I like to think of myself as a very, very savvy traveller. After all, I’ve been flying on planes constantly since I was one month old. I’ve possibly travelled on planes in the thousands of times . . . but these days, you can’t just be savvy, you have to be crafty.
Look at this article
They got a few things right, but waiting till the last minute to board a flight for a chance in First is a recipe for disaster.
As a general rule, It’s not difficult to wangle a first-class seat. You just have to know a few things in advance . . . first, your shtick is not always going to work. You won’t get it when you most want it, and you will when you’ve already given up.
I’m really, really reticent about telling you peasants how to get First (my loving peasants . . . toil, and I’ll reap!) but in this case I really don’t think you’re going to be on my flight to France next week, so I’ll crack open the Vault just this once.
Hear ye, hear ye:
Ya gotta be a human being. Just like it makes sense to commiserate with a harried waiter to avoid a plateful of spit, you have to identify with the worker behind the counter. Fuck, they came into work today at 6:30 and it’s a bad day . . . don’t mouth off and complain . . . about anything. Because then as sure as snow in Montreal you’re going to your destination and your bags are going to Mexico City . . .
It’s really easy. They’re just me and they’re just you. They want to be treated as such! So just follow a few guidelines and you're there, in the rare air.
1. Don’t be an asshole. Talk to the ticket agent as if he/she is your new friend. Banter. Bantering is good. It helps if your knowledge of her trade comes through. Don’t say “Is the plane full?” Say “What’s the situation on the equipment? Full?” Just right there, although you will not get an acknowledgement, you will be in in her book. “Oh, not just some asshole customer who has me in his sights today,” will be the thinking. Trust me on this: she WANTS to make someone happy, to maybe even freak them out by putting them in business class . . . why? Because she's kind and maybe her day is not going so well, and by imparting this small amount of power to making someone else's day better, she also feels better. The only bad thing (that I always regret) is that when you're sitting in business class because of her few keystrokes you know you'll never see her again to tell her how happy she made your day. . . (or he! They're all such cool people).
2. Don’t look desperate. Be honest and be nice . . . isn’t that the way we should all be? Just get in that tiny extra nod that makes her know you’re both in on the same game. She’s working, you’re flying . . . it’s no extra step for her to switch a couple of seats — it’s just a couple of keystrokes — and there, you are flying First class to Osaka. But bear in mind, it’s not a predator situation . . . if she thinks you’re angling, you’re fucked. But it’s not so hard to be nice, is it?
3. It ain’t going to happen every time, and you’d better not expect it. But it doesn’t hurt to dress well. No, you don’t need a tie or a slinky dress and a fur coat, but look casually elegant, as if you knew you were travelling today and didn’t want to look like a schtroumf . . . which is what 99% of the travelling public looks like. Think about it! Shorts? Fuck. Six bags? Fuck. Baghdad! Fumbling for your passport because you can’t remember where you put it? Fuck. Ya fuckin’ schtroumf . . . you deserve the aisle seat in 36 c . . . you will always be a schtroumf and now is the time to get out of this game.
4. BE NICE. This is what will get you the Seat 99% of the time . . . like I said, their husband just got laid off yesterday, the drive in was hell . . . what are they going to think when you push your toffee-nose into their world and start demanding? You might not get the first class, but at the end of the day you’ll know you made one person’s working life a bit better. And isn’t that every reason to try?
5. Realize you are dealing with real people. They are not machines, constructed by the airline industry for your convenience. They really coudn’t give a shit, nor should they, that your flight is late, you have a connection blah blah blah. They woke up this morning just like you, made breakfast for their kids, drove to the airport . . . as SOON as you bear this simple theory in mind you will be on your way to Business class. Or better. Trust me . . . after 5 or so years of travelling constantly to San Francisco and Japan (and France) from Montreal, I know whereof I speak. 50% of the time being in first class just because I look handsome may not be the real reason, but I like to think so . . .
See you in 1B.