No, Dressing Up Won’t Score You A Flight Upgrade

No, Dressing Up Won’t Score You A Flight Upgrade

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There’s a lot of misinformation and very bad advice on the internet, so I suppose this should hardly be singled out. But it’s travel specific, and since Travel + Leisure can’t help itself, I guess I can’t help myself either.

Do airlines upgrade people who dress up?

No, of course they don’t, that’s absolutely ridiculous. Why would anyone think so? Oh, because Travel + Leisure Tweeted today about a story that was published last month, about “what to wear to increase your chances of a first class upgrade.”

This really seems to be a thinly veiled attempt at getting some affiliate revenue by posting links to clothing that will allegedly get you an upgrade. Personally I think a much better business model would be to post affiliate links to credit cards that can actually score you first & business class seats, but to each their own.

The Travel + Leisure piece is based on a 2018 story where “cabin crew share the outfit that will get you bumped up to first class.” Every “air hostess” and “steward” that the writer interviewed (that should have been the first clue not to listen to this advice) suggested that dressing up can impact your upgrade odds, and it gives specific and baseless advice about what you should wear:

“For an upgrade, it’s all about looking the part. Smart but understated. You should look like you travel often. But don’t be dripping in designer clothing. It helps; someone who is potentially due to get an upgrade can be knocked back if they aren’t dressed suitably.”

I’ll address some different circumstances below, but let me be very clear — dressing up won’t increase your odds of scoring a first class upgrade. Period.

No, a $38 turtleneck from Everlane won’t score you a first class upgrade

How do you score an upgrade then?

Virtually every airline has specific protocols for awarding upgrades. Under normal circumstances, there are a variety of ways to score a first class seat, aside from outright paying cash for it:

  • You can often redeem miles for first class seats
  • If you have elite status, you may be entitled to complimentary space available upgrades, or may be given upgrade instruments you can use to confirm an upgrade
  • You can typically redeem miles for an upgrade, and sometimes there’s a co-pay
  • Airlines sometimes sell first class upgrades for cash, anytime between when you book and when you board

Now, there are some situations where flights might be oversold in economy, and there are empty seats in first class, and there’s no one on the upgrade list. In these situations airlines may need to bump people up to first class, and that’s known as an operational upgrade.

Even in these situations, there’s a very specific procedure for doing so. The policy will vary by airline, but typically operational upgrades are prioritized by elite status and/or the fare class you’re booked in.

Sometimes you may be bumped up to an exit row or extra legroom economy seat if you’re traveling alone and the airline needs to make space to seat a family together, or something.

But nope, believe it or not, the gate agent doesn’t send RuPaul into the gate area to see who is serving the best looks.

There are lots of legitimate ways you can be upgraded

Is there a dress code for first class?

Generally speaking there isn’t, and I think this is where the confusion might come from. Airline employees are typically able to non-rev, which means that they can fly for free (or at a heavily discounted rate) on a space available basis. In some cases employees can even fly in first & business class, but only after all other upgrades have cleared.

Some airlines have dress codes for employees, and sometimes those dress codes are more stringent if you want to fly in a premium cabin. That’s typically the only time there’s going to be a dress code, or where dressing up can make a difference.

There are sometimes dress codes for airline employees

Airline employees used to have more discretion

In fairness to this mythical upgrade advice, I do think back in the day there may have been a bit more truth to this. Like, not that dressing up would necessarily score you an upgrade, but rather that gate agents had more discretion to upgrade people, whether it’s because they were trying to hit on them, they were friends, or whatever.

What has changed?

  • Airlines have done a much better job monetizing first class, and creating ways for people to score upgrades through legitimate means
  • Airline technology has improved considerably, and essentially everything a gate agent does is tracked, and not following policies could get them in trouble

For example, going back over a decade, it wasn’t unheard of for a gate agent to violate policy and upgrade an employee friend ahead of a passenger on the upgrade waitlist. But nowadays that almost never happens, since upgrade lists are typically published, so the person on the upgrade list realizes what’s going on.

