Cabin crew secrets: Flight attendant reveals what you should NEVER ask crew

Cabin crew secrets: Flight attendant reveals what you should NEVER ask crew

Cabin crew can often seem like the right people to butter up if you’re after an upgrade on flights. First and business class travel is the dream of many but this can be tricky to achieve if you don’t have the funds. There are a variety of ways travellers can boost their chances of securing an upgrade. However, a former flight attendant has revealed there’s one thing you should never do.

An ex cabin crew worker told Stuff.co.nz that the key is to never ask flight attendants about upgrades.

“You have more chance of a free flight to the moon,” she told the New Zealand website.

However, the former flight attendant advises that checking in late can be a way to improve your odds.

“Economy could be overbooked and the seats already allocated to other passengers – but this may also help your chances of missing the flight altogether if you leave it too late,” the cabin crew member said.

Another former flight attendant explained why it’s not worth attempting to cheat the system and sneak into a superior class.

Elliot Hester revealed in his 2001 book Plane Insanity that he calls these “‘delinquent-flyer’ upgrades.”

“Convinced that the onboard caste system can be easily thwarted, [these passengers] wait for just the right moment,” he wrote.

“Moving quickly and quietly – like high-altitude ninjas – they abandon the crowded coach cabin for an unoccupied seat in first class.

“Sooner or later, of course, we catch them but it often seems like not a week goes by without a delinquent-flier conflict.”

However, Hester stresses that often the crew themselves don’t care where people sit – but their employer does.

“Plebeian-hating snobs notwithstanding, most flight attendants couldn’t care less about who sits where on an airplane,” he said.

“If it were up to us, there would be no first-class compartment or seat assignments. Seats would be occupied on a first-come-first-serve basis.”

Hester continued: “Most airlines do not share this user-friendly version of the skies. Instead, they train flight attendants like police dogs – we’re supposed to sniff out perpetrators and put them back where they belong.”

The reason for this strictness is because “a first class seat is a virtual gold mine for airlines – especially on international routes,” said Hester.

“Those who actually pay for a seat can fork up more than ten times as much as their economy-class brethren.”

In the absence of the funds for this, there is a travel trick for plane upgrades recommended by regular traveller and author Tilly Bagshaw – and it’s all about knowing two words in particular. 

Published at Wed, 05 Jun 2019 09:21:00 +0000