New Viral Video Teaches You How To Get A Flight Upgrade Using One Weird Trick is a furniture price comparison shopping website, and they promote a number of life hacks to save money – like how to get a free upgrade on a flight. And this particular tip is… a little weird?

In a video posted recently, they suggest that if you have a short layover, ask for an upgrade like this,

Passenger: Hey, I have a really short layover of only 20 minutes. Is there any way I can sit towards the front of the plane so I can make my flight?

Airline agent: Ok, I just checked and we can actually move you up to first class.

Passenger: Are you serious, was it really that easy?

Airline agent: Well we had the space and you asked really nicely so it’s honestly no big deal.

I have to give them credit for not suggesting you,

This is not how first class upgrades work. This is not how any of this works.

There are United planes in the background of the video. United 1K members have a hard enough time getting upgrades. Upgrades for Premier Silvers are virtual unicorns. How often are there simply empty seats in first class to begin with? And then no nonrev travelers listed for one? And what are the odds of a gate agent simply handing one out for free?

Also, 20 minutes is not a legal connection at any United Airlines hub. Telling a gate agent you have a 20 minute connection is more likely to get you mocked for transparently lying than it is to get you a first class upgrade.

If you really want to look like an idiot asking for an upgrade try these five secret tricks or just dress up in a mimosa costume because “Alcoholic beverages are complimentary in first class, so if you dress up as a cocktail, you can sit down without anyone realizing you’re actually a human who belongs in coach.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I mean, it worked on the Amazing Race, albeit with upgrade right before landing by the FA.

  2. Buy a saver ticket
    Dress nicely be polite whisper revenue management while blowing in their ears
    and hold no elite status
    bring some stale cookies to bribe them
    Tell them by moving you to the front you are helping the plane with weight and balance checks
    while freeing up space for families to sit together
    Works every time
    DWonder Influencer

  3. My guess is that is not a real person but a sexy AI ifluencer creation of an algorithm out of the SV. I.e. Milla Sofia, Zoey Platinum, Andrea Patreon, et al.

    My upgrades tend to come from my high status on legacy carrier, and are on flights at odd hours to undesirable airports. As decided by an SV-created algorithm dictated to the embarkation staffer.

    My upgrades come regardless of my admittedly “Old Money” (as the cool kids say these days) attire and conversation skills.

    I never dressed as a cocktail. Most business class passengers are attired and adorned looking like celebrating Halloween 365 days a year. I wonder what would happen if I did…..

  4. LOL

    – First thing the Airline agent would do would be to check the passengers connection… so using that as an excuse might only work if you actually have a tight connection…
    – Good luck with any open first seat these days… On 95% of my flights, not a single person gets upgraded… all booked

    Videos like this are made for one thing.. and one thing only… clicks/views… The actual factual information they contain is super low… if any

  5. I got an extra legroom seat once by asking for a seat further forward due to a tight connection. Not first class but it helped.

  6. A FC upgrade might happen if the plane is dead empty ala March 2020 but now? Good luck with that.

    It’s worth asking to get to the front economy rows before landing especially if your plane is delayed. That’s worth asking, but unless it’s empty that’s also unlikely.

  7. On Delta: To get an upgrade you’d have to be on a flight with available 1st C seats and if for some reason you were…there would have to be no 360s, Diamonds, Plats, Gold, Silvers, Reserve Card holders, etc. etc. etc. on the flight.

    And even if that flight existed somewhere on the planet..I STILL think this wouldn’t work!

  8. TravelWarr is absolutely correct. It ain’t happ’nin on Delta. A non-rev employee would have a better chance of an upgrade before that crap trick would work! However, the “dumb masses” might try!

  9. I learn something almost every day. Never heard a “connection” called a “layover.”

  10. Not going to lie, I was a former airline employee and my wife still is, so we fly a lot as non revs. As a non-rev, we closely monitor the upgrade lists as well as the priority lists to ensure we are appropriately seated. That being said, I have seen some weird upgrades that would make some Elite Triple Diamond Platinum high paying folks cringe in anger if they knew how easy it is to bump someone up the list.

    A few I have seen and participated in;

    Moving a “medically restricted” coach passenger into row 1 on regional jets often occurs. They can actually bump paying FC customers into coach for this.

    Some gate agents with authority can make a pax a VIP (not to be confused with the rank of VIP) at the gate, immediately granting them the highest spot on the upgrade list. This happens with movie stars, honeymooners, veterans, people on bereavement, and sometimes senior executives of the air carrier, this happens all the time.

    Some airlines do not double upgrade! As a non-rev, I had the pleasure of flying an A321T from LAX – BOS in seat 2A. This is a crazy 100 seat 3 cabin A-321 that exclusively fly’s coast to coast flights . The plane was oversold in coach and I was sure I would never make it on because non-revs are the bottom of the barrel. Boy was I wrong, I even pre-boarded for 2A as they were sorting out the oversells without assigned seats. This airline does not double upgrade meaning that coach folks upgraded to business until it was full but no one in business upgraded to FC. Regardless of status, the system does not allow anyone to upgrade from coach to FC (jumping over business) so the remaining folks on the upgrade list sat in coach and some of the non-status people were left behind.

    As a paying passenger, I have gotten complimentary upgrades on a few occasions by bribing the gate agents. Money is a stupid idea and they will scoff at you and immediately cry foul. Food and Starbucks have been the best forms of payment for me. Following a cold intro, ask if there are seats available up front. Ask if there are a lot of people on the upgrade list. If the moons are aligned, tell them you are interested in getting a better seat but you need to eat/drink first. This is where you say, “I am going to go get some Starbucks, would you like one? -or- depending on the person, is there anything good to eat around here, what do you like? Would you like me to bring you some back? Not 100% but if they reply with a yes, you have an extremely good chance of upgrading to a better cabin but likely a better seat anyway. YMMV

  11. FA: “Oh, I looked up your itinerary and saw that you actually had a 2 hour layover. I guess the airline changed your flight without your knowledge or approval, so I rebooked you on the earliest connection possible. You’re layover is now 21 minutes. But I’m sure you can run and make it — just be at the gate 15 minutes prior to departure or they’ll close the door.

    Oh, and by the way, there are no available seats closer to the front.”

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