Airline employees have policies they have to follow

Bottom line

Dressing up won’t score you a first class upgrade, so dress for comfort when you fly. The good news is that there are plenty of actual ways to score a first class seat nowadays, from redeeming miles to having elite status.

But please, can we stop with the urban legend that dressing up is the key to scoring a first class upgrade?

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  1. Michelle Guest

    Hmmm really don't like this throw travel and leisure under the bus. What are this writer's credentials?

  2. Andy Diamond

    Operational upgrades have become very infrequent. Apart from better selling the premium seats (through miles, upgrade certificates, auctions etc.), the airlines have also reduced the size of the premium cabin in many cases. E.g. the AA A319 only has two rows (8 seats) of First, less than the MDs they replaced. Also internationally, ten years ago, the entire cabin between door 1 and 2 was occupied with F and J, with J going further back....

    Operational upgrades have become very infrequent. Apart from better selling the premium seats (through miles, upgrade certificates, auctions etc.), the airlines have also reduced the size of the premium cabin in many cases. E.g. the AA A319 only has two rows (8 seats) of First, less than the MDs they replaced. Also internationally, ten years ago, the entire cabin between door 1 and 2 was occupied with F and J, with J going further back. Nowadays, often only part of this section is occupied with J (and F is only offered on a few handpicked routes).

  3. Dt Guest

    AA Buenos Aires gate agents will upgrade friends and downgrade elites. Happened to us 2016. Hopefully that’s gone.

  4. Mark Guest

    Too funny since the algorithm doesn't care how I am dressed regardless of what my uncle told me in the 1970's :)

  5. Foo Blah Guest

    Concur with posters that it doesn't hurt to at least not dress like a slob.
    A likely bigger help would just be understanding of the gate agents difficulties, and treat them like a human being. That gets you more in all areas of life.

  6. Experienced Traveller Guest

    From 2006 to 2019, I was an Emirates gold card holder and used to fly Economy from Europe to Asia and back , about 8 times a year . I always looked smart and was frequently upgraded to business class . Dressing down will not help getting an upgrade , so why not dress smartly ?

  7. Bill Guest

    I donned a tight top and switched on the headlights. I was indeed upgraded to business class and got into the lounge.

  8. glenn t Diamond

    Flip side of the coin is that you might get downgraded/denied boarding should you turn up straight off the beach in beachwear, or a protest rally in slogan-laden attire.

  9. Jorge Paez Guest

    Man, this theory has been floating around forever and thanks to Tik Tok will not die.
    How about a post on how calling or saying
    revenue management will get you an upgrade? Til Tok has resurrected that one too!

  10. azamaraal Guest

    Living outside the USA means that there are basically ZERO credit cards that offer status with airlines and zillions of points. My favourite wish list includes the Aspire card that I Aspire to but can never receive without a TPIN

    So it does bother me that everything posted is assuming that everyone has access to the perky cards.

    Before I jump on my soapbox it does raise the question:
    "What percentage of OMAT...

    Living outside the USA means that there are basically ZERO credit cards that offer status with airlines and zillions of points. My favourite wish list includes the Aspire card that I Aspire to but can never receive without a TPIN

    So it does bother me that everything posted is assuming that everyone has access to the perky cards.

    Before I jump on my soapbox it does raise the question:
    "What percentage of OMAT readers live outside the USA? Is it a large enough percentage that postings might be sensitive to the non-USA issues like difficulty in collecting points from cards?"

    1. Jorge Paez Guest

      Uh, this post is about dressing up Azamaraal.
      You want the office on level 13.

    2. Max Guest

      OMAAT is a commercial US-blog. The readers outside the US are not the target group and contribute only insignificantly to revenue. No one cares about them. America First!

      Deal with it!

    3. Andy Guest

      I live in Mexico and I enjoy reading this post every day.
      Its very useful and I learn a lot.
      Of course the market of CC in Mexico its very different than USA.
      I am fan of earning miles and applying different strategies for flying in Business Class & First.
      The best product we have in Mexico its the Banorte Visa United Infinite United CC. You get 3 miles for every dollar and some benefits similar to the Chase CC.

