How To Get Free Airline Seat Upgrades


I fly. A lot. That has allowed me to become an expert psychopath that can only come about through extended exposure to the airline customer service.

I always get a free upgrade to those “more leg room” seats that the airlines sell for a hefty fee during checkin. More legroom! Leave it to the airlines to make it a benefit to feel a sense of responsibility as the plane potentially plunges to the ground in a fireball from 37,000 feet.

Case and point, my flight from Dallas back to Orlando. The round trip cost $233 but the one way upgrade was $90. One way! Not even to the first class with the Denny’s class breakfast. For an emergency exit.

Nobody is dumb enough to upgrade to that, and those seats are always empty. And after you spend a few flights from LA to Orlando with your body so contorted that your balls are behind your ears and you’re scratching the small of your back with your eyelash you start to notice things…. Like how nobody asks to see your ticket? Yet as you sit on your 90 minute delayed flight they won’t let you move up to the emergency exit row seats until all 32 passengers have boarded the 757.

So I act like the airline. Show up late. You know how they fake the feeling of an overbooked flight by calling for passengers in stages and groups determined by the random numer of times they will kick your luggage down the tarmac? I ignore it. I try to be behind the dude waving the ground crew off behind the airplane. Why? Because in their illusional sense of departure they don’t show you the Cirque de Soleil production that is happening in the tunnel leading up to the damn plane. When they are doing last call and calling my name they aren’t also mentioning how an elderly woman who just got out of a wheelchair is holding 20 people in the tunnel hostage while she tries to muscle a grand piano sized box of sudoku puzzles into an ashtray of an overhead compartment.

So as the control tower gives the pilot their runway information, I run onto the plane looking like just finished a marathon: “Phew. Phew. Ok. Thank god I made it.”

And then I sit in that vacant $90 upgraded seat like my name was embroidered into the headrest. 34B, kiss my ass!


(Typed on a BJ from 18D, E and F!)

5 Responses to How To Get Free Airline Seat Upgrades

  1. scrawford says:

    Hi Vlad, I feel your pain and this morning I felt I must reply to this posting and question ethics here. How would you feel if your clients used a single logon shared amongst all users on their network to access your services. Does this also make it right to use one CD to install Office on the network for 25 users and purchase the minimum required to qualify for Open License?

    I am shocked at the prices airlines charge people for upgrades, however there are more ethical ways to get free upgrades.

    Just my 2 cents for what it is worth!

  2. vlad says:


    It’s apparently too cold up north for humor..

    (despite poor analogies)


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  4. StaceyCochran says:

    I have the advantage of height, if you are at least 6’4″, they typically move you to the seats with more leg room anyway. (So what if I am closer to 6’2″ than 6’4″, are they REALLY going to break out that tape measure?)

  5. AlexM says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

Comments are closed.