This Is How You Can Get Frequent Flyer Perks, Even If You Aren’t One

Ever notice how some people at the airport seem much more relaxed and happy than everyone else? Those are called the frequent fliers. And the reason they’re so upbeat is that traveling all the time comes with all sorts of perks.

But even if you rarely set foot in an airport, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy extra services just like those with upgrade status. Ahead, check out the best ways to get frequent flier perks no matter how often you travel.

1. Ask for what you want

An airplane arrives at its destination.

An airplane arrives at its destination. | mokee81/iStock/Getty Images

Sometimes the simplest advice is the best advice. If you want to get an upgrade, ask for one. Facing a flight delay? Request meal vouchers. Canceled flight? See if they’ll put you up in a hotel. And you can always ask for cash or flyer miles to make up for your trouble.

The thing about asking is that the worst they can say is, “No.” You’ll be shocked to find out how frequently airline employees are willing to say yes, especially when you’re nice about it (and act like you deserve it).

Next: This is the easiest way to get through the airport quickly.

2. Skip the security line

People pass through airport security.

People pass through airport security. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Ever notice people skipping to the front of the security line without a care in the world? You could be one of them.

TSA PreCheck is a program which pre-screens travelers and allows them to head to the front of the line. It only costs $85 for five years, which as anyone who’s waited for hours can tell you, is totally worth it.  In November 2016, 96% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes in security.

Next: Try this unlikely outlet for customer service complaints.

3. Try social media

A woman uses her laptop.

A woman uses her laptop. | Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

Social media has become such a driving force of our culture that it’s likely for airline representatives to respond to your angry tweet faster than they answer a customer service call to their toll-free hotline. If you have a ton of followers, you may even be used as an example and given upgrades to make them look good. If there’s one thing an airline doesn’t want, it’s a PR disaster.

Next: Everyday purchases help with this.

4. Use credit card rewards

credit cards over grey background

Credit cards | Kenishirotie/iStock/Getty Images

You can earn air miles through frequent travel or you can earn them by signing up for specific credit cards that reward you with miles. As one veteran traveler told Thrillist, the best way to get the most out of your air miles is to use them often rather than saving them up for a big trip. Those miles lose value over time.

Next: You won’t believe it, but a dinosaur can score you an upgrade.

5. Try the kindly brontosaurus method

A passenger complains to an airport employee.

A passenger complains to an airport employee. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Have you heard of the kindly brontosaurus? It’s the prehistoric posture that gets you what you want.

This genius method is said to get you what you’re requesting, no matter what. The concept is simple: ask for what you want. When the person in charge says no way, just say, “I’m sure we can find a way to work this out,” and then step to the side.

That’s when you become like a kindly brontosaurus. You stand quietly, leaning forward, hands clasped in front of you. Stand just close enough so you’re not in the way but you’re always in the person’s line of sight. You don’t say a word unless asked, and always nod agreeably and keep a pleasant expression. Then just wait patiently until the person in charge lets you have what you were asking for.

It sounds crazy, but there are people who absolutely swear by this method.

Next: This is an argument against showing up on time.

6. Arrive late 

Miami International Airport

Travelers at the airport | typhoonski/iStock/Getty Images

It may sound risky, but arriving close to your departure time can often result in an upgrade. That’s because airlines often oversell coach seats anticipating that some people won’t show up. Arriving at just the right moment could mean a free upgrade to business or first class.

Next: This is the most important rule of all.

7. Be kind

A woman offers her ticket to the gate employee.

A woman offers her ticket to the gate employee. |

No matter what method you employ to score freebies, the main thing you need to be is polite. Ever hear the saying about getting more flies with honey than with vinegar? It’s so true. You just never know who has the power (and inclination) to give you free stuff. Treat everyone with respect and you’ll be surprised what kind of extras you’ll receive.

Read more: 15 Secrets Airlines Don’t Want You to Know

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