Flight attendant reveals 3 hacks to get upgraded to first class for free

According to one flight attendant on TikTok, there are ways to get a free first class upgrade on some flights.

Getting an upgrade to first class is every flyer’s fantasy. From the back of the plane, you can always peep the luxury class being served elaborate cocktails and decadent meals, and enjoying all the extra legroom. 

Most of us can only afford to fly economy, which pretty much guarantees you’ll have the least pleasant experience available. Flight attendant Cierra Mistt dropped some insider info on how to get upgraded. 

“One way to get a free upgrade is literally just being nice to your gate agent and flight attendant,” Mistt said. “The miracles we can work when we’re given some Starbucks and a bag of chocolates.”

Flight attendants often have back-to-back flights where they can’t take any breaks. A thoughtful treat can go a long way. Another option to get upgraded is to select a seat in the back of an empty flight and hope for the best. 

“Normally, if our flight isn’t full we’ll have to move people for weight and balance purposes,” Mistt advised. “That being said, normally all aircraft are tail-heavy. So if we have to move people up to the front, where do you think we’re gonna take them from? The back.” 


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While she said this third method is not guaranteed because all airlines are different, based on her experience it’s been known to work. Mistt recommended taking advantage of recent airline chaos due to increased demand and staff shortages

“The majority of airlines are booking every single flight that they have,” she explained. “If everyone does show up, including the extra passengers that were oversold their tickets, the airlines have no choice but to financially compensate.” 

The flight attendant claimed airlines will normally start with $500 vouchers, but she advises asking for cash. 

“But depending on the flight and how desperate they are, they will go up to $3,000, $4,000, $5,000,” Mistt said. 

You can also ask for other incentives like drinks, dinner, breakfast and even a hotel if you have to stay overnight to catch your new flight. Here is when you would ask for first-class seating. According to Mistt, none of these hacks are guaranteed but they certainly can’t hurt the next time you’re flying.

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