    4. Andy Diamond

      I don't think it non-US readers are a small group and the advertisements are targeted to them (I just saw an ad from a local restaurant). So I guess in terms of advertisements revenue I don't think it matters where the reader lives. Obviously, there may be commissions paid directly for writing about one or the other credit card and they might only be paying for US-readers.

  11. Auspointer Guest

    “But nope, believe it or not, the gate agent doesn’t send RuPaul into the gate area to see who is serving the best looks.”

    Lol! Ben this made my day!

  12. jjmpdx Guest

    Years ago Travel & Leisure was published by American Express and was a fine magazine. But wow it’s just utter crap now.

    1. glenn t Diamond

      Yeah, I unsubscribed from it a year or so ago after getting tired of stories like this and other rubbish. Total waste of time!

  13. efembe Guest

    Some 20 years ago we were flying to Antigua in Business, my husband had a T shirt on with a pair of Jean shorts with frayed hems. On checking in we were Upgraded to First. Definitely nothing to do with dressing, asking or paying.

    1. Jorge Paez Guest

      How hot was your husband?

  14. dander Guest

    My favorite pet peeve about travel and leisure. They must run this idiotic article every 6-8 weeks. Some non or seldom fliers actually believe it.

  15. AT Guest

    I think the converse actually is more true: NOT dressing up is likely to preclude you from getting upgraded. Fortunately or unfortunately, society- and the upgrade Gods- do judge people on how they look.

  16. Boardingareaflukie Guest

    A friend of mine was a purser with Air Canada. He told me one time on a Hong Kong to Vancouver flight, a guy in Economy said it was his honeymoon and asked to be upgraded to Business. The purser responded that he was poorly dressed in shorts and tee-shirt, but as his wife was nicely dressed he would upgrade her. The guy declined that offer.

    1. Jorge Paez Guest

      That "honeymooner" was not a gentleman.....

  17. Sandy Needham Guest

    You say, "sometimes there is a co-pay" on an upgrade. You make it sound like a small admin fee. Please note that sometimes these are major payments of many hundreds of dollars. It varies wildly by airlines, But BEWARE!

    1. Foo Blah Guest

      I think the article is about upgrades at the gate, which is no cost. You are talking about a third path to upgrades, paying for the. Lucky mention the credit card perks method, so now we have three. ;)

  18. Alian Guest

    I don’t know about dressing up but putting on a knee brace and walking with crutches scored a few upgrades many years back

    1. Robert Member

      That actually worked for me a few weeks ago. Paid for the upgrade for the injured one, and the gate agent upgraded the other two of us for free.

  19. David Diamond

    Was on the way to the airport in full white tie. Guess I should go home and change then.

    1. josh Guest

      Please do. White tie is only appropriate for 1st class on flights departing after 6PM. Before that use morning dress. For J, the dress-code is black-tie optional these days, but you'll still get some nasty glances if your flight leaves after 6PM and you're not in a midnight blue tux. During the day, you can probably get away with even a light grey or brown suit as long as you're not on an exceptionally formal route. In that case, yeah stick to black lounge suits.

    2. Max Guest

      Wrong, the correct dress code is a flashy Gucci/Versace tracksuit with gold chains. Amateurs!

  20. JCJ Guest

    Ross Mathews and Michelle Visage called my outfit "crafty" so I didn't get an upgrade.

  21. Max Guest

    @Ben/Lucky

    Please remove this article! People are dressing more and more like hobos when flying, even in Business and First Class! The illusion of an upgrade for the better dressed could counter that trend.

    MAGA - Make Airtransport Great Again!

    People should dress up to show how special the occasion is just like in the past.

    1. E.J Guest

      After spending almost $20k in a year to reach my status and still booking revenue fares in Biz, you can’t tell me what I can wear or what I can’t, nor can you decide what dictates an illusion of grandeur for me or anyone.

