- Shawn Kathleen, the former flight attendant who runs the popular Instagram account “Passenger Shaming,” told Insider that even the rich and famous don’t get offered free upgrades.
- “I’ve seen a couple of celebrities sit in the back, [if they’re] B-list or something, and they want to save money, but no, there’s no special treatment,” she said.
- She added that you can’t “sweet talk a flight attendant into getting up front.”
- The only exception she’s seen is for military personnel.
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Even the rich and famous don’t get offered free upgrades, according to one former cabin crew member.
Shawn Kathleen, the former flight attendant who runs the popular Instagram account “Passenger Shaming,” told Insider that “there’s no special treatment” for celebrities.
When it comes to A-listers being offered an upgrade, she said: “I haven’t seen it happen, but then I haven’t seen many celebrities book a coach seat.
“I’ve seen a couple of celebrities sit in the back, [if they’re] B-list or something, and they want to save money, but no, there’s no special treatment.”
She added: “It might have been [the case] 10 to 15 years ago that you would get an upgrade for dressing nice, but now, it’s not like you can sweet talk a flight attendant into getting up front.
“If they’re all empty, the only way you can sit up there is by talking to a gate agent and paying the fee or using credit card points. A flight attendant can’t move you up.”
She added that the only exception to this that she’s seen has been when military personnel are involved.
“The only time I’ve seen it is with military personnel coming back from Afghanistan or Iraq, on their last leg, trying to get home, and there were a couple of empty seats up front,” she said, adding that in this case she has seen a flight attendant ask if they wanted to sit up front.
She added: “[If there’s] an active [member of the] military in uniform on the aircraft, and a business guy or gal up front sees a man or woman soldier in uniform walk on and go to the back, they might swap with them.”
If you’re not in the military, the only way you’re getting up front is if the seat you were assigned is “broken or inoperative or something of that nature,” according to Shawn Kathleen.
“They might move you up if it’s a full flight, but it’s pretty rare,” she said. “I can promise you there’s no travel hack or top secret way to get an upgrade other than paying for it like everybody else.”
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