Flight attendant shares secrets on how to get cheap flights and upgrade to first class

Want to know how to increase your chances of getting an upgrade or why airline staff use so much sunscreen? It’s not because they always visit exotic places.

A flight attendant – turned social media influencer – has shared tips with her 3 million followers on when and where to try your luck at a seat upgrade.

American Airlines employee Cierra Mistt has become a social media sensation by giving advice through her TikTok account. His latest video features advice on the best days to fly to increase the chances of being upgraded, and the best time to book the cheapest fares.

What is the cheapest time to book a holiday?

Booking midweek is his advice.

“That’s when the flights are the cheapest,” she says.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are when airlines tend to update their flight inventory. Fares are often lower on these days, as they don’t attract the same surge price as weekend cruise flights.

She even suggests that you can lower the price of your online booking, by using a VPN to change your device’s location and time zone.

“I strongly suggest you use a VPN so they don’t know what country you’re searching from because normally if you’re searching in the US they’ll jack up those prices.”

Where you sit can increase your chances of being upgraded

In his experience, there is another way to increase your chances of getting an upgraded rate. She advises passengers to reserve seats in the back row of the plane.

Book at the back of the plane is Mistt's best advice.  Photo/Tiktok;  Cierra Mistt
Book at the back of the plane is Mistt’s best advice. Photo/Tiktok; Cierra Mistt

Flying on quieter, rear-of-the-cabin services can increase your chances of being bumped into first class, for free.

“Another thing the airlines don’t want you to know is that on the majority of flights we have to move people for weight and balance issues,” she said.

This means moving passengers from the rear of the plane to the forward cabin classes to redistribute weight.

“I strongly suggest sitting in the back row because if we have to move people for weight and balance reasons, that’s where the flight attendant will go.”

If there’s a spare seat on the pointed end, you’ll be the first to know.

Welcome aboard! Why is the cabin crew so intense?

In addition to tips on saving on fares, she also answers viewers’ questions about airplane trivia and what it takes to operate a $100 million passenger plane.

His most surprising response included an ulterior motive as to why cabin crew greet passengers on board their planes.

See You in the Skies: Attendant Cierra Mistt has amassed 3 million followers with her flight tips.  Photo/TikTok;  Cierra Mistt
See You in the Skies: Attendant Cierra Mistt has amassed 3 million followers with her flight tips. Photo/TikTok; Cierra Mistt

While having your tickets checked with a cheery “hello,” Cierra says there’s another reason for the passenger greeting ritual.

“While you might think we’re just saying hello or being friendly, what we’re really doing is judging you unconditionally – just not in the way you might think,” he said. she explains.

“While greeting you is one way of providing customer service, we look you up and down to determine if you would make a good ‘ABP’.”

ABP or ‘Able Passenger’ is an airline acronym for anyone who might be able to help, in the event of a problem.

“Some good examples of ABP could be nurses, military, police, basically passengers who might be able to help us flight attendants in an in-flight emergency.”

Another airline secret with an added shock factor is that flight attendants always wear high SPF sunscreen.

“We always wear sunscreen when we work. We do that because we fly in a metal tube at about 35,000 feet every day and it’s very close to the O-zone layer,” she explains.

“We are so exposed to radiation that health insurance will label us the same as an astronaut or a radiologist.”

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