How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Congratulations! The wedding is finally over and now it’s time to relax as a married couple on an epic honeymoon!

Congratulations! The wedding is finally over and now it’s time to relax as a married couple on an epic honeymoon! The beauty of a honeymoon is it doesn’t need to be on the tropical islands of the Caribbean or on the cobblestone streets of Paris. A honeymoon can be in the mountains nearby, a weekend getaway, or even a stay-cation at a swanky hotel in the area. Regardless of where the newlyweds decide to spend their honeymoon, perhaps it doesn’t need to be as expensive as they thought. As long as a couple makes it known, there are 10 super helpful things that can be offered free of charge. All a couple needs to do is ask! From drinks to upgrades to nifty ideas for the big vacation, keep scrolling to see 10 things newlyweds can get for free on their honeymoon — all they need to do is make it known!

10 Room Upgrades Are A Happy Surprise

If there’s one thing travelers don’t do enough, it’s asking the hotel concierge if there’s a free upgrade available. Hotels have open rooms all the time. Just because a new married couple booked a cheaper room doesn’t mean they can’t get a better room without paying a dime. All they need to do is ask! You can ask the hotel while checking in if there’s a free upgrade or you can call ahead to give them time to move things around if need be.

9 Adult Beverages With No Charge

Depending on the resort or hotel, some may surprise their honeymooners with complimentary beverages. If you call the hotel ahead of time and let them know you’re honeymooners, they may offer complimentary adult beverages in your hotel room. Or when you go out to eat, give the waiter or bartender a heads up that it’s your honeymoon and most are happy to give you your first drink for free.

8 A Happy Welcome Awaits You

As if a honeymoon wasn’t exciting as it is, imagine walking into your (free) upgraded room to find chocolate-covered fruit and champagne waiting for you!

Letting the hotel or resort know that you’re newlyweds may entice the workers to make your room special for you. Or you can flat out ask if there’s anything they can do (for free) to make your room more magical.

7 Special Meals & Treats

Whether a couple is paying for each meal and drink for their honeymoon experience or they’re at an all-inclusive resort, telling the restaurant that it’s their honeymoon and they’re looking for a special evening can result in free appetizers, desserts, and treats-galore. After all, a honeymoon is a special time and in the hospitality business, they take pride in making things perfect for its guests.

6 Check Those Credit Card Rewards Points

Let’s not forget about those credit cards! The more credit card holders use their card, the more cash-back or perks they get. For some cardholders, they don’t even realize how much cash-back is on their card but it’s essentially free money that they can use towards their honeymoon.

Whether the money goes towards an excursion, an extra night away, or a fancy meal, using cash-back (or those fancy perks) is a great thing to put towards a honeymoon.

5 Don’t Skip Out On Air BnB

Newlyweds tend to stick to hotels and resorts for their honeymoon but if they’re looking for a more personal and home-like experience, renting an apartment or house through Air BnB is the perfect fit. Similar to big-time resorts, hosts who make things special for their guests through Air BnB get better reviews, which means more business for them. Letting your hosts know that it’s your honeymoon may result in the hosts leaving a bit of bubbly, dessert, or freebies for your time as a new married couple!

4 Goodbye Coach, Hello Business Class

If a newlywed is flying away for their honeymoon destination, why not ask the airline if there are any open seats in business class or first class? There’s nothing wrong with boasting about your big time away and most companies (and airlines) are happy to make the trip a comfortable one for newlyweds as long as there’s room available!

3 Airport Lounge Life

Priority Pass/Go Banking Rates

Is there anything less romantic than waiting for your flight in a busy, smelly, and stressful gate? If couples do their research (or have flying rewards), they may be able to score a free day in the airport lounge.

Depending on the airline, lounges may nix the fee and allow you to relax in style. When in the lounge, you and your partner will be able to eat, drink, and relax in a comfortable and private area before your honeymoon officially starts.

2 Relax With Free Spa Packages

Huffington Post/Hamilton Island

Sadly, most spa packages are expensive. A person is paying for the misuse’s time after all. However, Ultimate Wedding claims that 19% of new couples were given free spa treatments simply by stating it was their honeymoon. Be sure to plan ahead and ask the resort or spa if they can do anything special so you can plan accordingly!

1 Travel In The Off-Season

Top Hotel News/Mirror

If a couple is looking to get out of the country for their honeymoon, things are a lot cheaper in the off-season. The warmer months (spring and summer) typically see a surplus in travelers, which means hotels and excursions up their prices. But if you travel in the cooler months (when most people aren’t traveling), staff members are more likely to make things happen for newlyweds because they’re not as busy!

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

How can you get an upgrade on your honeymoon? The days when couples could rock up at the airport check-in desk, mention they are on honeymoon and hope to get whisked into business class are long gone. If, that is, they ever existed. However, it can be possible to get a room upgrade and other treats if you are on honeymoon. Even if it’s just a bottle of wine or flowers in your room, it’s worth asking.

The systems that airlines use to upgrade passengers have become increasingly sophisticated, and first dibs will go to frequent flyers, members of loyalty programmes and those on flexible (more expensive) tickets. The decision is sometimes made by staff at check-in desks (usually a supervisor) but they are unlikely to give you priority treatment because you are recently married, even if you do have your wedding certificate to prove it.

The best way to get an upgrade on honeymoon is to inform your tour operator or – if you are making your own booking – your hotel. In fact, it’s worth asking before you book what upgrades are available to honeymooners. Some hotels will even offer free weddings if you plan to get married abroad.

It’s perfectly reasonable to expect a free room upgrade, particularly if you are staying for more than a couple of nights. Ask for detailed information about the various room grades because many hotels confusingly label their most basic rooms “superior”. Don’t be afraid to ask exactly what’s on offer, and always try to haggle a little bit more. If you’re lucky, you might even get upgraded to a room with private pool.

Hotels will often give a bottle of (sparkling) wine, a vase of flowers or a bowl of fruit to honeymooners. Or all three. Again, don’t be afraid to ask. The cost to the hotel is small and if they think are ready to try somewhere else, they are likely to give way. If you are dealing with a tour operator, ask them to recommend hotels that are most generous to honeymooners. Don’t forget there are lots of ways to make your honeymoon special.

Hotels and tour operators may try to persuade you to pay more for upgrades, but stand firm. Ask what they will give for free. Just don’t expect an upgrade on the flight.

When it comes to your honeymoon, we all want ours to be the most epic honeymoon in the history of honeymoons… EVER! (Which, of course, will probably be the case if we have anything to do with it.) As newlyweds, you have a certain leeway when it comes to getting upgrades and freebies because companies just love a couple in love. Awwww. And it’s the time to be spoiled, right? Many newlyweds will shy away from ‘milking’ their honeymoon experiences, but you know what we say? Milk it for all its worth, baby.

Before you go

As newlyweds, you have a certain time limit before the whole ‘we’re newlyweds, and we’re so in love la la la’ stuff wears thin – so make sure you get good use of it before your time runs out. We suggest spreading the word when you first book your honeymoon, to make all of your service providers aware that you are traveling for a special occasion; especially if you aren’t traveling for a while. When you first book your hotel and accommodation, many websites ask you the reason for your travel. This is the perfect opportunity to make them aware that you are celebrating your marriage, and may bump up your accommodation option and upgrade you (preferably with a private pool and a private beach, but you know, we’re not fussy). If the website doesn’t have this option, you can always send the hotel an email before you travel to let them know – you’re allowed to brag, just this once. If you book far enough in advance, this gives them enough time to sort out these little honeymoon treats. So avoid booking last minute!

