How to Get a Free Upgrade on Your Next Flight, According to a Flight Attendant
Wondering how to get a free upgrade on your flight?
As warmer weather approaches, millions of people will be jetting off on vacations. If you're looking to score a free upgrade during your flight, a flight attendant is spilling the secrets on what to say and what not to say to your cabin crew.
Miguel Muñoz told the Daily Express that passengers should avoid being "dramatic" or lying to cabin crew as it is a sure-fire way to not get freebies.
Instead, Muñoz said passengers who are "nice" and "honest" are more likely to get upgrades, as he personally tends to give upgrades and freebies to passengers he likes.
Muñoz shared the trick most passengers use is to ask for something to drink because they are feeling dizzy, but he and other flight attendants know it's just a ploy to get something free.
"Sometimes people come to me asking for an orange juice or a snack because they say they are dizzy or have low blood sugar. We automatically think they are lying just to get something for free. And probably some people lie," he said. "But I always think if you're lying, karma will come back for sure. But if they are not lying and I don't give them anything, it's even worse."
According to Muñoz, crew members can't question a passenger's request when they claim they are feeling sick, so they have "to trust them," but it does leave a sour taste in the flight attendant's mouth.
He noted the key to getting something for free depends on "how you ask."
"Most airlines don't give anything for free, not even water, so when passengers come saying they are very thirsty, they need to take medication or they just ask for a glass of water, I officially have to say no," he explained. "First, I always tell them that we sell bottles of water. I'd normally give it for free but it all depends on how you ask."
Muñoz continued: "For example, if after I say we charge for water they [passengers] get all upset saying things like, 'But the law says you have to give me free water,' or ' It's a human right,' automatically I'm not going to give them any. Now, if you say you don't feel well or you ask very nicely then definitely I will be giving that to you."
When it comes to getting a seat upgrade, Muñoz said "it's about being nice and honest."
"If passengers come to me and say they need more space for some reason, I move them to the overwings [seats by the emergency exit with extra legroom]," he said. "But you have to be careful with what you say! Because if you say you have a bad knee, for example, I have to be careful with these people as passengers sitting by emergency exits are the ones who have to assist the crew in case of an emergency."
Muñoz noted lying could backfire. His advice is "to be honest, don't try to be dramatic. If it's true that you have a bad leg, fair enough, but don't lie about it because probably you don't know it but it won't benefit you."
He provided an example: "The other day a passenger said he had hip pain and he wanted to have extra legroom. Unfortunately, because of that, I couldn't move him to the emergency exit but I moved him to the last row which was completely empty."
"Just be honest. If you don't have any pain, simply say, 'Hey, if you guys had any seats available in the emergency exit row, could you let me know?' and I will," he suggested.
If you're traveling and looking for the best possible place to sit on a plane, check out one pilot's tips about the best seats and times to fly.