Tip #1 - never ask check in staff or cabin crew. Instead, when booking your trip mark down alcohol-free food, no alcohol to be presented, alcohol intolerance etc. If you book through a travel agent ask them to do the same. You might be on a return leg with minimal champagne.
Tip #2 - if you aren't already, join an airline frequent flyer scheme associated with your preferred airline alliance
Even though I love flying Emirates living between Tenerife, Spain and the UK it makes sense I join both flag carriers (Iberia & BA) as I can switch my Avios (new brand for Airmiles) between both. Now here is the thing. Whilst I no longer live in Dubai and rarely use them to fly I keep a basic loyalty card. That data is then used to question why this premium passenger is no longer gold status and they want me back (Qatar airways do the same). What a better way to offer me a free or heavily reduced upgrade on my next flight, plus I receive heavily reduced premium offers only made available to a certain number of passengers.
Tip #3 - ultimately join as many of these frequent flyer schemes each time you book. But remember each airline will also have their own partnerships with smaller airlines outside the larger alliance so you can earn even more airmiles
If an airline must upgrade passengers then they will work their way through the passengers loyalty list and upgrade them. You might actually be the only loyalty member on that list.
Tip #4 - Guarantee a business class seat for less than you might think. Our preferred partner for flight search is Google Travel. An exceptional tool that also lets you search for all classes of travel, unlike some of the other airline price comparison sites. You can select business class tickets from anywhere to anywhere for a weekend/1 week or 2 week trip. Be inspired, and in guaranteed luxury.
Tip #5 - Key to remember, is that more and more airlines use clever tech and artificial intelligence that make this very decision.
I have worked in the travel industry all my life, so I do hope that some of the above travel tips are useful for our dry holidaymakers.
Artwork by local artist KOBTROPIKAL, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain