Here’s a true story: On my honeymoon, I walked up to the front desk of our hotel with a giant smile on my face, still in my wedding dress, and asked if there were any suite upgrades available. There were. And they promptly gave it to my husband’s best man.
That’s how extraordinarily bad I was at scoring free upgrades. It’s also direct proof that getting travel perks isn’t as cut-and-dry as “be nice.” I am nice, dammit. What’s the catch? I asked flight attendants, hotel clerks, Uber drivers, friends, friends of friends. I asked those mythological karmic beings who just cruise around sopping up life’s good graces. (We all know one. They make great travel partners.)
Turns out, there’s strategy involved in getting strangers to do things for you. You’ve got to be nice, while also being a little entitled. You’ve got to speak the heck up. Be it a flight, a hotel, a ride, or a restaurant, you paid for this experience and you should be getting every single possible benefit that you can get -- within reason, if it’s not too much trouble, please, sir. Here’s how it’s done.