      If you have to be so posh about it, just ramp up the price of the tickets and make it available for only the upper class, even then I am...

      After spending almost $20k in a year to reach my status and still booking revenue fares in Biz, you can’t tell me what I can wear or what I can’t, nor can you decide what dictates an illusion of grandeur for me or anyone.

      If you have to be so posh about it, just ramp up the price of the tickets and make it available for only the upper class, even then I am certain a lot of upper class people will wear “hobo” clothes. I mean I do occasionally wear loungewear whenever I do long hauls

    2. Max Guest

      You clearly didn't get the point. I'm not against comfortable clothing, I'm talking about sweaty, stained, dirty, low-class clothing that exposes body parts no one wants to see (at least with the average obese American, with a slim healthy person from other parts of the world it would be different).

    3. Tiredofamericanflipflopers Guest

      Typical arrogant American Karen.
      20k paid by your company is far from impressive… out of your pocket is little bit more but still : it’s not what airlines calls big spender.

      Being dressed in an appropriate way is not being posh it’s being respectful for the other people, staff and place.

      I’m not interested in seeing your toes, legs or other part of your body. I’m not interested neither in seing you...

      Typical arrogant American Karen.
      20k paid by your company is far from impressive… out of your pocket is little bit more but still : it’s not what airlines calls big spender.

      Being dressed in an appropriate way is not being posh it’s being respectful for the other people, staff and place.

      I’m not interested in seeing your toes, legs or other part of your body. I’m not interested neither in seing you dressed like if you were home in your sofa.

      They are people arround : you are not alone and instead of being arrogant and selfish you should be more respectful.

      Hope one day airlines will ban flip flops / shorts and all those clothes exposing body parts. Dress code is a good thing. And NO : it’s not because you pay that you can act like if you were alone. They are private jet for that. But it’s not 20k per year ;)

    4. Jorge Paez Guest

      It's special to ride that Greyhound bus in the sky!!??
      HAHAHAHAHA.....

    5. Max Guest

      @Jorge Paez
      No one cares about the plebs back in greyhound-like 'Basic Economy' sardine cans.

      But please keep these deplorables away from Business & First.

    6. Jorge G Paez Guest

      Riding those overstuffed tin cans in the sky stopped being special years ago.....

    7. Max Guest

      @Jorge Paez
      In the US yes, thanks to peasants like you.
      But try flying a real airline like Qatar, Singapore, Etihad, Cathay, ANA, JAL or Aeroflot and you will see that glamorous premium flying is well alive.

  22. stogieguy7 Diamond

    The T+L article looks like it was written the 80's (before loyalty programs and status were as dominant as now). Back then, you could indeed score an upgrade if FC was relatively empty and you were alone and well dressed. This actually happened to me somewhat later than that (1995) on a US Airways flight between BWI and LGA. I was returning from a job interview in New York and had flown there only for...

    The T+L article looks like it was written the 80's (before loyalty programs and status were as dominant as now). Back then, you could indeed score an upgrade if FC was relatively empty and you were alone and well dressed. This actually happened to me somewhat later than that (1995) on a US Airways flight between BWI and LGA. I was returning from a job interview in New York and had flown there only for a few hours to attend. Naturally, I was wearing my best suit and looked as good as I ever had. The gate agent must have seen that on my itinerary and treated me like royalty, though I never asked. It was quite an experience.

    Today: forget it. Airlines have far more prescribed methods for who gets upgraded to what. You could be wearing sandals, shorts and a wife beater that says "Tucson" on it and you'll still be at the top of the upgrade list if you have top tier status.

    1. Jorge G Paez Guest

      Tucson!!??
      Did I miss the party?

    2. Foo Blah Guest

      Tucson rocks, you douche!
      I'd make a significant wager that you've never been there.
      LOL!

  23. George Romey Guest

    There is no more free upgrade to well dressed people, honeymooners, etc. Between paid first class seats, award miles, and some kind of upgrade instrument an empy first class seat has become as rare as a pre departure beverage in first class on American. Not to mention if there is an open seat airlines like AA will give it to any active service member.

