First class flights are usually crazy expensive, but there are some tips and tricks for scoring a cheap (or better yet, free) upgrade. If your flight is overbooked and you elect to take a different flight, for example, you can try to negotiate an upgrade, too. Photo by sigmama.
Gilbert Ott, of travel site God Save the Points tells Business Insider that flexible travellers can often use their flexibility as leverage to negotiate a first-class or business upgrade:
If the flight's oversold, [the airline will] usually ask for volunteers who are willing to take the next flight...I'm getting more money than I actually paid for the ticket and quite often I'll also get the upgrade too...That's your best opportunity if you don't have miles or status with the airline.
This actually happened to me recently. I asked for an earlier flight, and because my original flight was already overbooked, the gate agent said he'd give me a better seat. It wasn't a huge upgrade, but I had more legroom, and I didn't even have to negotiate. Next time you fly a packed flight, it's at least worth asking, provided you have the flexibility to take a different flight.
The one most effective way ordinary travellers can get a free flight upgrade [Business Insider]