Blagging an upgrade is the holy grail for any traveller, especially when you're flying long haul. Sure, the premium meal choices and complimentary champagne are always welcome, but it's the extra legroom that can really make a difference to your journey.
But while some of us are lucky enough to have been upgraded once or twice over the years, or at least know someone who has, no one seems to know quite how to make it happen.
But now, in an anonymous interview with Vice, a flight attendant for "a major American airline" has revealed her tips for getting yourself ushered up to the front of the plane. The key, she reckons, is making sure you have a small gift for your flight crew.
"If there’re seats open in business class, and it’s not going to affect me negatively, or there are first class seats open and I can still eat my first class meal if I put you up there, I’ll put you up there," the flight attendant says. "As long as you're nice to me, no problem."
Hoever, the flight attendant also tells Vice that some of her colleagues are less keen to make an upgrade. "That's me, though. There are some attendants who get off on the power trip of saying no," she continues. "But if you’ve got bargaining chips, usually in the form of candy or Starbucks gift cards, you're pretty much set. Or, you can lie and say you work for the airline. If they think you're in the biz, they might hook you up."
So, there you have it. In all honesty, walking onto an aeroplane and presenting a flight attendant you've never met with a Starbucks gift card does sound kind of awkward. But if you've got a 12-hour flight to Los Angeles or Bangkok ahead of you, it might just be worth a try.
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