Airlines: What Not To Do
If you're on a cheap ticket and don't have high-level elite status, your chances of getting an upgrade are close to zilch. Airlines dole out upgrades based on complicated algorithms that combine your elite level and how much you paid for your ticket. These days, just about every flight leaves with more people who are eligible for upgrades than available first-class seats. If you don't have the status, you won't get up front.
And you can be wary of that industry chestnut about dressing nicely and asking politely, at least when it comes to airlines. Neither dress nor graciousness impresses the computers that dole out the upgrades.