Are you the type of person who likes to dress your best before boarding a flight? If so, then you may end up with a friendlier flying experience—and even a bit more legroom—than your fellow passengers! Here’s why…
Dress for the flight attendants—and enjoy an upgrade
Believe it or not, one of the more offensive things you can do to a flight attendant (besides order a can of Diet Coke, of course) is show up at the ticket counter dressed like a slob.
Writer Sophie Claire-Hoeller with Insider details her recent experience with a flight attendant who complimented her on her boots, a chance encounter that ended up revealing a whole lot about the way in which perks are doled out on flights.
According to her, the airline employee expressed his gratitude for smartly-dressed passengers because “no one does that anymore.”
Now, dressing nicely for your flight won’t just bring forth compliments—it can also help you land an unexpected upgrade. In an interview with the New York Times, longtime United Airlines flight attendant Kate Linder confirms what we all know to be true about dressing sharply.
“I will say that when I see someone come on the plane and they’re dressed nicely and their children are dressed nicely, I do take notice,” Linder says.
Of course, no airline will come out and reveal the wardrobe bias, but there is plenty of strong anecdotal evidence that settles the argument. George Hobica, founder of Airfare Watchdog, remembers when this specific aspect of air travel became clear to him.
After being chosen out of a group of fellow passengers for a first-class upgrade despite not having status on the airline, Hobica realized something—he was the only one at the gate who wasn’t wearing “sandals or gym clothes.”
After recognizing this detail, he asked a Lufthansa gate agent what her thoughts were on his theory.
“She told me she would upgrade people based on how good-looking they are, how pregnant they are, or how nicely they’re dressed,” Hobica says.
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