Whether you love the airport or hate the airport, it’s amusing. It’s the only place in our culture where large swaths of people must hand over all their belongings, take most of their clothes off, sit at an area made for ten with hundreds of people and then compete to get the best seat on a tin can hauling through the sky. Because everyone wants and wants and wants, without doing any work, people love to offer upgrade tips that require… very little work or just stupidity. Here are the worst upgrade tips I’ve ever seen…

Dress The Part

This implies that first class passengers have a dress code and that it’s to wear only suits, blouses and things royals would wear. If you’ve ever been in first or business class you know for yourself that this could not be further from the truth. It also assumes a lot about you, including the fact that you think your appearance and suit/dress should successfully undermine the pre determined list of priority to upgrade people who pledge allegiance to an airline. Keep your comfies on, if it’s a flight worth upgrading you’ll want them. 

Don’t Assign A Seat

There is one exception here, and that is for being an elite frequent flyer with the airline, even then it’s nearly self sabotage. If everyone in economy has roughly the same opportunity to score a seat in advance, and some seats are better than others, what do you think the last seat available will likely be? Again, there is a standard process for most upgrades and regardless of whether you have a seat or not, if it’s your turn to sit up front your airline will let you know. If not, because you didn’t choose a decent seat in advance, enjoy the last row middle seat. It often smells pretty funky…

Cash On The Table…

Every once in a while, someone boisterous will claim that this is a guaranteed way to get seated up front. I in fact think that this is a guaranteed way to lose money, and barring any special circumstances, still sit in the back of the plane, with the added glare of disgusted cabin crew. Sure, people like receiving money, but in most instances they do not have the flexibility to (again) uproot an entire process just because you’re feeling lucky. If you don’t mind parting ways with your cash give it a whirl, in as least a scummy way as possible, but I would never advocate this one…

Break Your Leg…

Yeah, this is a tip I’ve actually seen offered. It doesn’t necessarily imply to break your leg, only to wear medical gear and let the airline staff know about your “injury”. If you fake injury to try to get an upgrade ahead of me, I can promise you one thing, I will break your leg for real. There are people with serious medical conditions and if anyone is ever due an upgrade it’s them, don’t be a scumbag. 

Complain Endlessly

Again, in this instance I am more likely to duct tape you and send you to the cargo compartment than you are to score an upgrade. People do experience incredible hardships and unfortunate events when traveling and first class upgrades, at the airline discretion, are reserved for people with real problems. No one cares that the check in agent gave you a funny look before your on time flight. Save your whining when there is a real problem, it just might work. Why? Because the airline knows that your flight was cancelled, they didn’t have a hotel room for you, the security line was miserable and you missed Christmas. Then, and probably only then will you get the golden upgrade…

As far as bad tips and royals go, I did hear of one funny success story where people added titles like Dame, or Lord to their passenger information and managed to somehow be confused with royalty and end up in first. If you follow these tips you’ll almost be sure not to get upgraded, while surely pissing off fellow passengers and enjoying disgust from airport staff. If you follow these tips to improve your economy experience, and these actually decent tips to get upgraded, you may have a better shot. Just hope I’m not on your flight If I see any of the above….

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