While travelling to a new destination is often exciting, the actual act of flying isn’t nearly as glamourous as one might hope. Sitting still in a cramped seat for hours at a time isn’t exactly a luxurious start to a vacation.While most of us are stuck cringing at the lack of space back in coach, first-class or business travellers enjoy more room, hot meals and, well, first-class attentive service. But there’s always hope for the weary traveller. With a few simple tips, you can increase the likelihood that you’d be bumped from your seat in economy to business class for free, should a seat be available.Dress the partSome great business advice is to dress for the job you want rather than the job you have. The same applies when flying. Showing up to your gate dressed in sweats and a sloppy T-shirt isn’t going to get you any upgrades. You don’t need to wear your finest Sunday suit (let’s face it — if you did, you’d probably stick out even in business class), but don’t dress like a slob. Clean jeans or khakis with a button down or something similar is sufficient. And while dressing for success won’t guarantee you’ll get an upgrade to first class, it certainly won’t hurt your chances either.Timing is everythingIf you want to be bumped to that elusive front section of the plane, book your flight for a time when you have the least competition from all the other business travellers. Fly off-peak times. Also, avoid flying in the mornings or evenings on Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays.Reap your rewardsWhat’s the absolute best way to increase your chances of getting upgraded for free? Join the airline’s loyalty or frequent flyer program. Many of these programs offer members a certain number of free upgrades each year, or you can often pay a minimal fee for an upgrade in loyalty points.If you really want to stretch your points, you can also choose a credit card that offers sign-up bonuses (sometimes as many as 50,000 points) or a certain number of points for each dollar you spend with the card. The more you fly and the more points you collect, the more likely you’ll get upgraded for free.Check-in onlineMake the best use of technology in order to ensure you stand a chance at getting that coveted business class seat. Check-in online 24 hours before your flight. If you’re competing with another passenger who paid the full fare, is a loyalty program member and all else is equal, the person who checked-in first will get the open seat.Ask and you shall receiveWhile this is unlikely to yield results, it never hurts to ask the gate supervisor for any upgrades, if they’re available. When you get to your gate, approach the airline employee working at the gate desk and politely ask. It also helps if you offer to pay for the upgrade. Offering to shell out the $100-$200 extra for a business class seat makes you stand out from the crowd of other passengers requesting free upgrades. At the very least, forking over that extra hundred bucks for more space on a lengthy flight is likely money well spent.