With more than two million Britons planning to travel overseas during the next couple of weeks, new research shows that budget trips may in fact soon become a trend of the past as more people aspire to pay extra in order to add a little more comfort to their holidays.
The research from American Express shows that in the last five years just 39% of travellers paid to upgrade their travel experience, preferring instead to stay on a tight budget rather than treating themselves to upgrades such as additional leg room, a la carte dining or a luxury hotel suite. However, the latest findings reveal that today around 83% of holidaymakers would be willing to pay extra to upgrade their trip to help enjoy their holiday a little more.
Whether travellers are fed up with poor budget services, feel more confident about spending money or simply want a little more exclusivity on their holiday, it seems that increasingly Britons are finding ways to upgrade their travelling experience.
Of those willing to pay for an upgrade, the majority (63%) said that they would be willing to pay up to 20% more on top of the cost of the holiday, while one in five travellers (20%) would be willing to pay in excess of 20% extra to upgrade their journey or vacation.
The research also shows that while women are more likely than men to take time to hunt down a bargain holiday (53% versus 41%) it is also women that are more likely than men to upgrade their travel experience.
Julie Hay, Vice President Cards, American Express, told TravelPlus: “While people continue to look for holidays that offer value for money, increasingly, travellers now aspire to a more comfortable and luxurious holidaying experience. However, achieving this does not have to come with a hefty price tag, as there are ways to improve your holiday experience without breaking the bank, such as using a credit card that offers travel rewards”.
How to secure your upgrade?
Securing the seemingly elusive complimentary upgrade has long been the aim of British travellers, however, in the last five years, only a small percentage of travellers questioned (6%) have managed to secure a coveted complimentary upgrade to their travel plans.
However, amazingly, the research also shows that six per cent of people believe the best way to secure an upgrade is to bribe employees at the airport or hotel they are using.
Top five ‘tricks’ that Britons believe will get them a complimentary upgrade
1. Be polite to airline staff at check-in and on board and to the hotel reception manager.
2. Dress smartly and wear shoes, not trainers.
3. Arrive early.
4. Contact the company in advance to mention you are travelling on a special occasion.
5. Pay a little extra when booking i.e. pay for a premium economy ticket in the hope that a further upgrade will be granted
In actual fact, one of the simplest ways to secure an upgrade is with travel related reward cards. These cards are a great way to transform everyday spending throughout the year into a more luxurious break. Benefits of these cards include flight upgrades, extra hotel nights and even companion vouchers, where customers can take another person with them, without paying for their flight.
For example, British Airways American Express Cardmembers can redeem their BA Miles to upgrade to British Airways Premium Economy. As a part of this they’ll receive added privacy, increased baggage allowance, complimentary food, newspapers and an amenities pack on the flight.