    Just another person trying to get a travel blog off the ground by spreading nonsense.

  24. Bubba Guest

    In Euroland, the CC perks aren't so sweet, and status upgrades are only for the most exclusive tier, and even then aren't common. But I have had base M&M TATL opups with LX, and even got a PE to J opup on my last AF long haul out of CDG (FB Plat), so it happens.
    Does dressing up help? Hey look, what do you mean by "dressing up"? I recently saw a FA invite...

    In Euroland, the CC perks aren't so sweet, and status upgrades are only for the most exclusive tier, and even then aren't common. But I have had base M&M TATL opups with LX, and even got a PE to J opup on my last AF long haul out of CDG (FB Plat), so it happens.
    Does dressing up help? Hey look, what do you mean by "dressing up"? I recently saw a FA invite a KL passenger across the curtain. He was almost certainly FB Plat. Ult. or Hippo or something, but the tailored suit certainly didn't hurt the case. If that dude were in a bloodstained tracksuit, I suspect he'd would have not gotten his falafel box and instant coffee.
    So don't dress like a slob. Remember, it's not not about the opups, but about every interaction you have in transit. Be the customer the airline employees want to have, the foreign national the border control people recognize immediately as no threat... Or play a role that works for you and will give you predictable results.
    Besides, we could use more travelers dressing decently and behaving politely.

    1. John Guest

      @Bubba
      "...we could use more travelers dressing decently and behaving politely."

      Well said, sir. Well said. On my trips, especially long hauls, I make the effort to dress respectably: a dress shirt paired with pressed trousers and a sports jacket/blazer. I don't expect upgrades because I pay or use points for business class. But the number of other perks at airports and on the plane that I get freely offered (without even asking!) is...

      @Bubba
      "...we could use more travelers dressing decently and behaving politely."

      Well said, sir. Well said. On my trips, especially long hauls, I make the effort to dress respectably: a dress shirt paired with pressed trousers and a sports jacket/blazer. I don't expect upgrades because I pay or use points for business class. But the number of other perks at airports and on the plane that I get freely offered (without even asking!) is surprising and nice, and altogether too numerous to list them all. So I'll just give you the three most recent examples: being the only pax diverted from a crowded security queue for economy and business pax over to the near empty first class queue by a roving airline customer service manager. Being discreetly offered the first class menu, while flying business. Being directed to the first class lounge, while trying to access the normal business class lounge. I was not a high 'status' pax on these airlines. The ONLY thing that I could see differentiating myself is that I dressed differently/better.

  25. Reno Joe Guest

    When I travel, I'm usually dressed in my Walmart "rustic" fashion. If someone wants to dress up, fine. If someone wants to dress casually, fine. But, when someone dresses like a slob and needs to bathe, I think it bums out others on the flight -- in particular, if you're the one sitting next to that person. In which case, you hope that you are the one who gets the surprise upgrade.

    1. OPR Member

      Heck, you'd be happy if *they* got it .

  26. Never In Doubt Guest

    “ Personally I think a much better business model would be to post affiliate links to credit cards that can actually score you first & business class seats, but to each their own.”

    Touché!

  27. Iain Guest

    When i started working for airlines 25 years ago to use staff travel you had to wear a shirt and tie, even for economy. There was a much more disorganised way to upgrade people if a flight was oversold in economy in those days, as we checked people in we used to comment people as SFU (suitable for upgrade) if they seemed nice and at flight close out the supervisor would bring the list of...

    When i started working for airlines 25 years ago to use staff travel you had to wear a shirt and tie, even for economy. There was a much more disorganised way to upgrade people if a flight was oversold in economy in those days, as we checked people in we used to comment people as SFU (suitable for upgrade) if they seemed nice and at flight close out the supervisor would bring the list of those people and upgrade them at random. Anyone that used to come up to the counter and ask straight out for an upgrade would be commented NSFU (NOT suitable) just for being entitled. Ah the good old days

  28. pstm91 Diamond

    I swear this is a reblog, right? I know you referenced the 2018 story but didn't you publish this exact blog a few years ago? Apparently no one listened!

