One Thing You Should Never Ask Flight Attendants For Because It Could Get Them Fired

It's flight attendants' job to keep passengers safe and comfortable during their flights. However, that doesn't mean there aren't limits to what they can provide. For instance, cabin crew members aren't responsible for stowing your luggage in the overhead bin or heating the food you brought on board. They also can't fix a faulty seat outlet, let you hang out in the galley, or serve free-flowing alcohol.

There's one perk above all that is especially off-limits, and asking for it could get flight attendants in trouble. Despite what you may have heard or seen on social media, airline attendants can't move economy passengers to a higher class for free. "Through the years, I heard stories from people about how they got upgraded to business or first class based on their looks or how they were dressed. This simply never happened at the major airline where I worked," Susan Fogwell, a veteran flight attendant, revealed to Travel + Leisure. "If a flight attendant moved a passenger from one class to another, the flight attendant would not have a job for long."

The former airline worker explained that free upgrades can cost the company thousands of dollars, which is why you'll rarely find a flight attendant handing them out. Jay Robert, a former Emirates senior cabin crew and creator of the Fly Guy's Cabin Crew Lounge network, echoed this, telling MailOnline, "Times have changed, airlines are mostly privately owned and less generous, and profits are their primary goal."

How can you get upgraded?

Free flight upgrades are rare, though not impossible to nab. However, your chances of snagging a better seat — without having to pay up — mostly boil down to luck. In the event that a flight's economy section is oversold, you could be bumped to a vacant seat in business or first class. This is known as an operational upgrade and comes at no charge to you. Another time when an operational upgrade may be in order is if an economy seat is deemed unusable and the only other spots available are in a different class.

A more reliable way to get upgraded is to rack up points and earn an airline's elite status. "Airlines use unsold first or business-class seats as scraps given away like tasty treats to frequent fliers to reward them for their allegiance to the airline or its alliance," Jay Robert shared with MailOnline. "Pick the airline or airline alliance that suits you best, and fly with them the most. Once you gain elite status, you will be the one they pick to upgrade when the time comes for it. You can also use miles earned through airline points and miles to upgrade."

If you're willing to pay for an upgrade, try searching your airline's seat auctions in the days and hours leading up to the flight (you can usually find information about the auctions on the company's website). You could score a luxury seat at a fraction of the original price.