While we can't all afford a private plane, travelling in comfort is the
next best thing. We all love an upgrade!
As I am a frequent flyer, I try to keep my loyalty points for Star Alliance topped up. This enables me to use the Business Class lounges around the world, book in at the Business Class counter, use fast track emigration and immigration (which saves an enormous amount of time), and I occasionally use my points to upgrade. But serious travel hacking sounds a lot of fun.
However, my best story was when we, as a family, flew from Buenos Aires, via Rio and Cape Town, to Johannesburg. Our flight from Buenos Aires to Rio was late, so all the onward passengers were taken to a special area to be checked in quickly, as the flight was about to leave. In front of us was a man on his own. The check-in clerk asked him if she could change his seat. He was furious, and shouted at her that he had booked his seat and that was the one he wanted. So she apologised, and gave him his original seat.
When my husband and I, with our three daughters, stepped up, she said, "Well, I suppose I will have to upgrade you instead, if you don't object!" The upgrade wasn't to business class, but to South African Airways First Class. So we all travelled in style from Rio to Jo'burg. Therefore, my travel tip is, always be patient and polite, you never know where it might lead.
Our upgrade was definitely meant to be, because a strange thing happened that day. My youngest daughter's earring popped out at some point while we were hurrying for the plane. Fortunately, she managed to retrieve the earring, but she lost the sleeper. When she went to take her seat on the aircraft, there was a gold sleeper in the middle of the cushion! How weird was that!