When it comes to first class upgrades, a lot of focus is placed on convincing ticket counter agents to upgrade your flight status. Yes, this is your best chance of an upgrade, but it is never too late to get your seat moved. There are some ways that you can score a first class upgrade after you already boarded the airplane. How?
Complain about your seat. When taking this approach, it is best that you have a legitimate complaint. Is your seat cushion ripped, does the armrest not work, is the fold down lap tray broken? If so, voice your concerns to a flight attendant. Right away, ask if there are any seats available in first class. If there are, he or she will likely direct you there and free of charge.
As for why you should ask for an upgrade right away, most flight attendants will not immediately suggest first class. Their first thought is to find you another available seat in coach. After all, that is what you paid for. They only exception is if you take the stance of an angry customer, but this is too risky with security nowadays. Instead of finding yourself in first class, you may end up in jail. So, don’t wait if you have a complaint about your seat. Mention your unhappy status and immediately ask if seats are available in first class.
Once again, this is best if you have a legitimate complaint. A flight attendant can easily tell if you are lying. You are stuck with these attendants on the plane. Most will give you good service regardless, but some may remember you lied and tried to use them. This may result in less than stellar service.
Complain about a problem with a nearby passenger. When doing this, make sure your complaint is a valid one. In addition, pull the flight attendant aside. You do not want the passenger in question to hear you complaining about them. If your upgrade to first class doesn’t go as planned, you are now stuck next to that unhappy passenger for entire flight.
When it comes to complaining about another passenger, your best option is to point out a screaming or crying child. Flight attendants sympathize with passengers put in the next seat, as they have been there before. This complaint increases your chances of making it into first class. Other valid complaints involve an overweight passenger who doesn’t give you enough room, a nearby passenger wearing strong perfume or cologne, or a passenger using bad language.
Once again, you should automatically make the suggestion to move to first class. After voicing your discord, immediately ask the flight attendant if there is a seat available in first class. If you are flying on a large plane, most flight attendants will try to move you to another coach section. Plant the idea in their head first.
Whether you are unhappy with your seat, a nearby passenger, or if you have another valid concern, they key is to be polite. In most cases, passengers never consider scoring an upgrade to first class. Instead, they take their anger out on the flight attendant. Acknowledge you know the flight attendant is not in control of the situation. Be polite and never blame them for the problem. Never raise your voice or use foul language. This will get you nowhere, except possibly pulled off the flight in handcuffs.
In short, the best way to get upgraded to first class is to buy a discounted upgrade coupon or wow the airline attendants at the ticket counter. Take these steps if you must fly in first class, not if you just consider it a luxury. Still, if you have a legitimate concern or complaint when on board the plane, don’t be afraid to speak up. As long as you are calm and polite, doing so may land you a free first-class upgrade.