3 On Your Side: Travel Upgrade Advice

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Need to get away? Just because your ticket says “coach” doesn’t mean you can’t travel first class! 3-On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan tells us about some ways travelers are getting upgrades.

“A lot of travelers think that upgrades are for VIP’s or celebrities, but the truth is average travelers can get upgrades for airfare, hotel and even car rentals if they know where to look.” That’s according to Anne Banas with SmarterTravel.com.

When booking airfare, look at the type of coach ticket you’re buying. Make sure it qualifies for upgrades, minus fees. You should know that the best day for upgrades is Saturday. That’s when fewer “elite” travelers hit the skies or try your luck during the off-season.

Also Banas says, “A lot of times, airlines will announce new routes, a lot of people don’t know about it yet and that can be an optimum time to get up to the front of the cabin.”

At hotels, Kim Orlando with TravelingMom.com says just asking for an upgrade can be a great strategy when you’re celebrating a special occasion, like a wedding or birthday. So let the front desk know.

She says, “When you’re on a family vacation, it can be a little more difficult. So either leave the kids in the car and then ask for the upgrade, or just, you know, warn them “shhh.”

Or, try a late check-in, that’s when hotels know which rooms are still available.

Travel experts agree that from the air to the ground, being a member of a loyalty program can often pay off. Most airlines, hotel chains or car rental companies have loyalty programs and there is usually no cost to join. Also, cruise lines often will upgrade members of their programs on sailing day if higher class cabins are still available.

www.smartertravel.com

www.TravelingMom.com

Reported By: Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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