Travel like a VIP for less: APH’s tips on how to upgrade a holiday without blowing the budget

For holidaymakers keen to travel like a celebrity this summer but without the first-class price tag, APH has revealed its top five insider tips on how to upgrade a holiday before leaving the runway and without blowing the budget.

Holiday without blowing the budget

1. Extend the holiday and avoid a 3 A.M. alarm by checking into an airport hotel

Although pre-dawn flights can sometimes be the most cost-effective option and maximise holiday time, the early wake-up call can leave holidaymakers feeling grouchy and stressed. Booking an overnight stay at an airport hotel not only allows travellers to catch a few more hours of precious sleep ahead of a long day of travelling but can also be a simple way to extend the break away from the everyday routine. For an extra touch of luxury, hotels including the Hilton London Gatwick Airport and the Sheraton Skyline Hotel Heathrow include indulgent facilities including fitness centres and a variety of dining options.

2. Guarantee a departure gate seat and save money on snacks by booking lounge access

It can sometimes be hard to find a seat in an airport’s departure lounge, especially if travelling in a group together. To guarantee a calm and comfy place to rest before boarding a plane like an A-lister, consider paying for lounge access. Airport lounge access costs from just £16 per person via and with complimentary food and drink on offer, it could also offer a generous saving compared with the cost of eating at a restaurant at the airport.

3. Pay for airline add-ons such as fast-track security passes and extra baggage at the time of booking

For those eager to speed through airport security like a superstar, fast track security passes and a larger luggage allowance helps to avoid dragging a trolley suitcase through queues to the departure gates. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the cost for checking-in luggage may increase at the airport and fast track passes may be limited, so travellers should be sure to pay for any extras at the time of booking. For example, those travelling through London Heathrow Airport should note that access to Heathrow’s Fast Track Security must be booked online no later than one day before travel.

4. Avoid spending time trawling the airport’s parking spaces by pre-booking Meet & Greet

Scouring around for an empty parking space at the airport before a flight can dampen the holiday mood of any traveller. Those driving to the airport can save time and money by pre-booking Meet & Greet airport parking, which is a drive-up and drop-off service that gives drivers the chance to take the stress out of their travel plans and stroll into the terminal like a VIP. Holidaymakers simply drive to the airport, drop their car with the awaiting chauffeur and then head to the check-in desks while their car is safely and carefully driven to a nearby security equipped car park.

5. For complimentary upgrades, look the part and be polite

For those who dream of flying business class but aren’t keen on paying the hefty price tag, it’s worth keeping in mind that those who are well-dressed and polite can sometimes be rewarded with a rare flight upgrade. The chances of being upgraded are slim, but additional ways to increase the chances include travelling alone or mentioning that a special celebration is taking place, such as a honeymoon.

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