British Travellers Willing to Pay Extra for Holiday Upgrades

27th Apr 2011

Alex Saint, CEO of says: “According to the survey by American Express, just 39% of British holidaymakers were willing to pay for upgrades in 2006, compared to in 2011. So it’s really very interesting to see such a big increase in the number of people considering travel upgrades such as additional legroom, a better hotel suite, and fine dining.”

When it comes to booking holidays, such as holidays to Spain and Greece, women are more likely to try to find a bargain – with 53% of female respondents stating that they were always on the lookout for a cheap holiday, compared to just 41% of men. However, women were also much more likely than men to request and pay for a holiday upgrade, while a further 6% of the holidaymakers questioned believed that the best way to secure an upgrade was to bribe airport and hotel employees. Other tactics that holidaymakers had undertaken in order to secure an upgrade also included being polite to airline staff at check-in, being nice to the cabin crew on board the plane, dressing smartly, arriving early and paying extra for premium economy ticket in the hope of getting upgraded to first class for free. 

Saint continues: “However, despite the use of these tricks, the study revealed that just 6% of the holidaymakers questioned managed to secure a complimentary upgrade during their holiday. The survey also showed that of the 83% of travellers who are willing to pay for an upgrade, 63% of them would be willing to pay up to 20% more on top of the cost of their holiday, with a further one in five travellers willing to pay more than 20% extra to upgrade certain aspects of their holiday. So while there may be a lucky few who will get a free upgrade on their holiday, it seems like the only way sure way to get an upgrade on flights, accommodation and a holiday in New York is to pay, which isn’t an option for everyone.”


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