Flight attendant reveals how she's trained to handle passengers who want to sit in an empty first-class seat

@destanieaaa/TikTok TunedIn by Westend61/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘That’s what I thought’: Flight attendant reveals how she’s trained to handle passengers who want to sit in an empty first-class seat

‘no babe you can’t make that decision’


Melody Heald


A flight attendant reveals the lengths passengers go to sneak into first class and how she deals with them.

The video featured TikTok user Destanie (@destanieaaa), who posts content about her job as a flight attendant. This time, she responded to a question about passengers sneaking into first class. “No, we don’t allow that. If someone wants to switch cabins or get an upgrade, that’s to be dealt with by the gate agent,” she explained to her 45,000 followers.

In addition, flight attendants could get in trouble for giving out upgrades. Why? Because the airline considered it “stealing” since the passenger didn’t pay for the ticket. Typically, the first class is always full, but if there’s an empty seat, the airline would upgrade passengers to passengers “with a credit card or status with the airline.”

However, this didn’t stop passengers from attempting to get into first class for free. When this happens, Destanie usually laughs it off and the passenger pretends it was a joke. But there have been men who flirted with the content creator to score a first-class seat. “Just a few months ago, this guy walked on the flight and was like, ‘You’re so pretty. Like, this is the most beautiful cabin crew I’ve ever seen,’” she recalled.

Initially, Destanie was flattered. As soon as the man inquired about first class, she rejected the compliment. Another tactic passengers pulled was “moving to the exit rows.” One time, a man argued with Destanie about moving to the exit seat. Overall, she tries to always be nice until passengers become difficult.

In an interview with The Daily Dot, Destanie declined to disclose the name of the airline. However, she shared how she has worked for a main U.S. carrier for a year. Over the course of a year, this has only happened twice.

“We have tablets where we see every seat that should be assigned and if someone is sitting in a seat that isn’t theirs we need to make sure they go back to their original seat,” she said via email.

Furthermore, it doesn’t matter how nice a passenger is, it won’t convince a flight attendant to give them a first-class seat because they don’t have that authority. The only way to get into first class for free is if the flight attendant isn’t following the rules, Destanie said.

“Passengers have brought our crew Starbucks gift cards asking if there are any seat upgrades, when in reality the most the crew can do is thank you for your kindness, give you extra snacks and maybe a drink on the house depending on the airline’s policy. The rare situations you hear about flight attendants moving passengers to first class is when they are not following the rules,” she stated. “If you want any kind of upgrade it must be handled with the gate agent prior to the flight. Highly suggest getting a credit card with an airline you frequent with because you can use those points to get great upgrades.”


The video has accumulated over 9,000 views since Nov. 10. In the comments, viewers shared how they were able to sit in first class without paying.

“I got moved to first class when I was flying with my newborn and was having a hard time! The flight attendant was amazing for that,” one viewer wrote.

“The only time I got moved from coach to Premium.Econ was flying JFK-ATH and my IFE wouldn’t come up. The FA said they only had 1 aisle seat left,” a second shared.

In addition, others revealed the comments that resonated with them.

“Sorry but the part where he said ‘yes I’m willing & able to assist in an emergency’ sent me Lmfao ..no babe you can’t make that decision,” one user commented.

“Or when they ‘offer’ to sit in the exit row like they’re doing us a favor,” a second user echoed.

“Shockingly- I have had MEN joke about switching seats when I am in first class. Excuse me? What? Would you ask John or Peter to switch seats? No?” a third user remarked.

The Daily Dot