An avid jet-setter, Drew shares his tips on how to secure the best seat on a plane, ensuring a spare seat beside you.
I am a fairly large guy and while I do not infringe on the person seated beside me when travelling by plane, I do find flying very uncomfortable and using my computer is impossible without a spare seat beside me.
How to ‘beat the system’
24-hours before any flight, you will receive an email reminder from the airline allowing you to check-in online. I wait an additional 30 minutes for passengers to start booking seats before checking myself in on the system.
During this process you are asked to select a seat. Predictably, the front half of the plane is taken up by the early bookers and the back half will have a minimal number of scattered bookings. Depending on the length of the flight, I will select either an aisle seat (short flight duration) or window seat (long flight duration) located in the back three rows of the plane. Let’s assume for this example that I want to book an aisle seat.
This is the stage where my trick comes into play. Scroll to the very back of the plane and find a row (preferably the very back row) which already has a passenger booked in the window seat with the middle seat free. Book yourself the aisle seat in that row leaving only the middle seat free. The final step is to cross your fingers when boarding.
While sometimes it is simply unavoidable (sold out flights) that you will end up with a passenger in the middle, my system has held up in eight of my last nine flights, including a flight with a total of three unsold seats last week!
An additional bonus to booking up the back of the plane is that if you are unlucky enough to be involved in a plane crash, there is a significantly higher chance of survival being seated at the back of the plane.
Do you have a system when booking flights?