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Vegetarians will never get a free airline upgrade, former flight attendant claims

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 17/03/2017 Oliver Smith
Vegetarians will never get a free airline upgrade, former flight attendant claims

The free upgrade is the Holy Grail of air travel. All the premium wine and legroom you can handle, without coughing up a small fortune for the privilege.

We’ve previously outlined in detail what passengers can do to increase their chances of scooping one (more below), but until now we'd never considered that a passenger’s dietary requirements would make any difference. 

Nik Loukas, a former Qantas flight attendant and author of the plane food blog InflightFeed, claims that anyone with a special meal request - be it vegetarian, kosher or otherwise - can wave goodbye to their hopes of a move to business class.

Vegetarians might be saving the planet, but are they harming their chances of an upgrade?

"If there’s a special meal request in your booking, the airline won’t even look at you (for an upgrade)," he told Business Insider . "Because you’ve got a dietary requirement, and they might not be able to cater for you if they upgrade you."

Really? Telegraph Travel put the claim to five different carriers. So far only Virgin has responded - and its comment should reassure all the veggies out there.

"This isn’t true - dietary requirements have no impact on upgrades," says a spokeswoman. "If a customer orders a special dietary meal we can serve it in any different cabin." 

Surefire ways to improve your chances of moving up to the expensive seats include travelling alone, being a frequent flier with the airline in question – and simply being pleasant.

This week Monarch said those who book over the phone and are "nice" to its representatives may be rewarded with an extra legroom seat and priority check-in

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