How to Get a Free Hotel Upgrade: 9 Tips from Travel Experts

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Scoring better accommodation during a spontaneous weekend getaway or on those boring business trips out of town sounds daunting to most travellers. But the whole process is actually more straightforward than you might expect. We always seem to get stuck with the worst room available, but if only we knew just how easy it is to get that bump up a level. We recently sat down with and put together these 9 tips from travel experts on how to get a free hotel upgrade, our experts have scored hotel room upgrades to a bigger room on a higher floor, with a nicer view in just about every hotel they have booked with – all whilst booking the cheapest room every time.

Tip 9: Be Nice

This tip sounds too good to be true, but often this is the one most overlooked says our travel expert.

You should always treat others how you wish to be treated, and this is equally important when it comes to having a hidden agenda to get a free hotel upgrade. Remember that the person you are dealing with behind the front desk is a person, so be polite and avoid any aggression.

The front desk staff literally have the keys to rooms at their grasp which means these are some of the first people you need to make a great impression with.

A few things to remember when checking in and demonstrating your nicest manners is to:

  • Use the person’s’ name when you greet them
  • Don’t let any of your frustrations with travel plans influence the way you interact with hotel staff
  • Treat all staff members with respect and kindness
  • Take the time to make their day better, even if it’s as simple as complimenting them or noticing something

Tip 8: It’s a Special Occasion

While it is not the best idea to lie about special occasions to try and get free benefits, we do recommend making these special occasions known when you are checking-in.

Australian hotel upgrades can at times be a fickle thing. While you might not expect to get things just because the earth has gone around the sun once more since you and your partner got engaged – hotel managers will use this as a great point of demonstrating excellent customer service.

A loved-up couple would do more for the hotel in terms of reviews and great recommendations as a result of a free upgrade or if they were to score an upgrade to your room courtesy of the bar or restaurant.

Be genuine and sincere in how you go about making these special occasions known, take it as an opportunity to increase your chances by making the hotel feel special that you decided to share the moment or special day with them.

Tip 7: Just Ask, Using Your Manners

Following the overall ‘being nice’ mantra. You are less likely to get an upgrade if you don’t ask, so simply ask!

Always ensure that you are using your manners and that when you do make requests, do so out of earshot of other hotel patrons, as this would have everyone asking for upgrades and reduce your chances of being rewarded a better room or rate.

Tip 6: Do Your Research

Understand the hotel and its rooms before your visit, making sure to know the peak times of the season and whether any events are on within the area could make all the difference in your chance at getting a hotel upgrade.

When doing your research, also understand the different levels of rooms as being upgraded from a basic deluxe room to a superior room that is situated on a corner of the building would be a considerable upgrade.

Sometimes naming conventions of rooms do not mean much to the actual value. That room may be well away from the elevator shaft, or even on the opposite side of the busy main street where noise levels will be completely different.

Tip 5: Report Issues With Your Room

While this one can be a thorn in the foot, sometimes it pays to be picky. When you arrive in your room, touch base with the hotel staff and let them know of any issues with the room.

For example, maybe there is a damaged or loose tile in the bathroom. Simple maintenance issues like this are embarrassing for hotels and you will find that hotel managers will be quick to get you moved to a different room.

Remember to have manners and be respectful when reporting any issues and do not come across with an aggressive tone. If travelling with another person, put some thought to who has the ‘nicest’ demeanour and comes across as more disappointed and less angry.

You will be surprised how tone can change the complexity of a conversation.

Tip 4: Use Reservation Websites that Track Rebooking

Make use of reservation websites like wotif, tingo, or triprebel that track your reservation. While these websites often also provide great deals, they also follow your reservation. If a better reservation at that hotel becomes available at the same or lesser price point, you will automatically get upgraded.

This process is entirely automatic, so there is no stress added to your accommodation planning – a win-win!

Tip 3: Know the Right Hotel Staff

It pays to know who the staff are at the hotel you are staying with. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to know their names and check them out on LinkedIn, but understanding how hotels run on a daily basis is key.

Our key tip here: get to know the concierge very well, as they are the person responsible for making everything possible and personalizing your stay – oftentimes they have more drawing power than the front desk staff too.

Tip 2: Look The Part and Dress Nicely

Dress the part and look nice. Many travellers that score an upgrade put it down to their decision to wear a nice suit or dress and looking respectable for first impressions.

Tip 1: Check-In Late

Checking in later in the day is a better habit to get into. While it doesn’t sound smart, at the end of the day the hotel staff have a better understanding of what rooms are still left available. The hotel may have actually overbooked their standard rooms and bump you up a level.

The negative side to this is that checking in late may cause travellers in the loyalty programs to have received upgraded rooms, leaving none left for you.

There you have it, our top 9 tips from travel experts on how to get a free hotel upgrade the next time you book hotel accommodation!

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