How to Score a Free Upgrade on JetBlue

As I mentioned yesterday, I gave JetBlue another try out of Burbank yesterday. Everything went exactly according to plan...

JetBlue offers extra legroom in the first five rows and emergency exit rows of their A320s that they sell for a nominal fee ($10 for my one-hour flight yesterday).

But even $10 was too much for me. Instead, I deliberately chose not to assign seats for me, my brother, and my uncle on the flight, hoping that at check-in all that would be left would be premium seating.

Sure enough, I gambled correctly. No seats were available when I checked in and at the gate we were upgraded to three seats in row five. The agents was quite jovial, stating "I'm going to upgrade you because you folks look nice." Many thanks.

The flight itself was great as well. Not only was the extra legroom appreciated, but service was professional, the "express" snack service (cookies or snack mix only with Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, or water) was more than adequate for the short flight, and most importantly of all, I got to listen to my favorite XM Channel, Holiday Pops.

This flight certainly made me think twice about my dour outlook on JetBlue and today's return trip (the subject of a future post) truly made me a JetBlue fan (I got more than an upgrade today).

So, if you're traveling on JetBlue and are willing to risk ending up in a middle seat in the back of plane (much easier to stomach on a one-hour flight than on a transcon, I realize), hold off on assigning a seat. Much like United's Economy Plus, if there are no seats left in the regular economy section, you'll get a "premium" seat for free. 


I wish that I would have found this link when I ticketed my flights on JetBlue. Perhaps for next time. What tips do you give for family travel on JetBlue?

I wouldn't want to travel apart from my family. Let me know.

Love the pictures by the way.

Grace February 15, 2012 at 04:10 pm

So true!! When I'm commuting to/from work I'm almost ALWAYS in a window/aisle in the the first 10 or 11 rows. Sometimes a middle seat, but rarely anywhere behind the exit row. The premium seats are always the last to go and I'll gladly take the leftovers!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.