  29. Khatl Gold

    It's definitely different on some international airlines (on Delta, American, United, what you wear is irrelevant) where there is still some discretion on who gets upgrades and what you wear may play a part (though it'll never trump status). That said, credit cards are the way to go.

  30. David Guest

    I have definitely received an upgrade *in part* because I was nicely dressed.

  31. Brands Guest

    I have gotten upgraded several times at the gate thanks to my well-behaved younger kids (no sarcasm, they are 9 and 6 and fly very well). After there were no additional upgrades and no military on the flight, the gate attendant asked whose kids were over in an empty area throwing a ball. I sheepishly raised my hand thinking I was about to get chastised, instead she motioned me up and gave me 4 new...

    I have gotten upgraded several times at the gate thanks to my well-behaved younger kids (no sarcasm, they are 9 and 6 and fly very well). After there were no additional upgrades and no military on the flight, the gate attendant asked whose kids were over in an empty area throwing a ball. I sheepishly raised my hand thinking I was about to get chastised, instead she motioned me up and gave me 4 new tickets up front. Oh, and the well-dressed person? He was volunteering himself for an upgrade, but the designer jeans didn't seem to hold any sway.

    1. Jorge G Paez Guest

      That's awesome Brands! My nephews are so well behaved sometimes I think they are pod people. After 25 years I'm still waiting for a faaa paws. Nope! My sister and her husband paid attention and listened to them.....

  32. RGreen Guest

    As a flight attendant, *Thank-you* for writing this, and for being so well-informed. I get asked these questions all of the time. You are correct, that a while back, we had much more discretion and agency. But the company now fully tracks who sits where, and there are extreme penalties for breaking policy.
    While I have sometimes enjoyed the perks of my job, flying business class overseas; all of my most awesome inflight experiences...

    As a flight attendant, *Thank-you* for writing this, and for being so well-informed. I get asked these questions all of the time. You are correct, that a while back, we had much more discretion and agency. But the company now fully tracks who sits where, and there are extreme penalties for breaking policy.
    While I have sometimes enjoyed the perks of my job, flying business class overseas; all of my most awesome inflight experiences (Singapore suites etc,) have come from Credit Card points rewards. That's the way to go.

    1. RGreen Guest

      If you're asking which credit cards I have used, primarily Sapphire Reserve. But if you are asking which company I work for, that I don't post on fully public forums... Honestly, the culture of reprimands for dishing on the airlines has bitten too many employees in the rear. It's a great job, with amazing benefits, but also significant discretion.

  33. RCB Guest

    I have a ton of friends who work for airlines (pilots and flight attendants), and without naming names or airlines, let's just say that it's a complete myth that they don't get put into business and first before status passengers are upgraded. The gate agents definitely look out for their own and get their colleagues in business/first, even if status passengers are on the list. I'd be incredibly mad if I were one of those...

    I have a ton of friends who work for airlines (pilots and flight attendants), and without naming names or airlines, let's just say that it's a complete myth that they don't get put into business and first before status passengers are upgraded. The gate agents definitely look out for their own and get their colleagues in business/first, even if status passengers are on the list. I'd be incredibly mad if I were one of those passengers, but the average passenger doesn't know who is an employee and who isn't, so they aren't going to know they got screwed out of an upgrade, but the employees should probably stop bragging about it so much on social media because they're going to give away the game to everyone.

    1. ECR Guest

      ... but none of that is because of what someone was wearing.

    2. Nick Guest

      People are good at ruining a good thing…so hard to just shut up and enjoy

    3. RZL Guest

      RCB: I dont know who you non-rev for but I do so with a Star Alliance airline and I absolutely guarantee you that we only get bumped to business after every revenue pax had a change to bid for an upgrade or is being upgraded via status. Maybe its different in the US, but here its not at the discretion of the gate agent (at least im not aware of such a case).

