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Flight attendant shares ultimate hack to get 'freebies' onboard - 'pretty straightforward'

Daily Express logo Daily Express 07/03/2022 Andrea Blazquez
travel tips © Getty travel tips

Flight attendant and Confessions of a Trolley Dolly founder Dan Air said that although it is difficult to get an upgrade, there are a couple of things travellers can do to boost their chances.

Dan said: "Well if you're after a free upgrade, good luck with that.

"These days it's pretty difficult for your crew to upgrade you.

"And obviously if you're flying with a low-cost airline, there's not much we can upgrade you either," he explained.

"However, we can make your time on board with us that little bit more comfortable, serve you first, maybe throw in a few freebies, move you to extra leg-room."

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The flight attendant revealed how: "To get this it's pretty straightforward, simply treat us with a little bit of respect and courtesy.

"Smile when we smile, acknowledge us, ask us how our day is going and remember that we are people too.

"People whose lives have been turned upside down by this pandemic.

"We've lost friends and colleagues from our aviation family due to redundancies and even the virus itself. It's been tough, so show some compassion too," he explained.

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Being nice to the crew can indeed boost passengers' chances to get an upgrade or at least, better treatment onboard.

But does tipping a flight attendant work?

Tripadvisor user Kyliebaby3 asked: "Has anyone ever tried tipping a flight agent at check-in to get an upgrade to a different class of service?

"I feel like I've read this in a travel mag before under the 'what do you have to lose?' guide, but I'm wondering if anyone has ever been successful doing this, particularly now that flights are often full or oversold.

"If you have done this, how much did you offer the agent and what was the outcome?"

User A_Traveller replied to this saying: "Save your money - that won't work.

"The only way to ensure you get an upgrade is to pay the going rate.

"Nowadays, upgrades to the next higher class of service (assuming there are seats available) are given out to those flyers who have elite Frequent Flyer status. There are usually more requests for upgrades than there are seats available.

"On those rare occasions when there are empty seats in First or Business Class the airlines rarely give them out - they would rather let them stay vacant than give them out to 'just anybody'."

However, travel expert and head of The Points Guy UK, Nicky Kelvin, said "there are several things you can do to increase your chances of scoring an upgrade".

He said: "Having status with the airline, or the alliance they are part of, is the biggest factor that increases the chances of an upgrade.

"Being loyal to an airline or an alliance can really pay off."

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