly enough to say it’s their birthday (hello, what about that passport?).

“Oh, you look so pretty in that airline uniform,” speaks the flattery tactic for 16 percent of scammers.

Around five percent lie about being famous, or claiming they're with famous friends.

One in three goody-two-shoes rolls up early, hoping their promptness will be rewarded.

Nice try, but this is how you really score an upgrade

You’ve actually got more of a chance of getting an upgrade if you roll up late.

Here's the magic trilogy: dress in business attire, travel alone and be charming.

Joining loyalty programs, helps, too. For Australians, that 25,000 worth of flight miles doesn't add up to many flights. It does make those flashing eyelids and sincere smiles all the more convincing.

A fair tactic for serious queue-jumpers is also booking with a travel agent and paying top dollar for your ticket.

Volunteering to get bumped onto the next flight is a sure winner: such perceived altruism always gets some extra service on the next available plane.

But through the history of air travel, the most successful tactic has been marrying a flight attendant, or even a pilot. That's an exclusive mile-high club.