A flight attendant has revealed some of the sneaky tactics passengers always try when they're after a First Class upgrade – and why they won't work.
Cabin crew member Destanie often shares her flight secrets on TikTok, and now she's explained what it actually takes to land the holy grail of travel, as well as the tricks passengers try to use which crew always see right through.
When one commenter asked how often people try to sneak into Business or First Class and whether staff allow it, Destanie had a few insights to share with her fans. Unfortunately, while there are some very exceptional circumstances where you'll be bumped up when you're on the flight, according to Destanie by the time you board it's too late to try your luck.
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She explained: "Number one, we never allow that. If someone wants to switch cabins or even get an upgrade, that's to be dealt with the gate agents. Flight attendants do not deal with any of that. And you can also get in a lot of trouble for doing that – like, giving out upgrades. Some people at my airline have told me that our airline considers it as stealing because the passenger didn't pay for the ticket, or to get the upgrade."
So if you want an upgrade, it's worth speaking to the staff at check-in, especially if you're a member of their loyalty programmes or any of their partners such as credit card providers (you can usually find this information on the airline's website, or speak to your card provider and they can advise if you're entitled to any points etc).
Of course, while getting a free upgrade is rare, that doesn't stop people from trying – but according to Destanie, it's always the same tactics and they never work. One common tactic she sees is passengers 'joking' that they're happy to take any free First Class seats, and that the only response they can expect is for cabin crew to politely laugh.
Another 'trick' passengers use is to pay flight attendants plenty of compliments, only to then immediately ask if there's space in the better cabins. Destanie added: "There have been multiple times that men have hit on me thinking that I might move them to First Class because they told me I was pretty!"
While most passengers would simply ask for permission to move to better seats, there are of course some people who just assume if a seat is free they can take it. For Destanie, the issue often arises with exit row seats, which are known for having extra leg room, with the caveat being that you have to be willing and able to assist in an emergency.
The flight attendant said that she will often brief the passengers on the row, but then will spot other people moving into spare seats when she's not looking. When she asks them to move back to their seat, they often protest – but depending on the airline's policy, it may count as an 'upgraded' seat and therefore is not one that you can just take for free.
She added: "I'm always nice until people try me and then I say I'm not asking, I'm telling them."
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