How common are free flight upgrades?

How common are free flight upgrades?

Are the days of sweet-talking check-in staff to get a free upgrade to premium economy, business, or first class, long gone? Many airlines now sell spare upgrade capacity at the desk. So we want to see how common they are.

Please answer the closest to your situation for flights in the past two years.


No. I never have, even though it could've happened: (3334 votes)
I've never asked/tried to get one 2024 votes (61%)
I've asked a few times but to no avail 1310 votes (39%)
Not applicable to me as: (930 votes)
I've not flown in the last two years 402 votes (43%)
I've only flown on budget airlines (where there's only one flight class) 476 votes (51%)
I always pay to upgrade anyway 52 votes (6%)
Yes. I've had at least one FREE upgrade in the last two years because: (740 votes)
The flight was overbooked, I agreed to wait so got an upgrade 36 votes (5%)
They gave me an upgrade - no questions asked 317 votes (43%)
When I got to my seat, someone was already in it so I got an upgrade 21 votes (3%)
My seat or entertainment system was broken, so I complained 4 votes (1%)
I have a friend/family member who works for the airline 43 votes (6%)
I was on my honeymoon/getting married/celebrating 21 votes (3%)
I am a member of a frequent flyer programme 180 votes (24%)
I asked, or simply talked them into it 58 votes (8%)
Other 60 votes (8%)

                   5,004 votes received.

We try to use technology to limit voting to one per person. Occasionally, this may erroneously block a few people's votes (eg, from shared offices). Apologies for that.