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I personally have never been super aggressive about getting airline elite status. I currently have only one elite status, which I got through a status challenge that took me one flight for under $100.

The “secret” to getting a first class upgrade

I’ve seen this before but an article titled “Flight attendants say you should wear *this* type of outfit to get a first class upgrade” popped up in my news feed. It came from so I probably should have known better than to click, but of course I did.

The article has gems and “advice” like

“Sometimes, getting an upgrade isn’t about those frequent flier miles or knowing the right people. Sometimes, it’s about something as simple as what’s in your closet”


“It’s far better to look “smart but understated… You should look like you travel often … It helps; someone who is potentially due to get an upgrade can be knocked back if they aren’t dressed suitably”

ACTUALLY…. this is the dumbest advice I’ve ever heard

I don’t pretend to be the world’s biggest expert on first class upgrades, but it’s my understanding that the clothes that you are wearing have pretty much exactly ZERO influence on whether or not you get an upgrade. It’s my understanding that flight attendants pretty much have no discretion on upgrades, and even gate agents don’t have a ton of influence, since so many first class seats are either sold outright or awarded automatically based on status. The only scenarios I can think of where this might be an option would be in cases of irregular operations or if it’s a VERY empty flight.

But then, you’re talking to the guy who wears shorts and a T-shirt in first class, so what do I know?

(SEE ALSO: Should you dress up when flying first class?)

(SEE ALSO: Help! I’m “stuck” in Emirates First class on ONLY a 777!!!)

a man and woman sitting in an airplane

What do you think? Does dressing nicely get you any first class upgrades?

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