Travel can be the worst. Anyone who has to roll out of bed to make a 5am redeye flight only to find themselves wedged into a middle seat as the person in front of you fully reclines their seat knows this.
You can’t blame anyone who’s looking for an upgrade. But some “hacks” are shadier than others and one such shortcut to a roomier flight has a lot of TikTok viewers raising their eyebrows. “Is it even worth it?” some are asking.
We’ll let you be the judge.
The hack originates from the TikTok account for The Upgrade (@theupgrade_), a travel news site that describes itself as “a world-leading indie travel news source, providing the most up-to-date and relevant news for travelers across the globe, since 2017.”
Their TikTok account provides a number of travel tips, but their most viral post had viewers split before it got deleted. The now-removed video, posted a week ago, has already received a staggering 6.7 million views as of Monday.
In it, a woman is seen on a plane while the popular sound clip of Kim Kardashian saying “Because it’s iconic and I love to do iconic sh**!” plays. The woman holds a hand to her face in mock chagrin as the screen text reads, “When I buy 3 refundable seats and cancel 2 at the last minute.”
In a statement to the Daily Dot, site founder Kashlee Kucheran said the reason they removed the video was that it was “satire and joke.”
“The video was born when our social media manager Ivanna just by chance had an entire row to herself, and made it into a fun parody for TikTok,” she said in an email. “Ivanna’s comment, ‘Everyone dreams about having a row all to themselves and I was lucky enough to realize that dream on my last flight. The video was a cheeky spin on my experience that day.'”
“We have removed the video in good faith to ensure people don’t take a social media parody seriously,” they wrote. However, it seems viewers still had divided opinions before the video was ultimately removed.
@theupgrade_ Oppppppps 🤪🙈✈️ #funtravel #travellife #travelcontent #travelcontentcreator #traveltips #traveladdict #traveloffpath ♬ original sound – kardashianicon
The perhaps appropriately handled user QueenKaren (@queenkar3n) wrote, “That’s not iconic. There are people who need seats to see loved ones and your selfishness prevent [sic] them from doing that.”
Many other viewers pointed out that the hack is unlikely to work with so many people waiting on standby in the airport.
“As a family that flies standby regularly—my kids and I will be thrilled to have those seats!” spamthekeyboard (@spamthekeyboard) wrote.
“As a flight attendant who flies standby, I hope I’m on all your flights!!!” an airline employee added.
“Doesn’t work if there’s a standby list,” another viewer chipped in.
However, some people wrote that the hack might be worth a shot, given the odds. User vnrides (@vnrides) wrote, “If there is no cancellation fee then this a great lifehack.”
Another viewer commented, “Wait that’s actually the smartest thing ever.”