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Compare Travel Insurance Media Room Lying for luxury: Fibbing your way to first

Lying for luxury: Fibbing your way to first

02 June, 2017 By Natali Mansberg

first class

As the Queen’s birthday approaches it seems budget-conscious Aussie travellers would go the extra mile for a spot of royal treatment.

A new study from reveals that 42.8% of travellers would lie to get an upgrade on their holidays.

Young travellers were most inclined to extract a bit more bang for their travel buck. 59% of those aged 18-24 say they would fabricate an excuse to optimise their travels. In contrast, just 23% of passengers aged 55-64 say they would try to climb their way out of cabin class.

No differences were seen between genders with both men and women equally willing to wrangle an upgrade. To bargain their way into a business or first class seat, passengers said they would try a range of justifications, from physical ailments, annoying seatmates to flying phobias- even pre-wedding jitters in one case!

“When it comes to long-haul flights travellers tend to be especially creative,” says Natalie Smith, Marketing Manager for

Also an ex-flight attendant for Virgin Atlantic, Smith confirmed that fibbing your way to an upgrade rarely works.

“When you consider the price of the average first class ticket, I’m not surprised that nearly half of Aussie travellers would fib to try and score a better seat. It’s common for passengers on board to mention their recent engagement or honeymoon. Some tend to be more convincing than others!”

“Whether you’re genuinely celebrating your honeymoon or not it’s rare that passengers on an economy ticket would be pushed up to first class or business. At Virgin, a cheeky mention to your hostie may score you a complimentary glass of champagne. But there are pretty strict systems in place that dictate who gets an upgrade to premium or upper class.”

Champagne holidays on a lemonade budget

We’re a bargain loving nation who love a freebie or two, especially when it comes to our holidays.

Research from reveals that 47% of all Aussies under 25 say they would not spend more than $1,000 on a getaway.

Smith says she finds it unsurprising that travellers are increasingly looking for ways to save on their journeys.

“Australians have always been avid travellers with a tendency to go away for longer. When you account for a weaker Australian dollar it makes sense that tourists are increasingly mindful of their dollars.”

While there are certainly legitimate ways one can reasonably stand to save on their holidays, it can help to have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, particularly when you’re on the prowl for an extra perk or two.

As experts in travel explains how the cost conscious can get more out of their journeys- for less.

How to score an upgrade - on the cheap

Become a frequent flyer or hotel guest
It’s a reliable and obvious method that tends to get better results than the ‘honeymoon card.’ Simply staying loyal to the same airline or hotel chain is more likely to earn you freebies.  And if you’ve amassed a decent amount of frequent flyer points you can often use them to score an upgrade.

Dress to impress
First impressions last and rocking up to the counter or hotel check-in in decade old trackies and a worn out t-shirt doesn’t exactly give off first-class passenger vibes. Looking the part however, in a freshly ironed pair of slacks or business shirt or blouse may just earn you that golden ticket or room upgrade. Oh, and a cashmere scarf won’t hurt either!

Bid for upgrades
Many airlines now ask passengers how much they are willing to pay for an upgrade and if you’re lucky, the going rate may be a matter of a few hundred dollars.  Editor Tasmin Kurt of Bronte only had to pay $250 extra on a Malaysian Airlines flight to swap her economy seat for a first class flight to the UK. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand!

Volunteer to switch flights
Overbooked plane? Look at the bright side. You’re much more likely to be upgraded if you volunteer to go on the next flight instead of the one you are booked on. Time weary counter staff may appreciate your selflessness enough to reward you handsomely.

Try your luck
It certainly doesn’t hurt to try! It may be a stretch but you never know when the travel gods will be smiling upon you.  Mind your P’s and Q’s and politely mention that it’s your honeymoon, golden wedding anniversary or birthday. At the very least you’ll be in a celebratory frame of mind!

Luxury travel ideas – travel like royalty

Nearly a fifth (19%) of Aussies admit they’re willing to spend up to $5,000 on a getaway. If you’ve got some serious cash to splash, these five high end destinations are sure to make you feel like you’re travelling like royalty.                   

Necker island, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
For a paltry $70,000 guests can stay at Richard Branson’s very own private Necker island in the Caribbean. Split 34 ways, the cost buys revellers a sublime tropical setting along with the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Kate Winslet and of course, the Virgin magnate himself.

Four seasons, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
In terms of luxury, it doesn’t get much better than The Four Seasons Resort, Bora Bora. Located above a crystal clear lagoon, the resort’s iconic bungalows look upon magnificent turquoise waters and the stunning views of Mount Otemanu. With four gourmet on-site restaurants, world class spa services and majestic amenities, you’ll be forgiven for never wanting to leave!

Burj al arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Much like the billowing sail it resembles the glorious Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai offers guests a state-of-the-art stay they’re not likely to forget. Dine in an underwater aquarium restaurant, doze in a revolving bed, play on your own gold plated iPad and get whisked around town in a 24/7 Rolls Royce chauffeur service. With royal opulence at every corner, you’ll be dazzled and delighted.

The Westin Excelsor, Rome, Italy
Fancy a touch of old world Italian grandeur? Enter the hallowed halls of The Westin Excelsior Rome dating all the way back to 1906 and replete with elegant furnishings and classic Roman flourishes. If money is of no object check out the hotel’s signature Villa La Cupola Suite.  Officially the largest suite in Italy, the room boasts stained glass windows, hand-frescoed domes and mod cons like a private cinema, fitness centre, Jacuzzi and all the latest high-tech gadgets.

Interstellar indulgence
Craving a totally new age experience? How about a trip to space with Virgin Galactic? Although Richard Branson’s space tourism venture has yet to get off the ground, its 700 person waiting list includes a bevy of A-listers wanting an ‘out of this world’ getaway. Wannabe astronauts can sign up for an all-expenses paid trip to outer space for a tidy $250,000.

Save a small fortune with travel insurance

At the end of the day, no matter how extravagant your escape there’s no telling what type of travel trouble you may encounter. Whether high or low end, you can be rest assured that travel insurance will pick up the tab for any woes along the way.  

Contributor Natali Mansberg

Natali Mansberg

Natali is a former kids magazine writer whose credits include working for the mouse (Mickey that is). An avid traveller, Natali spent part of her childhood in Israel and enjoyed several stints across the globe. Having worked in travel insurance for three years, Natali likes to simplify the fine-print and help Aussies make sense of their insurance policies. She currently lives in Sydney with her husband and one-year old son.

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