Honeymoon Flights

When it comes to blagging wedding/honeymoon perks, airlines are the place to go. There’s nothing better than starting your honeymoon in style, and of course, that means First Class seats. However, buying first class tickets isn’t always possible on a tight budget – so you’ll need to play the newlywed card.

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

First Class on Emirates

Airlines are extremely generous when it comes to bumping up their passengers, and will do so fairly easily with no charge (this is also because they want to fill up their seats). Most of the time, letting the airline know on the day that it’s your honeymoon will result in an upgrade. If not, they might just throw in a free bottle of champagne

Honeymoon Meals

Newlywed perks don’t stop when you’ve got off the plane and unpacked your clothes (or whole closet. We don’t know the meaning of overpacking). Depending on where you go, you may be able to get a few freebies when you go out for dinner.

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Let restaurant staff know you are celebrating your honeymoon. Photo by Dave Lastovskiy

If you get on friendly terms with your waiter and casually mention that you’re celebrating your honeymoon, they may offer you a free meal, a free dessert course, or just a free bottle of wine. Either way, it’s free – and you make a new friend!

The Concierge

When you’re on your honeymoon, your hotel concierge will be your new best friend. The hotel concierge knows everything about everything and will do anything they possibly can to make your stay the best it can be. If you mention to them that it is your honeymoon, they may be able to point you in the direction of hidden gems, cool activities, beautiful locations or even set up a free celebration for you on the house.

Ahh, the honeymoon! It's the one classic trip that could easily see some upgrades come your way, but before hotels, airlines, and restaurants can offer up some congratulatory perks, they've gotta know, right? The golden rule is to be polite and offer up the intel as more of a blushing FYI than anything approaching a demand. Being rude isn't becoming on anyone, married or not.

For Airlines

Consider calling in the few days leading up to your flight to mention that you're traveling for your honeymoon and to inquire as to whether any upgrades are available (the monetary increase that comes with a first-class ticket can be significant, so before you call, chat with your new hubby to see if it's worth it for you to shell out the extra, potentially pricey even if you're offered a special rate). You can also inquire with the gate agent when you arrive.

"We don't have a formal process, but we're always delighted to hear of a special occasion," a British Airways representative said. "On the day of travel, a couple should feel free to mention it, and if there's an opportunity to make the journey even more memorable, we'll certainly do our best." Read: A luxury ticket might be a stretch, but sharing your happy news with the flight crew certainly won't hurt (free bottle of plane wine, anyone?).

For Hotels

You're most likely to score an upgraded room if you give some advance notice since room-shifting can be tricky if your key cards are already ready. "When a couple informs us they're on their honeymoon, we try our best to make it special for them. We like to be prepared to offer them a bespoke experience," a welcome desk staffer from New York City's W Hotels shared. "We conduct pre-stay outreach to ask if people are staying with us for a special occasion, and that's the ideal time to inform us. Otherwise, mention when booking."

For Restaurants

If you're making reservations, consider that the time to speak up. Restaurants will often ask if you're coming in to celebrate, and this definitely counts as a celebration. If you're booking through an online portal, use any section for notes to drop a cheerful, "We'll be coming in as part of our honeymoon!" For nights when you pop into some place on the fly, mention to the host that you're honeymooning.

For Everything Else

If it's something you're arranging in advance, feel free to mention. If not, you'll find it's easy enough to breezily tell the person checking you in or greeting you. Sample script: "We're actually here on our honeymoon and have been having the most amazing time!"

Do I tip?

As with all gratuity guidelines, it's not necessary, but the hotel and restaurant staffers we talked to said it's appreciated. Stay within your budget, always, and let your gut lead you. If someone goes out of their way to create a special memory, it might be worth giving them something extra. But comped glasses of champagne? Don't sweat it.

The other wise takeaway we heard? If you're not on your honeymoon, forget pretending. "Don't lie!" was the number one (and only) no-no our hotel source shared. A romantic weekend away with your love might seem like the same thing, but it's not. Wait to ask until it's the real deal.

PS: The happy couple in that pic are actually modeling Zara; you can shop their looks here.

Can you expect to be whisked through to first class on your flight, and shown straight to the hotel penthouse, or are honeymoon upgrades a thing of the past? Lizzy Dening investigates

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

When I got engaged, after saying ‘yes!’ and calling my mum, one of the first things I started considering was our honeymoon. I’m well known for my love of a freebie (I mean, who doesn’t enjoy getting something for nothing?) and I was particularly excited at the thought of the upgrades and super-star treatment I imagined we’d get. I could practically smell the lemon-scented hand towels in the first class lounge.

However, after speaking to many of my married friends, I came back down to economy class with a bump. There were a handful of upgrades, the odd glass of fizz and a few nice meals put together by hotel staff, between them.

So what is it reasonable to expect as travelling newly-weds? How can you ask for a bit of special fuss without winding up staff? And do you have any chance of making it beyond the elusive ‘First Class’ curtains on the plane?

When to mention the ‘H’ word

I would never mention the word honeymoon when you’re booking your travel,' advises Olivia. 'The only incentive is for companies to put their prices up, not down. But on arrival, make sure to tell them. Bringing a copy of your marriage certificate isn’t a bad idea, although people usually take it in good faith.'

Where to go

If you’re after freebie extras, it pays to plan your destination accordingly.

'Not only are the clichéd honeymoon destinations expensive by design, but everyone there will also be on honeymoon so you’re not going to get special treatment,' warns Olivia. 'Go for up-and-coming destinations that are trying to prove themselves worthy of honeymooners, that appreciate your custom. Plus these places are generally less expensive, so you’ll also be able to afford pampering even if you have to pay full price.'

The Lonely Planet Honeymoon Handbook has a list of alternative destinations, including:

• The Andaman Islands rather than the Maldives

• The Croatian coast rather than Tuscany

• Nepal rather than Bhutan

• Namibia rather than Botswana

• Ecuador rather than the Galapagos

Airplane upgrades

I spoke to several leading airlines, and the news – I hate to say it – isn’t good. British Airways promised that if you let the cabin crew know you’re jetting off on honeymoon they will ‘do their best’ to look after you, but they made it clear that it would be incredibly optimistic to expect an upgrade. Meanwhile, Virgin Airlines refused to comment and United Airlines recommended buying an upgrade on the day if seats were available… not quite living the A-list dream.

It seems this is the general trend. 'Spontaneous flight upgrades are reportedly more difficult these days for regular passengers for three reasons,' says Olivia. 'Firstly airlines strategically reward their frequent flyers who have air miles or co-branded credit cards with upgrades, rather than random lovebirds with no brand loyalty.

'Secondly airlines often auction off premium seats a week before the flight (something worth looking at if you have any spare honeymoon budget.)

'Thirdly, modern planes are made with more room for coach passengers, so there’s now more competition for premium seats.'

That said – don’t give up hope entirely! 'Airport staff are generally nice people, and on a dull day at work, upgrading a grateful newly-wed couple will lift their day almost as much as yours,' says Olivia. 'But you need to make it easy for them. Be smart, friendly, subtle and sober. Treating yourself to some luxury carry-on luggage is not only a lovely wedding gift to yourselves that will last a lifetime, it will also ensure you start your honeymoon in style and look upgrade-ready when you arrive at the desk.'

How to get hotel upgrades

Hotels have been hit hard by the likes of Airbnb – and their loss could be your gain! 'Many honeymooning couples are now seeking out luxurious apartments rather than honeymoon suites, so if you do want to book a hotel you have better bargaining powers than ever,' says Olivia, 'you might even find an empty Penthouse on arrival – it’s worth asking!'

