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Thanks to an airline rule that most people don’t know about, you could find yourself bumped up to business or first class – for free.

Rick Brown, author of Kiss my baggage fees: How to be a savvy travel hacker, has revealed that if your seat is broken in any way, you can request a new one.

No more seats in economy? That means you’ll be given one in business or first class.

In the discussion on the Quora.com website, Brown warns that this isn’t an excuse to try and damage your seat to get yourself a better one.

“Don’t break your seat on purpose,” he says, “It's a crime.”

So when you get on board, it pays to sit down and check that your arm rests go up and down, your tray table fastens securely, your seatbelt clips and unclips properly, and that your seat can recline and come back up again easily.

If not, it’s time to call the attendant and ask for another seat. You never know, it could see you moving closer to the front of the plane. Champagne anyone?

Have you ever got a free upgrade on a flight? We would love to hear your story in the comments.

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