Stories pop up all the time about gate agents making up their own rules or selectively enforcing others. This story takes the cake though: apparently a man’s upgrade cleared at the gate for his IAD-BDL flight on United (Express), but when he walked up to get his new boarding pass, the gate agent denied the upgrade because of his attire, stating that he was dressed to casually to fly in First Class!
While I would never wear such casual attire on a plane, I see casually dressed flyers all the time. In fact, it is the norm, not the exception.
Check out the video using the link below. I think the guy is overreacting in decrying how he was "violated" by the gate agent, but in some ways his reaction is understandable and you can’t blame him for milking his 24-hours of fame.
United needs to get serious with the United Express gate agents at IAD–they are the worst in the system. Not only do most of them need a refresher course on rules and guidelines; they also need basic instruction on etiquette and proper customer service.
This incident should never have occurred.