It’s the holy grail of air travel – how to get upgraded to business class, or the “first class” that US airlines often refer to when they really mean “business class”. It’s certainly not an easy manoeuvre to pull off, surrounded as you are by rat-like passengers trying to jockey their undeserving way into those self-same seats. Most of us (you) are doomed to languish in the torments of economy for the duration of our adult flying lives, but luckily Shandy Pockets has some insider tips to maximise your chances of a brighter existence.
‘THIS CHARMING MAN'
Always be at your most charismatic and seductive at the check-in desk. The staff there are famously among the most jaded and lonely people in society, and respond to almost any show of human affection. After several instances of taking the exact same flight at the exact same time for a number of months, you should be able to strike up a rapport, and finally ask them out to dinner. Work this angle deftly and within years you could be married to them and enjoying free flight benefits including that all-elusive upgrade.
‘THE CASH MONEY'
Arrive early. Go the ticket desk and pay for an upgrade. Hand over money and hey presto – the upgrade is yours!
‘THE PROFESSIONAL COURTESY’
Abandon your career and spend a number of years retraining, applying for jobs and carving out a career in a sector of the travel industry. Professional travel journalists, for instance, enjoy complimentary upgrades on a regular basis – almost one flight in fifty sees them lording it over the hoi polloi on busy short-haul flights.
‘THE WORKING STIFF’
It’s a little known fact that if cabin crew experience an on-flight passenger death, they will often move the still-warm corpse up to a less-crowded cabin so as to traumatise as few flyers as possible. Wait until the most inconvenient moment before faking a fatal cardiac arrest, then simply hang tight as your body is hastily removed from that claustrophobic middle seat in the back to an isolated window seat up front. Don’t expect meal service or on-demand movies but you can still surreptitiously luxuriate in that extra leg room (stretch out slowly, now!). Granted, it’s going to be an awkward exit once you land, but just brazen it out.
‘THE GORGEOUS GEORGE’
Legally change your name to George Clooney. Dependant on your physical appearance, demeanour, accent and height, a number of expensive prosthetic procedures and vocal coaching classes are probably also necessary. When you’re confident you could pass for the international film star in the biggest of pinches, check in at a busy time, when staff are stretched to the limit. This way, you only have to be convincing for a couple of minutes as the star-struck but harassed airline employees process your ticket and obviously hike you up to a cabin more appropriate to your Hollywood good looks and A-list status.
‘THE MARLON BRANDO’
Economy seats are only so wide. Gorging yourself for years on end with neither shame nor reluctance will eventually render your girth simply too much for economy to handle. Buy your cheap ticket and watch the airline be literally forced to plonk you up front (aviation ballast pending). We alternatively refer to this one as the “Too Big to Fail”.