Flight attendants reveal what to wear to get an upgrade

A group of flight attendants have revealed what passengers should wear to warrant a last-minute upgrade from that dreaded economy seat.

It’s a dream all too many flyers have – arriving at the boarding gate only to find that they’ve been bumped up to business or first class – and now there are a few basic steps you can follow to boost your odds of it happening.

While the idea of getting overdressed for a long or even short flight may be a little outdated, flight attendants speaking to UK fashion blog Who What Wear explained that dressing smartly can make a world of difference.

"For an upgrade, it's all about looking the part," one steward explained.

One flight attendant said upgrading your outfit to something smart casual 'definitely helps your chances' of getting into a more expensive seat on the plane. Source: Getty

"Smart but understated. You should look like you travel often. But don't be dripping in designer clothing."

For men, a smart casual look including a blazer, chinos or trousers and a loose-fitting shirt will give them their best chance.

Another flight attendant explained that women should avoid jeans or dirty trainers.

"When we fly, we have a strict dress code to follow. No jeans or trainers—so I always go for tight black trousers and a blazer or a dress,” the flight attendant explained.

"It definitely helps your chances."

A smart casual look, but not too much designer clothing helps, according to the industry insiders. Source: Getty

Women are also encouraged to avoid wearing leggings and tracksuit bottoms when boarding, but there’s nothing stopping them swapping into something more comfortable once on-board.

Other factors that can help with an upgrade include being part of the airline’s frequent flyer program and travelling alone.

Earlier this year, a frequent flyer who has never paid money for an upgrade revealed the two words she uses to score a better seat by using her mileage points.

British novelist Tilly Bagshawe said to ensure an airline releases unsold upper class seats for upgraders she utters the words "revenue management".

"Say to the agent: 'Have revenue management released any first-class seats for miles upgrades yet?’" Ms Bagshawe told Bloomberg.

"When they say no, ask them to check or just be put through to revenue management so you can ask when they will release some, as well as how many seats are left."

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