Which companies should you book through?

'It sounds counterintuitive, but I’d avoid Googling companies that are promoting ‘honeymoon deals’,' says Olivia. 'You don’t want your honeymoon experience to end up a disastrous deal that doesn’t live up to the sales pitch. If it’s sold on being cheap there’s a real danger it’s going to be underwhelming. Just do your research and book with a company that has a good reputation, offers a quality service and offers a honeymoon experience that suits you.'

If you’re set on an American adventure, consider Bon Voyage who offer tailor-made trips. They work closely with hotels in the USA and let them know when honeymooners are on their way, so they can surprise them with small gifts or upgrades.

If you’re treating yourself to a swanky suite, try Suiteness a company which offers luxury hotel suites across the USA and London (with a view to expand in the next future) at good prices. Honeymooners get a personal concierge to sort out any requests and reservations, plus upgrades wherever possible.

Alternatively, no matter where you’re headed, Mr and Mrs Smith always know the importance of a freebie (whether it’s a free massage, gifts or even a bottle of fizz) for anyone who books through them – not just honeymooners. They also have a Smith24 team who specialise in honeymoons and can help you build your ideal trip.

Hayes and Jarvis offers tailor made and package holidays to Hawai‘i for honeymooners which includes complimentary glasses of champagne and complimentary room upgrade at check-in. As there are no direct flights, this is also the perfect opportunity to stop off in Los Angeles or San Francisco on your way over.

How to get extras added

The best way to get honeymoon perks is simple – just ask!

'Although British people often find it hard to ask for things upfront, it’s definitely the best way,' says Olivia. 'Get chatting to your waiter, hotel manager or the owners of attractions you want to visit, tell them it’s your honeymoon and ask if there’s anything they can do. They are very likely to throw in a glass of champagne, an upgrade or a discount.

'Face to face people are generally more open and generous. It might not always work, but if you don’t ask, you definitely won’t get.'

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When you’re on your honeymoon, you magically have access to some truly special treatment. Here’s how to get those honeymoon perks.

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Unless you were born into a royal family (congratulations on your good fortune!), there’s a good chance you’ll never get to feel like royalty. The one exception to this is on your honeymoon. When you’re on your post-wedding vacation, you have access to certain honeymoon perks. People will bend over backwards to make sure you’re having the time of your life. Since this only happens – hopefully – once, you might as well do everything you can to maximize the experience. Free drinks, hotel suite upgrades, special gifts – these can all be yours if you know how to play your cards right and take advantage of your honeymoon status.

Here are the best ways to take advantage of honeymoon perks.

Tell the flight crew as soon as possible.

Before you even board your flight, be bold. Go to the check-in counter and let them know that this is your honeymoon and you wanted to see if there were any upgrades available. You’d be surprised to see how generous airlines can be when they can make your honeymoon a little more special. If that doesn’t work, mention the special occasion to the cabin crew as soon as you can. Flight attendants work flight after flight without knowing much about their passengers beyond their drink orders. If they know that you’re there for a once-in-a-lifetime flight, they’ll go out of their way to make it memorable with some honeymoon perks. When my wife and I flew back from Japan, the cabin crew was so excited that they gave us a tiny model airplane that said “Happy Honeymoon” along with a special note signed by all of the flight attendants. It was an incredibly sweet gesture and made the whole experience even better.

Call the hotel.

Your honeymoon hotel (or hotels) will be your home away from home while you’re honeymooning. Letting them know that it’s your honeymoon will only benefit you, be it via upgrades to suites or bottles of the champagne in the room or even just kind wishes upon arrival. You can usually add a note to a reservation when making the booking online, so that’s a great place to mention your honeymoon status. Another good option is to call the hotel’s reservation line or loyalty program and ask them to place a code on your reservation to signify the occasion. We ended up with mind-blowing suites every night at the St. Regis Osaka and it took our stay to a whole new level.

Mention it casually in restaurants.

Now there’s a difference between being obnoxious about your honeymoon and mentioning it tastefully. If you’re the type to wear a big, loud shirt that says “Honeymooners!” then you’re more on the obnoxious side of things. If you’re looking for special treatment at restaurants like free drinks, appetizers, or desserts, then you’re best served by casually mentioning it to your server. “This is the best restaurant we’ve gone to on our honeymoon” or “We’re so excited to spend our honeymoon with you!” are both good ways of casually slipping the magic word into conversation. If you’re lucky, a few Mai Tais will magically appear at your table in no time.

Use social media to your advantage.

There’s nothing wrong with sending a tweet or commenting on an Instagram post of a place you’ll be visiting on your honeymoon. Even asking a question about your upcoming experience can lead to some honeymoon magic. Keep in mind that most of the places we’re talking about (hotels, restaurants, etc.) are in the hospitality business. When you’re celebrating a special occasion, they want to be at their best. That’s why letting them know you’re coming ahead of time via social media could put you on their radar for some royal treatment and honeymoon perks.

The bottom line is that you have a super power, or, more accurately, a secret password. Dropping the word “honeymoon” is like a VIP pass to the special treatment that seems reserved for celebrity and the ultra-rich. It may seem a little gauche to drop “honeymoon” everywhere you go, but the reality is that it’s really just a keyword for happiness. You get some special honeymoon perks and the people giving them to you feel good that they helped you celebrate the first days of your marriage. Everybody wins, so don’t be afraid to drop the H-word as often as you can.

Sitting in business class is a truly effervescent feeling – and that’s not just on account of the “free” bubbles. Business class no longer means just a wider seat and a larger meal; it’s a truly indulgent experience often involving fully flat beds, top drawer wine and spirits, and the comforts of airport VIP lounges. It goes without saying that everyone would love a slice of the good life – and to your delight, you really can. Sadly, there are no magic words or outfits that will have you turning left, but there are tried and tested tips that will give you the best chance at it.

As a travel blogger, I’m always on the go, flying more than 200,000 miles each year. Sticking to tight schedules and tighter budgets, I’m often unable to book business or first class outright, but without relying on magic words, sharp suits or other gimmicks, I’m almost always able to score a seat in business class or better.


When a story about “the two magic words that will get you an upgrade” went viral last week, I looked into the claims and confirmed that they were bogus with the airline in question.

The truth about upgrades is that every airline is different and each opportunity is unique, but if you’re willing to put in a few minutes of your time to learn how your airline operates, there are ways in which you too can enjoy an elevated travel experience. Here are the most consistent ways to score business class upgrades, and the rules I live by.

Two magic words

There are only two magic words to truly score a seat in business class. Sadly, for our collective wallets, the magic words are “business class”, to be spoken when asked what cabin you’d like to book your ticket in. For your travel sanity and comfort, we suggest skipping the three piece suit, blouse or alternative rumoured “magic upgrade outfit” and sticking to things that really work. Upgrades are possible for anyone, even if they’ve never flown before – they just require a bit of patience and luck.

Collect air miles

The simplest and most effective way to upgrade any plane ticket is to use airline miles. Some airlines (British Airways for example) only allow you to jump one cabin, while others, such as Virgin Atlantic, will allow you to go all the way from economy to business class. Put simply: in most instances if you’d like to upgrade to business class, you’d need to book premium economy. If you’d like to upgrade to premium economy, shoot for an economy ticket. An upgrade to a destination such as New York will generally cost between 20,000 – 30,000 airline miles each way. If an upgrade is not immediately available when you book, don’t forget to check back regularly – airlines tinker with seats available for upgrades on a daily (and even hourly) basis.

