Hotel holidays: Expert shares when you should ‘never’ expect an upgrade & how to get one

Martin Lewis discusses travel insurance for 2021 holidays

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Hotel holidays can be made all the better if customers manage to bag an upgrade for free. Getting upgraded can often seem a luxury that cannot be attained. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, though. spoke to Paul Hackett, Head of Inspections and Assessments at AA and, for his travel advice and tips on bagging an upgrade.

Firstly, Hackett had a word of warning.

He cautioned holidaymakers to never assume an upgrade might be in the offing.

“You should never book a hotel expecting an upgrade first off,” he said. “If it happens, it’s a bonus!”

Luckily there are ways you can boost your chances of snaring one.

The hotel pro recommends booking directly with the hotel.

The establishment may be more likely to offer an upgrade if you speak to them in person rather than booking a package trip or via a travel agent.

It’s also worth thinking ahead if you’re angling for an upgrade.

“If it’s a special occasion, let them know in advance,” advised Hackett. “Don’t leave things to the last minute.”

Timing is also key when it comes to booking your trip.

By travelling at the right up you might up your odds of getting an upgrade.

“Book at off peak/out of season times of the year,” said Hacket.

“Avoid times when hotels are clearly going to be busy, i.e sporting events.”

Lastly, it might be worth spending a bit more money.

“Book a dinner, bed and breakfast rate or spa package,” the hotel expert recommended.

“The increased spend could highlight you for an upgrade.” also quizzed Hackett on the hotels he’s most excited about for 2021.

“All hotels and B&Bs rated by the AA or VisitEngland are recommended by their very nature as they have been inspected by one of our professional team,” he said.

“With many years of experience in this field and a respected/established criteria which measures hotels in an objective way you can’t go far wrong.

“Notable new openings include The Pig at Harlyn Bay (near Padstow), The Mayfair Townhouse (London), The Guardsman (London) and The Falcon (Castle Ashby).”

Hackett recommends booking sooner rather than later, though.

“Once we emerge from lockdown, we anticipate a lot of pent up demand and the UK market for holidays is likely to be very busy,” he warned.

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