The Playbook For The Modern Man

Why Economy Passengers Don’t Deserve Business Class Upgrades

Whinging about your Pointy End experience? Your expectations might be the problem; not the cabin.

Every traveller dreams of flirting their way to a business class upgrade. But that’s not how it works anymore. These days, when cattle-class is overbooked and there’s a spare lie-flat seat, it will be offered to loyal economy flyers when they check-in online.

So far so reasonable.

The problem is, even though the old system of check-in attendants upgrading passengers based on their social sensibility (and dress sense) was ‘classist’its removal has left us with a worse problem: economy passengers travelling in business who don’t deserve to be there.


Now, don’t get me wrong: I love barefoot beer-swilling, I (occasionally) pick my nose and – once – I even asked a fellow passenger to take a ‘basic bro’ photo as I posed in my Qantas pajamas.

In other words: I am not here to condemn degenerate behaviour. In fact, as we reported earlier this year, Pointy End passengers are just as (if not more) guilty of this than anyone.

However, as the following Tripadvisor flight reviews reveal, not everyone who gets upgraded in this new era of “loyalty rewarding” deserves it. Worse: these business class newbies are putting an avalanche of misinformation online.

Why? Well, coming from economy, many upgraded passengers see business class as a Whole New World. What they don’t realise, however, is that although The Pointy End is an adult playpen of ergonomic delight, it’s still subject to flight delays, excess baggage charges, crying children, disruptive passengers and even (in rare cases) salmonella.

Barring food poisoning – none of that is the airlines’ fault. But of course, reading the reviews, that is not the impression one gets.

In fact – from Qatar to Qantas to Etihad to British AirwaysTripadvisor is full of unwarranted one-star reviews – making it increasingly hard for paying customers to weigh up their options.

From the above review, which bemoans a missed connection (which reflects badly on the airline but not, as the customer suggests, the QSuite), to rants further down the page, nue age business class passengers appear to have expectations beyond what any cabin – premium or not – can provide.


Not only that; some copy and paste the same negative review across multiple websites (from Tripadvisor to Trustpilot), proliferating Fake News to even more frustrating levels. Our favourite? The man who believes he was “mis-sold” his upgrade.

Part 1.

Part 2.

“Shame on you Qatar – more lost passengers. Enjoy the CHF 400 you conned out of me – it will be the last time,” the review finished.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, this wasn’t the last time someone wrote a dodgy business class review. In fact, the angst just keeps pouring in, with (presumably) The Recently Upgraded holding airlines accountable for everything from other passengers…

… to their codeshare partners.

The conclusion? Although we don’t need to go back to selecting passengers for business class upgrades based on their clothes, we do need a society-wide rethink of our premium cabin expectations.

Read Next

  • Arshad Karim

    Both the title of the article and the contents thereof are pretty much garbage.

  • Ben

    This article is embarrassing. The level of snobbery is ridiculous.

    A handful of people posted reviews that the author doesn’t like, so time to deny the right to get an upgrade to anyone who isn’t a rich snob or a blogger flying for free on his company’s dime.

  • ak123

    Dear author,

    Did you graduate from Yale or Harvard?
    What neighborhood of the Hamptons did you grow up in?
    Are you one of those bloggers who makes $1,000,000 a year or only $750,000?

    Sad thing is people who have nothing to be confident about resort to bragging about their savvy in business class.

    How churlish.

  • Nicolas Crocco

    what a cunt…

  • R MCM

    Wow..what a pretentious pile of shit. Good job displaying how much of an entitled asshat you are.

  • Daniel Tavares

    This article is completely ridiculous to the point it makes me want to ask you for the time I spent reading it back.

  • queenfrostine

    Judging by this post, you’re far more obnoxious of a person than the people you’re complaining about. As if the none of the people who you deem more worthy of business upgrades are prone to whining online.

  • James Spencer

    This. I literally created an account to echo the sentiment and upvote your comment.

  • James Spencer

    This article and its title are terrible. Please do better.

  • Dan

    This must be one of AI-written articles I’ve been hearing about. There is no way this was written by a human. No reasonable person can look back upon their work and think “yea I’m happy with that”.

  • brodie7838

    I can’t quite tell if this is tongue-in-cheek, trolling, or a truly self-unaware asshat of an author.

  • Mike

    To the author: when 100% of the comments condemn your article, it’s time for reflection. I’ve flown business class would never presume to look down on others as you have. I treat business class as just that: a treat. And I take pictures and enjoy the experience. I hope you were on one of those flights so I rub your snobby sensibility in the wrong way.

  • Mechanically Separated Chicken

    Will NEVER click on a D’MARGE article again. Having the wealth to afford a business class ticket doesn’t mean you have any class. Take this author, for example…Chips O’Toole?

  • Mechanically Separated Chicken

    There was no intelligence involved, artificial or otherwise.

  • Mechanically Separated Chicken

    Seriously, just went to my Google newsfeed and selected “hide stories from D’MARGE”.

  • Felice Graziano

    Do you thought you’d complain about paying customers being misled and mistreated by airlines.

    *Slow clap*

  • ak123

    It’s click bait.