And for the pessimists out there, airline miles are surprisingly easy to collect, even without flying. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and others allow you to earn points for any online shopping via their “e-stores”. You shop at your favourite brands and earn miles, just for clicking over from the airline website.

Bid your way up

Many airlines now use a system called PlusGrade to offer upgrade auctions. Customers on airlines such as Swiss, Etihad, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, Singapore, Cathay Pacific and many more may allow you to bid for the good life up front. Simply login to your booking online and look for an offer to bid on an upgrade. If you can’t find it, simply google: “(Your Airline Name Upgrade Auction)”.

It’s important to keep a level head while participating in these auctions, since winning bids can occasionally exceed the price of just paying for business class from the start. Nonetheless they offer great value. Other airlines, such as British Airways and Delta are known to flash upgrade offers in their mobile app. After making a booking, remain on the lookout for exclusive upgrade offers, some of which can be very reasonable. I was recently offered a £296 one-way upgrade from premium economy to business class with British Airways on a flight from London to New York. The difference in price between premium economy and business was over £2000, so it can represent real value.

Volunteer your services

Airlines these days run like hedge funds. When business is good, their mathematical equations to fill planes are pinpoint precise. But why sell 200 seats on a 200-seater plane when you can sell 205? Airlines regularly bank on certain travellers “no showing”, and sometimes they bet wrong. When this occurs, airlines need to bump people up to business class, or need volunteers for a later flight.

Always enter a frequent flyer number for the airline you’re flying, even if you’ve just signed up to the scheme. Doing so will instantly jump you in the queue of people who may be upgraded for operational reasons. If you’re willing to take a later flight, be sure to volunteer your services at check in. Travelling solo and light on luggage can be crucially helpful. If you do volunteer, airlines will often compensate you with vouchers for future flights and upgrade you to business class on the next available flight.

Shop around

In the last two weeks, both major UK airlines have launched business class flash sales. Missed them? You’re not alone. The very best flash sales are almost never officially announced, last mere hours and are gone before many travellers have had a moment to glance at their computer. In these sales, Virgin Atlantic offered return Upper Class tickets for less than £1,000 per person to destinations all over the United States. In a similar sale, British Airways offered £1,000 per person returns in business class from London to Beijing or Shanghai (economy tickets can cost this much, depending on dates). And for the more adventurous lot, heading to Europe to start your trip can often yield incredible business class deals. Qatar Airways sold £560 return business class seats from Brussels or Amsterdam to Tokyo in the last year. Best practice: use Google Flights to set free price alerts for all cabins. You may track as many prices to as many places and dates as you wish. You never know what you may find.

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I'm going to Hawaii for my honeymoon, and I'm wondering if it's worth my while to mention that we're newlyweds upon checking in, etc. to try to get freebies/upgrades.

Is this very successful in Hawaii or are there just too many honeymooners there?

Tell me you are on your honeymoon.

I will tell you I'm glad you decided to spend your wedding bounty at our hotel. Thank you. Enjoy your stay. Then I'll send you to the room you reserved and paid for.

Why do you think you deserve any extras just because you are on a honeymoon? Hell, you will be on another in just a few more years!

We were just in Hawaii for our honeymoon in September. We didn't get any upgrades, even when we mentioned we were on our honeymoon. Not a big deal, but it was worth a try!

We did get free champagne a few times!

My wife and I traveled to Maui in May of 2000. On the advice of my travel agent, we waited to board the plane until everybody else was boarded, then I went to the check in counter, mentioned we were on a trip for a tenth anniversary and asked if there were any first class seats available we could possibly pay a little more for. There were some available, but for the two of us they wanted $700, a bit too much in our opinion. Just then the flight was delayed for about a half hour, so we waited in the terminal. My wife went back to the counter and started a conversation about leaving the kids at home, etc.. When the plane was ready to leave they asked us to board and discretley handed us to first class tickets and wished us happy anniversary.

Be discrete, be nice, and always ask when no one else is around.

Yes, it's worth it to mention this to the hotel BEFORE you arrive. They will often provide nice extras such as free champagne, wine, or coupons. But don't expect these things to happen just because you say the word "honeymoon".

At the Hyatt Resort on Kauai, our room was upgraded to an upper floor mountain view in a private and quiet nook of the hotel far away from the kids. This was at the end of August. If the hotel is booked solid, an upgrade may not occur.

Also, we received free wine/champagne cards and a special discount on golf course fees. In addition, you should register to the Gold Passport program – or other free hotel club program – to get extras like free hotel gym access daily (avoiding a $8 charge), and a newspaper summary delivered daily to your door.

There are ways to cut corners and score business class flight seats for a cheaper price. Here's how to earn an upgrade for your honeymoon trip for a fraction of the cost.

By Elizabeth Blasi

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

From lay-flat seats, elevated cuisine (and drink), as well as premier service, the experience in the front of an airplane can be one of complete luxury. However, those lavish travel accommodations (read: business and first-class seats) come thanks to some serious dough—and after the wedding, dishing out top dollar for a plane seat to your honeymoon destination might not be in the budget.

What if we told you there are ways to cut corners and score business class flight seats for a cheaper price. Keep reading as we unpack six tricks of the airline trade that may lead to a serious upgrade for your honeymoon travels.

Never buy your business class ticket upfront.

Unless your mindset is one hundred percent, ‘I’m not flying economy on my honeymoon.’ Or you successfully budgeted anywhere from $5,000-20,000 to fly to your destination, don’t buy business class tickets right away. There’s no downgrading after that and it’s better to explore your options before committing to such significant spending.

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Photo Credit // Nappy – Pexels

Find the cheapest fare, then upgrade.

Usually, the bulk price of the business class seat includes the price of an inflated (standard economy) flight ticket. So, instead of finding the most expensive economy seat and tacking on the extra charges for business class, flip the logic.

Find the cheapest economy fare flight and work backward to upgrade that ticket to business class. Why? The price difference to upgrade an existing ticket to business is substantially less than purchasing a business class fare upfront.

Note: For this exercise, avoid buying flights on third party sites like or Expedia. Oftentimes airlines do not work with third-party vendors to upgrade the ticket, and legally the tickets are not theirs to manipulate.

Upgrade with points.

Airline points (or miles) are like a magical currency to exchange for the vacation of your dreams. So, they’re perfect for upgrading your honeymoon travel. If you are loyal to a certain airline or travel rewards program, be sure to ask if they take points for seat upgrades.

Of course, each airline handles the process differently. So, you’ll want to be aware of your airline’s particular policy ahead of time. This way, you can start accruing points/miles early on and reach a more elite status that’s more likely to lead to an upgrade.

Not sure how to collect or redeem points? Read How to Use Points to Save on Your Honeymoon.

Bid your price.

Imagine playing, ‘what are the odds’, but instead of a silly dare, you’re bidding on how much you’re willing to pay to fly business class on your honeymoon? Believe it or not, it’s a real thing, and airlines like United (and their partners), Hawaiian Airlines, and Virgin like to take part in it.

Here’s how it works: After you purchase a flight ticket directly from the airline, you’ll get a ‘bid an upgrade’ email a few weeks later. The email will basically ask how much you’re willing to spend to fly business class.

While this might sound fun and exciting—and it really can be effective—there are a few drawbacks. First, this doesn’t guarantee a ticket for both you and your partner. Second, once you bid a price, there’s no way to go back and alter your number. If the airline accepts your bid, your money is taken directly from your account or credit card on file. So, be sure that you’re sure about your amount and that you have the money available to front the cost if you do get lucky.

Check prices 24 hours beforehand.

