April 15, 2013 10:00 ET

Tap Your Inner Caveman to Get an Upgrade Without Saying a Word

FlightNetwork.com's Body Language Guru Offers Non-Verbal Travel Tips and Tricks

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 15, 2013) - Ever wonder why the first class cabin is empty on your flight after you tried to charm your way into a seat upgrade? Chances are your mouth said "yes" but your body said "no." According to international body language expert and author Mark Bowden of TruthPlane Inc., the true language of upgrades has its roots in the non-verbal communication style of cavemen.

Basic body language would have worked well when primitive man needed to organize a hunt, light a fire or warn the tribe against danger, but in 2013 it can be surprisingly relevant and useful when 'angling' for a travel upgrade. According to Bowden, it all begins with a simple smile:

"It's generally shown across the planet that open body language and a smile will create an unconscious reaction in the recipient to want to give back to you -- be it an upgrade, a better seat, or a free drink," said Bowden.

The following genial gestures are a useful sampling of secret weapons that travellers can deploy when meeting someone in a position to make their trip more enjoyable. In video and photographs posted at FlightNetwork.com, Bowden gives visual demonstrations of 'Neanderthalic' nuances specifically geared to help travellers garner upgrades.

  • The Paleolithic Pal: Comes in handy when meeting upgrade gatekeepers. By opening your arms in a welcoming way, you show others you mean no harm. A smile is a great addition.

  • The Lizard Lift: Sometimes less is more. By slightly raising your eyebrows you will be perceived as an approachable person. Try this while pleasantly saying to the flight attendant, "Hey, do I see an empty seat in first class?" Friendliness always wins courtesy in return - if not a better seat.

  • The Cro-Magnon Crinkle: A smile is perceived as fake unless you show the wrinkles around your eyes, says Mark. Display the Cro-Magnon Crinkle and people will know your intentions are genuine, even if your intention is to get an extra bag of pretzels.

Bowden adds that if a person's demeanour appears angry, no amount of polite pleading will earn positive perks.

"Flight attendants and staff behind the counter are frequently ignored and treated poorly," said Allison Eberle, Vice President of Operations for FlightNetwork.com, "They're actually the people with power, and Mark shows that if we treat them well, we'll likely get good treatment in return."

Bowden also notes that the way one dresses for travel influences others. When travelling abroad he deploys the "Natty Neanderthal": the tactic of creating a varied look, allowing the traveller to be identified/welcomed by various "tribes".

"When watching the videos at FlightNetwork.com, take note of my appearance. Someone might relate to my longer hair. Another person could respond to my suit. A person with a sense of humour could enjoy my red socks," added Bowden. "When in doubt, just buy the local t-shirt. You'll make instant friends."

About FlightNetwork.com (www.flightnetwork.com)

As one of Canada's leaders in online travel, FlightNetwork.com delivers the lowest airfares from the top airlines by offering consumers access to over 2 million bulk rates on cheap flights negotiated with major airlines. Its proprietary flight booking engine offers last-second booking and the exclusive ability to 'mix and match' fares - the only Canadian online travel agency that allows booking on different airlines for departure and return flights to get the lowest fares possible. Backing up Flight Network's award winning online service are over 120 insightful travel specialists in the FlightNetwork.com call centre who ensure that customers successfully book the best travel deals.

FlightNetwork.com's Price Drop Protection plan is a unique, free program, exclusive to FlightNetwork.com customers on all economy flights, vacations and hotels. The Price Drop Deal is now unlimited on all domestic, USA and international flights, as well as vacations and hotel bookings. If you book with FlightNetwork.com, and the price drops after you book, you will get the difference credited back.

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