  • Harald Bindeus

    Well, the examples of bad reviews are spot on.. Q-suite is not available on all planes, missing tight connections that should not be sold creates problems with lost vacation time and not getting lounge access after upgrading to business class is also a black spot.. legitimate concerns and should be mentioned

  • Arun Ravindran

    Agree. The article is garbage and the author comes off as an entitled snob!

  • Ereandrill

    What an absolutely horrible article.

  • Sareshchandra

    Such a ridiculous article….

  • Jakob Stagg

    I stopped traveling by air about 35 years ago. Two things prompted that. One was travelers being treated like cattle. Two was the attitude that customers did not deserve anything, particularly what they pay for.

  • poldavo

    With all due respect, remove this article. The level of snobbery and privilege is embarrassing.

  • Peter Bettinerelli

    100% self-unaware asshattery.

  • Glennfriend67

    This has to be the most ridiculous article Ive ever read! What’s next, are you going to harangue handicapped passengers for getting a free upgrade to business or premium class? Quite frankly, sir, you’re an elitist snob. I frequently get free upgrades to the premium class because I’m in a wheelchair and I need the room. I always dress decent when I’m flying somewhere because that’s how I was brought up. So someone has a bad experience in business and suddenly you decide they’re undeserving? Get off your high horse and come down to earth, you spoiled brat! Who are you to determine who flies which class? BTW, I’ve been able to afford to fly First Class a few times. Am I underserving? You’re an ass!

  • Peter Bettinerelli

    I’d edit out the “pretty much” part 🙂

  • Rosh

    Before reading this article I was worried that I couldn’t fly business class bcos I picked my nose. My fellow nose pickers and I just let out a sigh of relief reading this article. I still worry that behaving like a (O’)toole means I can’t fly business

  • Tasanee Yayee

    Regarding the complaint rendered by the doha to erb upgrade person, kindly note that biz class lounge access at Doha Arpt is given only to passengers who hold a bizclass boarding-pass for the next leg … In other words “lounge access is not based on the class of your last leg” … I guess all lounges anywhere in the world follow this rule. If the last-leg part were to be honored, every honoree ending up at a final-destination airport, could have a chance, even if for just 5 or 10 minutes, to avail free lounge facilities before exiting.

  • Peace and quiet..

    WTAF is this piece of crap..

  • Nishanth KL

    This guy for real? Wtf is this bullshit

  • NA NA

    This writer is not relatable in any way. When you click on his name, you’ll see other pieces he’s written. I can’t fathom the reasoning behind the decision making to commission him to write for D’Marge. At the end of the day, let’s keep in mind that this is just one person’s narcissistic and non-existential opinion.

    None of the reviews he shared has anything to do with upgrades, they’re complaints related to poor customer service. Sadly, based on this article, he lacks the intelligence for such distinction. He has failed to conduct proper research and to write an article to support an irrelevant and purely non-existent claim. Just as himself, I’ve seen business class passengers who have behaved poorly and /or act like they’re demi-gods because they were financially capable to buy business class tickets in advance.

  • don

    What the fuck is the article about. Nonsense

  • Vermin_Cain


  • Sarah Carter

    I think if you were trying to highlight that stuff happens on flights regardless of how close to the pointy end you sit there was a way to do it that didn’t make you sounds like the most horrendous snob on the planet.

  • rteichman

    Business class across airlines are not created equal. Similarly, the cost is not equal either. If you pay a premium for a premium airline version of business class its right to expect better. For example I recently booked a trip from the US to Sydney. I had several options, Q-suite was preferred but it involved an extra layover and thousands of dollars more. Imagine my displeasure if I chose that option and then got bad service!

  • Leon

    Hey author, I fly Suite class on SQ occasionally, I think you don’t deserve the pointy end for being a whinger.

  • Sorcerer

    At this point I expect that the writer is just writing asshole articles to get more (ad) views. I’ve blocked this site on Google Newsfeed and Disqus so that it won’t bother me anymore, and I suggest you do the same.

    If the author is really serious about this, I think he should seek professional therapeutic help. You’ve got some issues dude, and I feel sorry for you and hope you can find peace some way. Namaste.

  • Sorcerer

    Just feeling the need to brag and judge and put other people down is sad. Though I mainly feel sad for the author. And I’m pretty sure he would’ve written much worse reviews if some/most of this stuff were to happen to him.

  • Sorcerer

    I think you’re right. Reason enough to unsubscribe (and write some comments and try to get other people to unsubscribe this website from their newsfeeds etc)

  • Sorcerer

    I think he’s intentionally writing clickbait. So I removed this website from all the feeds/stuff I’m following, suggest you do the same and not reward this website with ad views, which they make their money off of.

  • Sorcerer

    So you hitch a ride on a (cruise) ship if you need to travel between say the US and Europe? I can’t be away from work for that long usually 😉

  • Eddie Osnard

    Total bullshit. I stopped reading half way, because the negative reviews brought in as examples are fair and have a right to be.

  • Eddie Osnard

    Exactly, this Tool built his whole idea and article on fair and legitimate reviews that have nothing to do with wrong expectations.

  • James

    It’s a club sandwich!


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