If business class is looking a little lonely, airlines may dramatically dip their prices for flight tickets. In the company’s mind, a flight is taking off whether or not business class seats are filled. To hopefully avoid the sunken cost, though, airlines will sometimes reduce the price of business class seats to earn some extra money last minute.

Check your flight’s seat availability (on the seat option map) and then also check ticket prices for the open business class seats on that same flight. An upgrade may only mean a small (relatively speaking) fee.

There are a few downsides to checking just 24 hours ahead of takeoff. For one, it doesn’t guarantee business class seats at all. Alternatively, you may only be able to upgrade your seat and not your partner’s. It’s possible that you can only score business class one way or leg of your journey (instead of round trip).

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Photo Credit // Skitter Photo – Pexels

Check prices at the gate.

If you’re really in it for the thrill (or just really don’t mind economy), you can try asking for an upgrade at the gate. If upgrades or seats are available, you could get a business class seat for a fraction of the original price (or even for free, depending on your status with the airline).

To help your case, check-in early and in person. Business-class upgrades are typically awarded to loyalty members in the order they check-in.

When it comes to travel logistics, it pays (literally) to learn the savvy tricks that can earn you and your partner perks like business class seats. So relax, lay-flat your chair, and enjoy the start of a fantastic honeymoon.

Getting married isn’t just about going on honeymoon, but it sure is an exciting plus to the whole shebang! But how do you go about milking the special occasion for all its worth? Everyone loves an upgrade and if you can’t get one when you’re going on your honeymoon then when can you? It’s the perfect opportunity to be pampered and spoiled, especially after all the stress of the wedding planning is over.

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Calling first class!

There are so many moments where you might be able to wangle an upgrade when you go on honeymoon. The first is the flight. This is a lot easier to accomplish if you haven’t booked a package deal through a high street travel agency. If you’ve booked flights and accommodation separately then turning up at the airport in your finest clobber, rather than like a scruff bag (albeit a very comfy one), is a great way to find yourself boosted up to First or Business class. This is an important fact to consider as the area you want to be moved into is usually full of very well-heeled people. The next step is to arrive at the airport early. This gives you the best opportunity of nabbing any last-minute upgrades. Don’t forget to check again when you reach the gate in case an upgrade has become available since you checked-in. Another hot tip for making it more likely to receive an upgrade is to fly on a Saturday as this is when business travellers are usually at home, meaning you have less competition.

Tell the world you’re here for your honeymoon

Once you’ve made it to your honeymoon destination the next step towards getting an upgrade is to tell everyone that you’re on your honeymoon! It’s important to do this at the right time though. Telling businesses that you’re going on your honeymoon when you make the booking tends to hike the prices up. So, you’re better off waiting until you hit the runway to mention that you’re newly-weds on honeymoon. If you’re staying in a hotel then mention at check-in that you’re on your honeymoon and ask if there are any honeymoon suites available for you to upgrade to or if there is anything they can do for you to help make your honeymoon more memorable.

Then as you go about making your precious memories whilst you are away, you need to keep speaking up. Tell everyone you meet that you’re there on your honeymoon. You never know, it might lead to a couple of free glasses of champagne over dinner at any of the restaurants you might visit! The same can be said for any activities, excursions or day trips that you intend to do whilst you’re away.

Live like an A-lister

Of course, before you even get to this stage you need to decide on where to go! If you’re at a loss for ideas, other than knowing that you want the A-list treatment, then take a leaf out of @RocknRollBride’s book. She says that ‘If you’re looking to really go all out on your honeymoon, to have a once in a lifetime experience and to truly live it up like a rock star, then the Maldives has to be top of your list.’

To get in touch with a member of the team, please email or call us via the contact details below. Alternatively, if you’d like to request a brochure or enquire about date availability, please click ‘request a brochure’ in the menu at the top of this page.

I was thinking of the episode with Monica and Chandlers honeymoon where the newlywed couple in front of them get all the upgrades and I started wondering if that was a real thing.

When we go on our honeymoon (flying from Birmingham to Jamaica) we'll check in online probably but when we get the airport is it worth going to the desk and being like "hey we're on our honeymoon can you give us free stuff and better seats" or whatever? What kind of stuff could we possibly get and how to we ask for it? Or is it just not a thing that happens?

Just mention honeymoon but not in an expecting way. My first wedding when we got to the hotel I asked if the restaurant was still open as it was a late check in and we wanted our first dinner as husband and wife, I wasnt expecting an upgrade but they pretty much rolled out the red carpet for us (this was in the uk)

There’s not a lot of flexibility in airports but it’s worth a shot at the hotel. We got a little Champaign bucket and strawberries

Agree. Airplane is a lost cause but every hotel we stayed at along the way upgraded us and provided champagne.

I think most all-inclusive resorts will do this if you let them know ahead of time! (You may need to send them a copy of your marriage certificate first)

The resort we originally wanted to get married at will do a few extra things like decorating the front door of your suite, have a butler bring you champagne, a fruit basket, and some hors d’oeuvres after you arrive. They’ll also throw in a private dinner on the beach and free room upgrades if they’re available.

I heard a couple try to get an upgrade on an international flight and their response was ‘yes if you pay for it’ 😛

Not at the airport. We mentioned we were flying for our honeymoon and asked how much an upgrade would be, so we didn't sound like we were expecting anything (which we weren't), and there was a (large) cost associated with upgrading. Our hotel did give us a free meal the day after our wedding though. Other than that, the most we got by mentioning that we were honeymooning was a "congratulations" lol

I don't know about airlines, but we had a travel agent plan our honeymoon and he told every hotel he booked for us (we traveled around Ireland) that we were newlyweds and it was hit or miss. Maybe half did nothing special, but one gave us free champagne and did a really cute turndown service, and another sent us cake and folded the towels into swans and put rose petals on the bed. It was so fun!

I wouldn't go into it expecting free stuff right and left, but if there's a special notes section while booking a hotel or if you're out to dinner and mention you're on your honeymoon, it doesn't hurt.

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

After months of planning your wedding, it’s time to sit back, relax, and unwind. The honeymoon is a much-needed break from the stresses that come along with wedding planning, so it’s important to choose your travel destination wisely. Do you want to lounge on a white sand beach with a tropical drink in hand, or would you prefer a customized tour of Europe? There are many things to consider when planning this romantic getaway. Let’s take a look at some honeymoon planning tips to keep in mind.

Tip #1: Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute To Plan Your Honeymoon

We get it: you have a lot on your plate. Planning the details of your honeymoon may be the last thing you want to do, but it’s important to get a head start if you want to get the best deals. If you wait too long to book your flight, hotel reservations, and transportation needs, your trip is going to be more expensive.

Take the time to sit down with your partner to create a list of must-see and must-do activities on your honeymoon. Make sure to factor these things into your budget, so you know what to expect from a financial standpoint.

Tip #2: Consider Using A Travel Agent

While many people think that hiring a travel agent to book their honeymoon will cost them more money, this is actually far from the truth. A travel agent can actually save you money because they have access to special deals and packages that the normal person doesn’t. Not only do travel agents know how to properly plan a vacation, they are experts in planning memorable and customized honeymoons.

According to Christina Pedroni, the senior vice president at Liberty Travel, “Travel consultants will have access to special honeymoon packages at many resorts. These packages will give you added value, such as a free room upgrade, a couple’s massage for honeymoon guests, or breakfast included while traveling in Europe. Travel agents have relationships with many hotels and resorts that translate into additional complimentary perks for honeymooners.”

