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Book reveals slight-of-hand tricks to nab an upgrade

Leading travel deals website, TravelZoo, has divulged a few tips and tricks to save travellers big bucks pre, during and post check-in.

Leading travel deals website, TravelZoo, has divulged a few tips and tricks to save travellers big bucks pre, during and post check-in.

At some point, we’ve all attempted to cross the roped barrier at airports into the comforts of a business or first class check-in.A few, using their sudden “engagements” or “birthdays” have succeeded. Others are given the stern look and ushered back over the rope to complete the walk of shame into to the economy check-in.

Now, a new e-book titled How to Save a Fortune on Travel divulges all the tricks of the trade to save a fair share on travel.
The book is published by travel deal website Travelzoo, whose primary purpose is to investigate and evaluate hundreds of holiday deals on flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and more.
Helmed by CEO Brad Gurrie, who comes with almost two decades of travel industry experience, the site and book aims to clear out the saturated travel landscape and provide direction for those wanting to get more bang for their travel buck.
“The travel industry is unregulated and highly fragmented, which means it’s hard to know which deals offer true value,” Mr Gurrie told
“However on the plus side, if you have the time and, more importantly, the knowledge you can save a fortune.”
Here are a few excellent pointers from the book, which aims to release a new chapter each month, on how to nab a travel bargain.

1. Pay less for your upgrade


Gone are the days of wearing a smart jacket or stylish dress and being swiped straight through to business class for free. Nowadays airlines rarely offer complimentary upgrades — but there are ways to make sure you get one as cheaply as possible.
Many airlines, such as Virgin Australia and Etihad, offer bidding systems where you could get an upgrade for a discounted price. You book your standard ticket, place a bid for the amount you’re willing to pay to upgrade and then they’ll let you know if you’re successful closer to your flight — you’re not charged if you’re not.
A similar idea is available via the upcoming company Option Town, who work with airlines such as Vietnam Airlines and Air Asia. You pay a small sign-up fee, then a heavily reduced price for your potential upgrade. If you’re not successful, your upgrade cost is refunded.

2. Avoid inflated airport sundry prices


Airports can be very expensive places; recent Travelzoo research showed that a bottle of water after security at an airport was more than 300 per cent more expensive than in your local supermarket.
If you’re going to be at the airport for a while, it might be worth considering lounge access. A quick google search will tell you the perks of any airport lounge, which can include wi-fi access, drinks, food, showers and even a full hot meal. You can get great deals on one-time passes, so it might end up saving you more than you’d normally spend on extras at the airport.
Or if you’re just passing through, it might be worth bringing an empty water bottle with you to fill up at a water fountain when you’ve passed security. Some airports even charge for the clear plastic bags you put your toiletries in, so bring spare sandwich bags from home.

3. Book the window and the aisle


If there’s two of you travelling together and you’re keen to have a whole row of three seats to yourself, a good tip is to reserve the window and the aisle seats on the same row. Unless the plane is completely full, it’s unlikely anyone will book the middle seat between you — but if they do, just ask nicely to swap seats when they board, most people are happy to give up the middle seat anyway.

What do you think? Will these tips and tricks score travellers great deals?