TikTok user and flight attendant @cierra_mistt shared some of the best ways passengers can get a first-class upgrade for free. In a recent video, she explained: « One of the easiest ways to get a free upgrade is literally just being nice to your gate agent and flight attendant. »
The flight attendant revealed, however, that there are some specific ways travellers can make sure they get bumped to first class, such as buying snacks for the crew.
She explained: « The miracles we can work when we are given some Starbucks or a pack of chocolate.
« Especially on those long days when we have back-to-back flights and we don’t even have time to go get some food. »
In fact, bringing sweets, chocolate or even a takeaway coffee to the whole crew is one of the most effective ways to get better treatment on board, and is a practice most former cabin crew members follow to get an upgrade in other airlines.
« Usually, people do it as a thank you but I’ve seen it more with people that have family working as crew too so they appreciate the crew more. »
Helena explained, however, that some people do it just because they want to have a nice gesture with the crew: « Like if someone brings chocolate or something we ask them if they are crew because we automatically think it’s because of that.
« When people do that, the cabin chief would be like ‘make sure you go and ask them if he wants coffee or tea’ because we can give it for free. Obviously not everything from the snack bar though, » she said.
« I had this very young kid once, who came and brought us little gifts from Bath and Body Works – a shop in the US – he bought us mini hand sanitisers… It was the cutest thing ever, » Helena explained.
The crew member said passengers that shouldn’t be afraid to approach the crew and talk to them for a bit.
However, she advised against staying in the galley for too long « unless the conversation is flowing » because she has had passengers that « sit there and talk forever ».
« And after that, just ask away. If you ask nicely and kindly it’s rare that a crew say no, » she said.
« Airlines have their own rules regarding freebies but it doesn’t hurt to ask, you never know. »
On Tiktok, flight attendant @cierra_mistt added that people who are sitting at the back of the plane may have more chances to be moved to first class.
This is because most planes are tail heavy and sometimes the crew have to move the people sitting at the back towards the front, getting a free upgrade.
She explained: « When we move people all the way up to the front it’s not just because we are being nice, but normally if our flight is full we have to move people for weight and balance purposes. »