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Tip #3: Find A Balance Of Fun & Relaxation

If you’re like most couples, you probably want to mix adventure with relaxation on your honeymoon. Finding this delicate balance can be challenging, especially if one spouse wants to explore while the other wants to lounge on the beach. If you plan on taking a good amount of day trips during your honeymoon, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to recharge. The last thing you want to do is come home from your honeymoon, only to feel more stressed and exhausted than you did when you left.

Tip #4: Decide When To Take Your Honeymoon

You’re probably accustomed to hearing that the bride and groom head off on their honeymoon the day after the wedding, but this is no longer the case. Since so much time and energy goes into planning the wedding day, couples are learning that it can be much less stressful to plan their honeymoon a week or a month after they say “I do”. This will allow you to focus on your wedding, without the added stress of packing your bags for a two-week getaway.

The Honeymoon Planning Checklist

  • Set a budget. Determine how much money you and your spouse can realistically spend on a honeymoon. Once you have a number in mind, it will make the planning process much easier.
  • Decide on whether or not you want to use a travel agent. They can help take a bulk of the planning off your plate, so you can find the best resorts and vacation destinations at the most affordable cost.
  • Choose your destination. You can do this as soon as you get engaged to your loved one.
  • Purchase those plane tickets. If you’re lucky enough to have frequent flyer miles, consider using those to book your flight. Many airline companies will release frequent flier seats as much as 11 months ahead of time. This can come in handy if you want to choose non-stop flights.
  • Book your hotel or resort accommodations as early as possible and inquire about any honeymoon specials.
  • Invest in travel insurance. Since you’ll be spending your hard-earned money on this once-in-a-lifetime trip, purchasing travel insurance can save you from unexpected weather issues like a hurricane.
  • Be sure to get or renew your passport before your trip if you plan on traveling abroad.
  • Traveling to Africa or Southeast Asia? There’s a good chance you’ll need some immunizations. Check with your doctor at least six months before your trip.
  • If you take any prescription medication, make sure you refill it before your trip.

If your wedding is near Denver and you plan on flying out of the Denver International Airport (DIA) for your honeymoon, make sure to park your vehicle with ParkDIA. We offer the closest near-airport parking to DIA, and when you download our mobile app, you can reserve your parking space and check shuttle updates easily.

Would you lie about your engagement or wedding to get some free champagne or a hotel upgrade? It’s more common than you may think – in fact, 84% of couples would fake a life event in order to get perks, according to research by Angelic Diamonds.

While this may seem harmless, it could actually impact whether real-life newlyweds can enjoy these perks, with many couples now being asked to provide proof such as their marriage certificate.

WATCH: People reveal what they would do if they received an engagement ring that they really didn’t like

Angelic Diamonds conducted a 2022 survey of 2000 Brits and asked them if they would lie in order to get things like flight and hotel upgrades, champagne and free food, and respondents could choose more than one answer. Overall, the resounding consensus was ‘yes’ with a marginally higher percentage of men (47%) willing to tell a fib than women (44%) on all answers apart from one.

See the surprising results and some fake engagement and honeymoon confessions…

I transformed our first holiday into a luxury honeymoon

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Many couples lie about being engaged to get perks

What should have been 27-year-old Lucy’s first holiday with her boyfriend became quite a memorable trip after a forgotten fib on a booking website! She confessed: “I once added a note to an online hotel booking saying that I was newly engaged to my then-boyfriend. It was our first holiday so I thought it would make it more special, as well as being funny.

“I forgot about it and only remembered when we arrived at the check-in desk, where we found we’d been upgraded to a luxury suite. The hotel had gone all-out in our room, with a fruit platter, cake, rose petals on the bed, plus a free bottle of champagne. We felt slightly bad about it, but soon forgot as we sipped champagne in our jacuzzi.”

I got five hotel upgrades for my fake honeymoons

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Hotel upgrades are one of the most popular freebies

If anyone is a seasoned pro at honeymooning, it’s Manchester-based Lidia who managed to get not one or two free upgrades, but five. The 28-year-old said: “Travelling in Thailand a couple of times in 2018, my ex-partner and I pretended we were on a honeymoon. This gave us free room upgrades at 5 different hotels and a free round of drinks in two of them”

She added that she also used to claim it was her birthday to get free drinks at bars – sneaky!

I got free birthday and engagement celebrations

It started as a gamble to see if they could get any perks, but Charlie, 30, and his partner ended up getting two different types of freebies while holidaying.

“We were at a restaurant in Zanzibar, Tanzania and I told the owner that me and my girlfriend had just got engaged to see if they would bring us anything for free.

“The restaurant obliged, but actually made a mistake and brought us a birthday cake with a massive birthday celebration, singers and more. I then complained that it was our engagement not a birthday and they gave us a bottle of wine to compensate for the upset,” Charlie explained.

According to the research, free food was the most popular freebie with a whopping 26.5% admitting to trying, while almost 1 in 4 would lie to get a free hotel room or flight upgrade (24.5% and 22.9% respectively.)

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

84% of couples would fake a life event in order to get perks

Getting free flowers in a hotel room was the lowest on the priority list, with more women (4.8%) than men (3.76%) trying their luck. Shockingly, only 16.3% of people surveyed revealed they would not lie about a fake life event to get anything.

That’s not great news for brides-to-be like Louise, 32, who said she now fears that people may have ruined it for those who would actually love a memorable engagement or honeymoon perk.

Speaking to Angelic Diamonds, she said: “I’ve been looking to book a honeymoon and part of the excitement was perhaps getting a perk or two since it’s such a milestone holiday. You always hear about flight upgrades and bottles of champagne, but I was really surprised to see that a lot of classic honeymoon destinations require to see your marriage certificate to make sure you’re not playing the system for the freebies.

“I can only imagine it’s because people have been caught fibbing before, but it certainly takes the romance out of things a little!”

Planning your wedding? Sign up to HELLO!’s brand new Bride Guide newsletter for expert advice, budget help, wedding inspiration and real life stories delivered straight to your inbox.

The upgrade: First class seatThe strategy: If the two of you have “elite” status with an airline’s frequent flyer program (by having flown a certain number of flights or a specific amount of miles), you’re more likely to be bumped to First or Business Class without even asking. Delta Air Lines sends upgrade vouchers to members; American offers upgrade certificates online and will move you up, depending on availability, if you call 48 hours in advance to request it; and Continental sometimes upgrades members automatically if there’s an opening when they check in at the airport using their membership card.

The upgrade: Better roomThe strategy: Book your stay at a just-opened hotel. A property that’s in the process of establishing itself is more likely to upgrade your room based on availability.

The upgrade: Better roomThe strategy: You’ll have a higher chance of scoring an upgrade if you ask for one at 2 p.m. or later rather than in the morning, since the front desk will know at that point which of the nicer rooms are still available.

The upgrade: Romantic extrasThe strategy: Sign up a year or so ahead of your honeymoon for several resorts’ e-mail newsletters. These typically include exclusive deals featuring free extra nights or add-ons like champagne and spa treatments, so you’ll be among the first to know about these insider offerings that can make your honeymoon more special.

The upgrade: Free internetThe strategy: Join the resort’s complimentary guest-recognition club. Many of these programs, such as Wyndham ByRequest and Fairmont President’s Club, offer free high-speed Internet service starting with your very first overnight stay.The upgrade: Chauffeur serviceThe strategy: If you have dinner plans nearby, inquire about a “house car”; some upscale resorts offer a complimentary private car service to transport guests to their destination (within 15 blocks or so) that’s available on a first-come, first-served basis. You may even end up traveling in A-lister style: The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles, for example, offers guests a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.

