Two months ago I took a business trip to see a client in the U.S. Due to a booking technicality, my ticket was split between business class flying out and economy flying back home.
I’m usually not one to make a fuss so I left it. However, my travel partner had business class booked both ways and insisted I tried to upgrade.
After a few attempts over the phone with the agent, I was getting nowhere and concluded it wasn’t to be. My standard bag of roasted almonds was waiting for in the back of the plane while my coworker would dine with a glass of cabernet and shrimp.
When we arrived at our gate he nudged me again to ask the airline employee about any empty seats in business class. I reluctantly walked up and asked (they had called me up for a passenger screening anyway).
The airline employee happily advised me they were trying to move passengers up closer to the front of the plane to balance the weight and that there was one empty seat left in business class I could take. The one next to my coworker.
The upgrade ended up being free of charge.
Asking is such an underrated skill because we really don’t believe there’s a 50-50 chance we’ll get exactly what we were looking for.