This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

TPG reader Christopher tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy–“What is proper etiquette when I get a first class upgrade because I’m Delta Diamond, and  my client is back in row 27?”

Unfortunately, this question has no clear “right” answer. This used to happen to me all the time. I remember once back when I worked at Morgan Stanley, I flew on a shuttle from New York to Boston to attend an information session there, and one of the senior managing directors walked by me toward coach as I was settling into my first class seat!

If you get an upgrade, don't feel bad! Your boss will be fine in economy... Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
If you get an upgrade, don’t feel bad! Your boss will be fine in economy. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Since the company policy was not to pay for first class, he must have correctly assumed I got an upgrade. Frankly, I hustled for it by getting the Delta Reserve card on my own personal credit to gain elite status, so I didn’t feel the least bit bad. You could give your seat up as a gesture of goodwill if you feel like that’s appropriate, but there are plenty of ways your client could increase his or her odds of getting a first class upgrade, so I don’t think you should feel like you have an obligation.

One thing I’ve learned in life (and not just with flying) is to go with your gut. I personally don’t think anyone should feel bad about maximizing their miles and getting first class upgrades, so it’s not bad etiquette to stay in your seat. Just say hello as they walk by you, and maybe offer them some tips later about how to get upgrades and maximize their mileage earnings. Or, you know, just tell them to read The Points Guy!

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.