Car rentals

The upgrade: Free treatThe strategy: As you’re being seated at a restaurant, tell the maître d’ you’re on your honeymoon and are excited to try this particular chef’s food. He may have a special hors d’oeuvre or cocktail sent to your table, and the chef may even come by.

Sites and attractions

The upgrade: Exclusive accessThe strategy: Do your research. Choose a hotel that has special partnerships with local attractions. For example, Walt Disney World offers “Magic Hours” to visitors who stay in one of the hotels onsite, allowing them to visit the park an hour prior to the official opening time and stay up to three hours past closing time. At Universal Studios, showing your room key from one of the onsite resorts enables you to cut to the front of the line for most of the parks’ rides and attractions.

Special extras

The upgrade: PamperingThe strategy: Make sure you know the perks that come with your credit cards. For example, with a Platinum American Express card, you automatically get access to the VIP lounge in many airports and may be able to score a last-minute reservation at an acclaimed restaurant. Discover and VISA offer members free travel assistance, helping with such tasks as rebooking a flight.

This content originally appeared in Modern Bride magazine.

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Want an upgrade? The key is availability: All upgrades are based on it. They’re also, largely, based on loyalty status. But even if you do belong to your airline’s or hotel’s loyalty program, you’re still competing with countless other travelers for the same upgrade. To rise above the pack, it’ll take smarts, a strategy, and (dare we say it) shamelessness. Here are seven brazen ways to angle for an upgrade from an airline or a hotel.

Give Your Airline Crew a Little Treat

Do: Gift something small and inexpensive to the gate agents or flight crew. Make them like you with inexpensive presents. Globe-trotting charmer Johnny Jet, a master of the art of schmoozing flight attendants, is a major proponent of this strategy. One of his not-so-secret secrets: handing out chocolates. Mr. Jet offers this advice in his Tip of the Day: “I almost always bring two boxes of chocolates—one for the gate agents and one for the flight attendants, because both can make or break your trip. When you hand the chocolates over, do it with a big smile, be genuine, and don’t look for anything in return.”

Don’t: Assume a quid pro quo. As Johnny advises, never directly ask for anything while distributing a gift. Airline crew are prohibited from accepting gifts as bribes. Small tokens like candy or snacks are good; anything more expensive is probably a bad idea.

Speak Their Language

Do: Demonstrate your foreign-language skills when appropriate. We’ve seen a room upgrade go to a fellow traveler in Mexico when she flaunted her fluency in Spanish. Initiate a friendly conversation with a hotel clerk in his or her native tongue, ingratiate yourself with the staff, and you just might receive a complimentary room upgrade. Even if you’re not fluent, learn a word or two. Staff will appreciate a “hello” or “thank you” in the resident language. Make an honest attempt to have a sincere conversation.

Don’t: Loudly and clumsily speak a few words of the local language to staff, expecting a shower of upgrades in return. A powerful voice volume will not demystify your clumsy attempt at a foreign language.

Say It’s Your Birthday

Do: Be obvious about the day you were born. You could, when checking in for your flight or hotel room, happily mention, “It’s my birthday!” Wear a pointed hat and shake some maracas for the full effect. There’s nothing wrong with a little self-celebration. Seriously, though, the elusive birthday upgrade has been known to happen now and again. We’ve heard of passengers (usually with some kind of frequent-flyer status to begin with) receiving birthday upgrades sans any effort to draw attention to the fact. Evidence of your birthday is, of course, printed on your boarding pass. And your ID. And your Keep Calm It’s My Birthday shirt.

Don’t: Lie. The chances your deception will be exposed are high. We’ll say it again: Your birthday is printed on your ID.

Say It’s Your Honeymoon (or Anniversary)

Do: Excitedly tell your booking agent that you’re on your way to your honeymoon vacation. Bring proof if possible: Offer the flight attendant an extra favor from your wedding as evidence and incentive. Wear your “I’m the Bride!” T-shirt. Maybe you won’t get a pair of first-class boarding passes, but at the very least, you might receive some free Champagne.

If a honeymoon upgrade at your hotel or resort is what you’re after, be sure to bring a copy of your marriage license. Many resorts offer complimentary honeymoon upgrades but require proof of marriage.

Don’t: Lie. Airline employees and front-desk clerks aren’t stupid. I’d venture to guess that flight or hotel staff has a good gauge for who’s on a honeymoon and who’s only faking.

Slip the Hotel Staff Some Cash

Do: The cash bribe is a decidedly shameless activity, but there’s a slick way to do it. When paying for your stay, hold twenty bucks (give or take) in your hand with your credit card and smile politely, asking whether any room upgrades or well-located rooms are available. Your front-desk clerk will get the hint. This is more effective in some places than others, of course, so it’s important to proceed with caution. In Las Vegas, for example, kickbacks for cash are more likely to be tolerated, especially if you’re a guest who has a good play history with the hotel. At other properties, your front-desk agent may be risking his or her job by accepting a small bribe. Be careful, be respectful, and read the situation carefully.

Don’t: Bribe an airline worker. Chocolates are one thing—but airline employees who accept cash bribes can lose their jobs. Don’t even try.

Bribe a Fellow Passenger

Do: Offer the guy with a better seat $100 to switch spots. This isn’t illegal. There aren’t any clear airline policies prohibiting flyers from paying other passengers for seat swaps. There’s even an app, believe it or not, called AirrTrade that facilitates seat buying and selling among passengers. You may do this, if you want.

Don’t: Have high expectations or be anything other than extraordinarily polite. Passengers are under no obligation to accept your bribe. Some folks might even be offended by it.

Show Your Loyalty

Do: Flaunt your unofficial status. Signing up for a hotel chain’s loyalty program isn’t exactly shameless. But advertising your unfailing loyalty to a boutique property that doesn’t have a loyalty program is a bit bolder. Returning to a B&B for the third time? Write an email to the owners. Mention that you’ve been there a bunch of times. Tell them how much you love their property. If appropriate, write a good review. Send the link to the owners and congratulate them on a job well done. Show that you appreciate your stay, and your hosts just might show you a little appreciation in return, whether it’s in the form of a room upgrade, coupons, or even just free bottles of water by your bed. Better yet, you can feel good about sharing some positive thoughts with your fellow humans.

Don’t: Threaten to write a bad review if you don’t receive an upgrade; anyone who does this should have their hotel privileges revoked for life.

Read the original story: Seven Shameless Ways to Get an Upgrade by Caroline Costello, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Your honeymoon is the holiday of a lifetime, so you can reasonably expect to be treated like royalty while you are away, and many resorts and travel companies offer certain perks to newlyweds. These could include getting bumped up to first class on your flight, being upgraded to a better room at the hotel, getting a free dinner on your first night, being given a gift certificate for the hotel spa, or even getting a couple of nights accommodation for free.

In recent years, tour operators have tended to be less generous with their honeymoon perks, but it still possible to get them as long as you don’t expect too much. Here are eight tips on trying to get newlywed perks:

Flight upgrades and room upgrades will all depend on availability, so if you are taking your honeymoon during the peak holiday season for your particular destination, bear in mind that you will be less likely to get those perks.

If you book your honeymoon through a travel agent they should be able to tell you the kind of perks your hotel or resort usually offers honeymooners, and they can ask on your behalf.

Don’t be afraid to ask for upgrades and extras, especially if you’ve booked the trip independently. The worst reply you’ll get is no. Do remember to ask politely though. A cheeky grin might help to get you that upgrade; demanding your rights as a newly married couple certainly won’t.

If the airline won’t upgrade your flight for free, check whether they’ll upgrade you for a discounted rate. It will still cost you but if you’re going on a long haul flight the increase in comfort may be worth it.