    4. RGreen Guest

      Ha. I bet we work for the same carrier.

    5. RGreen Guest

      I guess it would depend on the airline. My airline does not do automatic upgrades for status, space available. So if an employee uses one of their upgrade passes (we are granted a couple per year) and there is space available, we will be upgraded before status who have not used any of their upgrade bookings.
      If there is an operational upgrade, then yes, we might get upgraded, but only if status options are...

      I guess it would depend on the airline. My airline does not do automatic upgrades for status, space available. So if an employee uses one of their upgrade passes (we are granted a couple per year) and there is space available, we will be upgraded before status who have not used any of their upgrade bookings.
      If there is an operational upgrade, then yes, we might get upgraded, but only if status options are exhausted.
      It used to be different. Even 10 years ago, I was often upgraded in the manner
      of 'taking care of our own'... But that changed significantly, and as Ben said, it is now fully monetized. We rarely get upgrades, even when we use our upgrade available passes, because everyone who is entitled to an upgrade goes before us. That even includes when we are traveling on company business and dead-heading (where we are fully entitled to fully business).
      That is mostly industry-wide in North America. I suppose there are some exceptions, and people who skirt the rules and risk the (rather extreme) consequences, but this is very, very rare in the last 7 or 8 years. There are many examples of some US carriers with employees being fired for posting stuff on socials, even in the past few weeks. If I get an upgrade, it's always because I was the proper person in line entitled to it. I will always publicly praise my colleagues for taking good care of me and spoiling me, but my seat is always assigned in order.

    6. DGE Guest

      People who work for tech companies get better deep discounts on services and hardware, people who work in banking get better mortgage rates, heck...even your local barista gets free coffee. Almost every job has perks, and no airline employee should have to feel guilty or apologize for using their perks. Free or reduced travel benefits have always been a part of the industry, from cruise ships, to Amtrak, to the airlines. Someone who didn't actually...

      People who work for tech companies get better deep discounts on services and hardware, people who work in banking get better mortgage rates, heck...even your local barista gets free coffee. Almost every job has perks, and no airline employee should have to feel guilty or apologize for using their perks. Free or reduced travel benefits have always been a part of the industry, from cruise ships, to Amtrak, to the airlines. Someone who didn't actually pay for their FC or BC seat are not more entitled than an employee who worked hard for that seat.

    7. Liz Guest

      The times I've been upgraded to first I've been notified by email a few days before the flight, so I could have worn my PJs or ripped shorts.

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azamaraal Guest

Living outside the USA means that there are basically ZERO credit cards that offer status with airlines and zillions of points. My favourite wish list includes the Aspire card that I Aspire to but can never receive without a TPIN So it does bother me that everything posted is assuming that everyone has access to the perky cards. Before I jump on my soapbox it does raise the question: "What percentage of OMAT readers live outside the USA? Is it a large enough percentage that postings might be sensitive to the non-USA issues like difficulty in collecting points from cards?"

2
Bubba Guest

In Euroland, the CC perks aren't so sweet, and status upgrades are only for the most exclusive tier, and even then aren't common. But I have had base M&M TATL opups with LX, and even got a PE to J opup on my last AF long haul out of CDG (FB Plat), so it happens. Does dressing up help? Hey look, what do you mean by "dressing up"? I recently saw a FA invite a KL passenger across the curtain. He was almost certainly FB Plat. Ult. or Hippo or something, but the tailored suit certainly didn't hurt the case. If that dude were in a bloodstained tracksuit, I suspect he'd would have not gotten his falafel box and instant coffee. So don't dress like a slob. Remember, it's not not about the opups, but about every interaction you have in transit. Be the customer the airline employees want to have, the foreign national the border control people recognize immediately as no threat... Or play a role that works for you and will give you predictable results. Besides, we could use more travelers dressing decently and behaving politely.

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Never In Doubt Guest

“ Personally I think a much better business model would be to post affiliate links to credit cards that can actually score you first & business class seats, but to each their own.” Touché!

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Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
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