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Dump the vegetarian and call in a favour: an upgrade guide


Vegetarians have a tough go of it. And it's not just the lack of shrimp paste in their lives; apparently veggos are unlikely to get an upgrade on their next flight.

 

 

This blatant act of discrimination is seemingly at odds with an industry that is notoriously accepting. After all, it's hard to be racist, sexist and other '...ist's when you're catering to global travellers.

 

But according to Nik Loukas, a former Qantas flight attendant and author of a plane food blog, a future of no upgrades is a tough reality for the anti-carnivorous amongst us.

 

"If there’s a special meal request in your booking, the airline won’t even look at you (for an upgrade)," he told Business Insider.

 

Why?

 

"Because you’ve got a dietary requirement, and they might not be able to cater for you if they upgrade you."

 

But here's the thing. I'm a vegetarian and I've been upgraded. Admittedly, it was a while ago (before my time working in travel) and, while the folk around me were munching away on posh nosh, I was eating my economy meal (I did feel a bit like I was being served a Happy Meal in a fancy restaurant).

 

And it seems I wasn't the only one. Virgin told the UK Telegraph that dietary requirements "have no impact on upgrades".

 

"If a customer orders a special dietary meal we can serve it in any different cabin," a spokesperson from the airline said.

 

So what can you do to increase your chances of an upgrade?

 

JUST ASK
Asking won't hurt, but have a good reason such as being pregnant, celebrating a honeymoon etc.

 

BE LOYAL
Frequent flyers are first in line when upgrades are up for grabs.

 

GO IT ALONE
Single travellers are easier to accommodate, so forget the fam and get yourself up the front of the plane.

 

FOLLOW THE CROWDS
Upgrades are more likely to happen when the Economy cabin is oversold.

 

BE A FRIEND OF A FRIEND OF A FRIEND
Know someone high up in an airline? Now's the time to call in a favour. Get your name on the upgrade list as soon as you know your flight details.

 


Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 17 March 2017

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