A cabin crew member, speaking anonymously to Vice, revealed that a surefire way to get an upgrade was bringing a coffee shop gift card. They said: ‘Make sure you have something to give your flight attendants. We’re bargainers.
‘If there’re seats open in business class, and it’s not going to affect me negatively, or there are first class seats open and I can still eat my first class meal if I put you up there, I’ll put you up there.
‘There are some attendants who get off on the power trip of saying no. But if you’ve got bargaining chips, usually in the form of candy or Starbucks gift cards, you’re pretty much set.’
It’s all in the timing, though. Go don’t flashing it as soon as you get to the gate.
The anonymous flight attendant says that there’s no point in trying to bargain to get an upgrade until the plane doors are shut.
They said: ‘Wait until you’re on the plane because gate agents don’t care… [wait until] you’re on and that door is closed.’
One subtle flash of a loaded coffee shop gift card later, and you should be on your way to first class. This is a tip that’s definitely worth trying.