Many Brits dream of flying first or business class especially when on long-haul flights.
When cramped into a small economy seat it’s easy to dream of lying flat in a cushy seat with food and drink on tap.
However, reality hits when you look up the price of an upgraded seat which can be in the thousands.
READ MORE: Flight attendant would 'never upgrade passenger' wearing certain clothes
While flight attendants often reveal their secrets to bagging free upgrades, when it comes to a once-in-a-lifetime holiday plenty of keen flyers will choose to splash out on an upgraded experience.
It's not a cheap experience, but there are some airlines which won't charge as much for the privilege.
To offer a helping hand, the team at money.co.uk have analysed Google Flights data to determine the airlines with the smallest difference in prices between economy and business or first class and reveal the most affordable airlines to upgrade with.
The airline where the difference between economy and first-class tickets is smallest is All Nippon Airways. However, this is partially because ANA tickets are so expensive to begin with, with the average economy ANA ticket from Tokyo is £4,328.
In second is Thai Airways, where a first-class ticket is 313% more expensive than an economy one (on average). The majority of services on Thai Airways are between Asia and Europe, including a direct route from Thailand to London Heathrow.
All three of the airlines with the smallest price differences are based in Asia, with Korean Air coming third. With Korean Air, average first-class tickets cost over 400% more than economy, but that’s still one of the most affordable first-class prices (£4,354).
As for business class upgrades, Vietnam Airlines came out top in the rankings. The difference between the average fare for this airline is around double, with the average business class flight being £1,051, compared to £500 for economy.
The second cheapest airline to upgrade to business class with is Asiana. Asiana is based in South Korea and its business class is split into two options: standard business and a more premium ‘business smartium’ class.
EVA, another Asian airline, is the third cheapest airline to upgrade to business class with. EVA Air’s business offering is known as “Royal Laurel” or “Premium Laurel” and it also offers these on its short-haul services.
So, if you’re looking for the cheapest possible way to experience an upgraded flight it looks like a holiday to Asia should be in the cards.
However, if these prices are still out of your affordability range you can always try to bag an upgrade for free …
Earlier this year, a flight attendant explained the main reasons she would choose to upgrade a passenger.
The flight attendant noted: “It’s not easy but there are ways to qualify. Be really, really friendly.
“Help an attendant when necessary (lifting bags, help with spilled drinks).
“We might be nicer when we see you are struggling (2m tall guys in economy, very annoying person next to you).”
Another said: “For an upgrade, it's all about looking the part. Smart but understated.
“You should look like you travel often. But don't be dripping in designer clothing.”
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