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Talk to your new husband or wife before you set off on honeymoon about how you will handle newly wed perks. Agree whether you will ask at every opportunity, or just take what you are offered. It won’t be a great start to the marriage if one partner is hiding their face in embarrassment while the other is continually asking for freebies and upgrades.

Always take a copy or two of your marriage certificate with you to prove that you qualify for honeymoon discounts and upgrades. Don’t get it out unless you’re asked for it, however. You’ll feel a bit silly if you proudly wave it at the check in desk just to be told your airline doesn’t do honeymooner upgrades.

Try to look the part. It may sound elitist but airlines and hotels are more likely to upgrade you if you are smartly dressed with neat modern luggage. Of course sitting on a plane is much comfier in your sweatpants, but you can always pack those in your hand luggage and change once you get on board.

Don’t rely on upgrades. Hopefully you be offered a few newlywed perks during your honeymoon, but you shouldn’t rely on them to make your trip special. If you have your heart set on travelling first class, or sleeping in a superior room, you may just have to bite the bullet and book what you want. Honeymoon perks should be extra little surprises that you weren’t expecting, not something you are relying on to add luxury to your holiday.

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

We've all heard the rumors. If you dress up and tell a compelling story—maybe you're leaving for your honeymoon or heading to a funeral—you might finagle a free first class upgrade. But there's a problem: upgrades rarely happen. Years ago, it might have been possible, back when airlines struggled to sell those cushy seats up front. With an improved economy, however, many travelers have been buying first and business class seats, leaving fewer for upgrades. Even if airline employees wanted to make your day, they don't have much inventory to work with.

"There is no way to sweet talk or dress yourself up into an upgrade," says Jaime Fraser, a Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman. "If our airport staff are looking to upgrade passengers on the day of departure, there is a process that they follow which generally sees passengers that are frequent fliers of the airline—or those that have paid for a fully flexible ticket—benefiting."

On Virgin Atlantic, as at most airlines, upgrades into unsold seats tend to go to an airline's most loyal passengers, people who spend thousands of dollars each year on the most expensive tickets. A few years ago, these elite fliers could often count on freebies, especially when traveling within the United States. But now, even many of them must wait until the last-minute before they get the call to first class—if they receive it at all.

That's not to say that trying to game the system is completely hopeless. Millions of Americans fly every month, and while it is becoming increasingly rare, plenty of passengers fly in first class without paying for it.

Here are some strategies for scoring a free upgrade.

Fly a lot.

This is the most common way to earn a free upgrade. Most airlines reserve some space for travelers who fly at least 25,000 miles per year, with the best perks going to 100,000-plus-mile fliers. As recently as five years ago, this meant half or more of domestic first class fliers sat up front for free. But now, airlines are selling more premium seats, so on popular routes, such as Los Angeles to Chicago, it is not unusual for more than 40 elite fliers to compete for one or two upgrades. Airlines usually prioritize who gets them based how many miles a passenger flies per year and what they paid for their coach ticket. On routes with fewer business fliers—think New York to West Palm Beach—free upgrades remain more plentiful.

Use miles.

If you're not an elite frequent flier but still have some miles banked, you may be able to use them for an upgrade. Be careful, though, as many airlines now ask not just for miles but also a cash co-pay. One example: On flights to Europe, American Airlines charges 25,000 miles, plus $350, for a one-way upgrade from discounted economy to business class. For most domestic upgrades, American wants 15,000 miles plus $75.

Get lucky.

Sometimes airlines overbook coach, and a few passengers get bumped up, only because no seats remain in back. Agents try to ensure the airline's most loyal passengers get the nod, but sometimes things get frenetic and employees make more random decisions. "Agents usually have some flexibility to make sure the plane gets out full and on time," says Gary Leff, who runs frequent flier blog View From the Wing. "So if it's the easiest way for them to do it, they might upgrade someone else out of order."

Not as hard as you imagine: with our “Lite Route”, your honeymoon will be spent cycling on flat, romantic paths for 3 to 5 hours each day.
And if that’s too much, consider using one of our electric bikes to go further and faster.

A Bike Switzerland Honeymoon includes…

  • Romantic accommodation in 3 & 4 star hotels.
  • Free Honeymoon upgrade in all hotels , (premium rooms)
  • All breakfasts
  • Fully equipped bicycle (bags, bottles, etc)
  • Luggage transfers from day to day
  • Cellphone navigation
  • Return train tickets to Geneva
  • Return of your bike to Geneva
  • Complete departure briefing and bicycle fitting in Geneva
  • Honeymoon arrival video , (We film and place immediately on-line so that you can send to friends and family back at home. )

10-day Lite Tour Honeymoon: 3,050 chf
9-day Challenge Tour Honeymoon: 2,950 chf

To qualify for a Bike Switzerland honeymoon, riders need to have been married no longer than one year before the tour’s start date.

What we do:

  • Create a private webpage which showcases your 10-day honeymoon.
  • Send a link to your guests.
  • Your guests choose a day to “sponsor”The sponsors may be listed on the website, or chose to remain anonymous.
  • Sponsors may also choose to write a personal note which the honeymooners will open on each day of their tour. Fun!

(Honeymooners begin by making partial deposit on the trip which is reimbursed once all the days are sponsored)

Latest reviews of Honeymoon Tour

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Dear Bike Switzerland,

“When we decided to do the independent tour for our honeymoon, we never imagined that the experience would be as perfect as it was: the cycling, the hotels, the food, the people, sights along the way ! Everything was logistically perfect. Thank you for giving us a dream honeymoon. ”


How to get free honeymoon upgrades

Dear Bike Switzerland,

“We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and have nothing but positive things to tell our friends and families of our adventures. We appreciate your professionalism and availability via cellphone . From the very beginning, we knew we were in good hands when you showed us everything we needed to know in a step-by-step fashion.

Our friends are very envious, hearing of our honeymoon cycling trip across such a beautiful country. And I will admit, the hybrid bikes were the best fit for the terrain we faced.

You have done an amazing job putting together a complex honeymoon trip that is easy to follow and enjoy. All of the hotels were gracious to have us, and we especially enjoyed the romantic honeymoon upgrades. ”

As we know firsthand here at Oyster, not all hotel rooms are created equal. It’s been a longstanding part of the industry that hotels and resorts, at their discretion, can offer guests a hotel room upgrade. However, talking your way into a hotel upgrade requires a lot more than an extra dose of charm as you approach the front desk — and, as it turns out, getting an upgrade is more of an art than a science.

While no one is outright entitled to a hotel room upgrade, at the end of the day, “It’s in [hotels’] interests to give you the upgrade and take the best possible care of you and create a memory,” says Alex Miller, CEO of Upgraded Points. But there are definitely right ways and wrong ways to go about nabbing that fancy room — read on for some of the biggest myths about hotel upgrades, plus how to actually score one.

Hotel Room Upgrade Myth: Celebrating a special occasion is a sure-fire way to get an upgrade.

How to get free honeymoon upgrades

If you’re planning a special trip or staycation to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or honeymoon, it might seem like a good idea to see if you can get a hotel room upgrade. After all, it’s a festive celebration, and chances are, the hotel has some empty suites anyway. Right? Maybe.

“The bottom line is that hotels want to take care of people who are celebrating,” says Miller. “The nicer (in terms of luxuriousness) the hotel, the more likely they will give a hotel room upgrade.” He gives the example of a mid-range hotel, where there’s just not much available for guests to upgrade to in terms of fancier room types and plush amenities.