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Saying These Two Secret Words Will Get You an Instant Airline Upgrade

Well, according to one seasoned traveler.

As the bestselling author of a dozen novels, Tilly Bagshawe, 44, does a fair bit of traveling, especially since she divides her time between her native UK and her current homebase in Los Angeles. And when she does travel, she uses a pretty brilliant hack to get a first-class seat, which she explained in detail to Bloomberg:

"We have never bought an upper-class seat; if ever we've flown anywhere up front, we've used miles to upgrade from economy. If you want to do that, call reservations and drop the name 'revenue management.' The reason is that revenue management's job is to make sure a flight is profitable, so they're the ones telling [reservation agents] what they can say; they're like Flying Club's boss. Not everyone knows that this department exists, and by mentioning it you reveal yourself as someone who knows how things work and understands how seats are released. Say to the agent: 'Have revenue management released any first-class seats for miles upgrades yet?' When they say no, ask them to check or just be put through to revenue management so you can ask when they will release some, as well as how many seats are left. Politely respond like this: 'You have 20 seats unsold? Why aren't you releasing them?' Often by the end of the conversation they say, 'OK, we'll release one for you,' or they might tell you to call back tomorrow."

It only takes a few minutes, and, according to Bagshawe, the two-word name drop has a "100 percent success rate," particularly with Virgin Atlantic, which is her favorite airline.

For more great tips for being a smarter traveler, know that This Secret Trick Will Save You On Airfare.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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