Look the part
When it comes to upgrades, the way you dress can lead to success. Paddock says that many of the decision-makers at airlines today took to the skies decades ago, when airline travel was something people got decked out for.
If coach is overbooked but there are empty seats in first class, some passengers may receive an upgrade. It's only natural the crew would turn to someone who looks like they belong there.
"No crew member is going to want to upgrade you if you're dressed in your pajamas or yoga wear," she says. "It can make other people resentful" if they paid big bucks to travel in first class or business class.
That doesn't require women to hike down the ramp in spike heels or guys to don a Windsor knot. Just dress nicely and neatly, as opposed to the "super casual or sloppy" manner common today, Paddock says.