One of the most commonly spouted myths about checking in for your flight is that if you dress up fancy enough then you could score a business or first class upgrade.
Though we’re not here to argue with the logic that if there is one spare seat available, looking good is likely to increase your chances over your competion, we are here to argue the premise is passé.
Enter: frequent flyer Immanuel Debeer (@flighthacks). Immanuel yesterday took to Instagram to call bullshit on the idea you need to dress up to get an upgrade.
Immanuel reposted an Instagram story by @notatravelbloggr, which had tagged Immanuel, and the pair got all ‘laughing eye emoji’ at an article entitled: “What To Wear To Increase Your Chances Of A First Class Upgrade.”
Immanuel added his own text overlay, writing, “Oh great here we go again! ‘Wearing nice clothes gets you an upgrade.’ What a bunch of garbage.”
When spare business and first class seats become available, these days, flyers are usually offered the chance to upgrade when checking in online (usually at a moderate price) rather than for free at the check in desk. So your best way of getting an upgrade is to build up your points and status.
TripSavvy writes: “Each airline has its own hierarchy when it comes to upgrades, but most follow the same general outline. Naturally, paying customers come first—if you want to snag a discounted premium cabin seat, you can ask the agent at the check-in desk if there are any upgrades available.”
“Sometimes you’ll get lucky, and if the cabin has open seats, you might be offered an upgrade for a few hundred bucks. But no, even if you’re dressed to the nines, you won’t get a free upgrade at the desk. If you want to angle for a free upgrade, there’s only one cardinal rule: acquire elite loyalty status with airlines by flying often.”
“Airlines will typically only offer free upgrades to passengers who are on the official upgrade list, and—you guessed it—you need to have status to be added to that list. So when it comes time to board your plane, the gate agent starts at the top and runs down the list until there are no more seats available.”
On previous occassions, Immanuel has explained why he thinks there is no need any more to dress up for first class anyway.
Immanuel, who is the founder of Flight Hacks, reckons that for those who grace the pointy end of the plane regularly, it would be ridiculous to judge someone on their pants.
Firing back at a rude Instagram commenter in August who said, “He should at least dress the part. I hate slobs on planes,” Debeer recently wrote: “Ha! Good thing we don’t have people like you up front.”
“How to tell if someone never flies business/first: they will tell you what to wear or how to dress,” Immanuel said.
Immanuel is not the only one to slam Pointy End Posturing lately. Founder of Holiday Swap (and frequent first class flyer) James Asquith recently wrote “there’s really no need to flex (especially when 80%+ of it is likely fake on social media).”
There you have it. Spend money on points not pants, if you really want an upgrade.