A flight attendant has revealed the simple act passengers can do to help increase their chances of scoring freebies – and the one you should avoid.
Cierra, from Utah, US, who is known for her flight hacks and tips, has clocked more than a million views on a TikTok about the do’s and don’ts of attracting a crew member’s attention.
“Ever wonder how passengers get free things like drinks and upgrades?” she began the clip.
Cierra started by saying one of the most common things passengers do that not only frustrates flight attendants, but also reduces their chances of nabbing a freebie, is ignoring them.
“Whenever you’re first getting on the plane and you see a flight attendant standing there and greeting you, the nicest thing you can do is acknowledge that,” she began.
“The amount of times that people actually acknowledge that we’re saying something to them is slim to none.
“So I promise you, you will stand out, but in a great way.”
Cierra said if you’re one to use the toilet the moment you see a flight attendant walking around before the flight takes off, don’t.
“Once everyone is boarded and you see a flight attendant coming by and looking at your seats with a piece of paper, please don’t use this time to get up and go to the [toilet] or do anything in the aisle,” she said.
“The flight attendant with a piece of paper is actually doing a passenger count form and if it doesn’t match what the gate agent has we’ll have to keep doing it over and over again until we get the same number.”
She explained if the flight attendant is doing the form while a passenger is in the bathroom “it’s obviously going to be off” and they have to do it again.
Meanwhile, a US travel influencer, who is known for her hacks and tips, agreed that being nice goes a long way when wanting to upgrade your flight.
She said asking a crew member politely worked twice for her.
“I refuse to pay for an upgraded seat. Like $US19 ($A27) is too much for me to select my seat in advance on American Airlines,” Allie said in a TikTok.
“I would rather be placed in the middle seat at the back.
“I feel so silly to say this as a ‘travel hack’, because really it’s just being a nice person, but this is what you do if you want to be upgraded. It worked for me twice.”
Travel experts at Forbes Advisor also agreed one the best tactics is simply to ask airlines if there is a chance for an upgrade.
“This is especially worth trying if you’ve been inconvenienced in any way by the airline; have been delayed, lost your baggage or missed a connection,” they said.
“Politely mention that an upgrade would be appreciated, if possible, and stress your loyalty to the airline.
“Alternatively, if your flight is for a special occasion, why not try your luck by mentioning it? “Many airline staff will help to upgrade you if they can to make occasions such as honeymoons, anniversaries and birthdays more special.”
According to the experts, being a helpful and flexible customer often leads to rewards.
“It’s not uncommon for some airlines to overbook flights leading to them needing to ‘bump’ passengers to another flight,” they said.
“If the airline is looking for volunteers to take a later flight, take the opportunity as it could lead to a free upgrade for your troubles.”