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Emirates shares 'tips' on how to get a seat upgrade

Airline releases series of videos in its latest campaign, offering tips for flyers to score better seats

Image Credit: Screengrab/ Emirates video
Would you serenade the ticket staff just so you could get a seat upgrade?

Dubai: Most people want to be able to travel first or business class, but not everyone is willing to pay a premium for it. After all, first-class tickets cost more than double the coach seats.

If you’re one of those who are always pining for a seat upgrade every time they fly, you might want to check out Emirates’ latest marketing campaign.

In a series of videos with a "liberal douse of humour," the airline is sharing different tips on how passengers can score a better seat on their next flight. They can try weird tricks, like serenading the ticket staff, pretending it’s their birthday, or they can simply upgrade their airline.

Emirates’ latest campaign features a series of characters who try to wrangle a seat upgrade at an unnamed airline’s check-in counter. Each clip ends with the ultimate tip for travellers: “Don’t upgrade your seat, upgrade your airline. Fly Emirates.”

“Seasoned with a liberal dose of humour, the scripts tap into a rich vein of anecdotes about what people might say or do when they ask for an upgrade - from name-dropping and flattery to other more creative endeavours,” the airline said in a statement.

The message the airline is trying to put across is that, if flyers book economy seats with Emirates, there’s no need for them to dream of an upgrade -- if they don't have a budget for pricier seats. Coach flyers don't just get to enjoy a huge baggage allowance, they get gourmet meals and "world-class" inflight entertainment.

“Emirates’ Economy Class is well known for being a true, full-service product. We offer excellent value for money, with world-class inflight entertainment in every seat, full course gourmet meals, generous free baggage allowances, and great service, said Boutros Boutros, emirates’ divisional senior vice president for corporate communications. 

“In today’s environment where others are stripping amenities from their cabins and shrinking legroom, we believe travellers can relate to the desperate lengths that some people might go to, in order to get their seat upgraded. Our message is simple – why try so hard to upgrade your seat when you can fly Emirates instead?”

The airline’s latest campaign was created by Y&R London and directed by ‘Jones’ (AKA Michael Woodward and Maximilian Baron).

It will be shown around the world throughout 2018 in Emirates’ key markets, including the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Canada and the Pan Arab region.  Emirates will also release a selection of these vignettes on its own social media channels over the coming weeks, featuring a different “upgrade trick” each time.

Ways to get a seat upgrade

But if you really want to try out other airlines, here are some quick tips from Skyscanner:

1.Travel at quiet times

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Try travelling on bank holidays or on days when the counters are not busy dealing with business flyers. When you travel on quiet days, there's always a chance some seats in business class are not taken.

2. Spend lots of money

A couple got an upgrade after they spent $1,600 on baggage fees.

3. Be loyal to your airline

Travelers

Airlines have their own loyalty programme. Make sure you sign up for it, especially if you're a frequent flyer, because there are surely rewards waiting for loyal customers, and one of these could be a seat upgrade.

4. Be early for your flight

Some passengers who have checked in way earlier than usual were granted with a seat upgrade. It probably doesn’t hurt if you hit the airport early the next time you fly.

5. Be late for your flight

No longer an option

While early birds get rewarded, some flyers said they have managed to score an upgrade even when they reached the airport at the last minute and did not reserve any seat. This is quite a gamble and may not work every time, but if you’ve got plenty of time in your hands and nothing to lose, why not try this trick?

6.Check your emails

Sometimes, if an airline makes an offer to upgrade a seat, they contact their passenger via email on the day of departure. So, always keep an eye out for new messages in your inbox, even if your departure is only a couple of hours away.

7. Be nice

It pays to be kind to other people, or fellow passengers. One flyer recalled an instance where a fellow passenger took his seat because he wanted to sit next to his wife. The flyer didn’t make a big issue out of it and instead, he said he’s willing to exchange seats. A stewardess overheard the conversation and offered the kind flyer a vacant seat in business class instead.

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