I’m kinda stressing right now.
I have an international flight coming up that is part of an insane day of travel, on an airline I don’t normally fly.
And I’ve been reading some icky reviews about the airline and it’s seating, which is never fun.
So, I am going to take Johnny Jet’s advice and see if I can find my way into the best coach seat on the plane.
I already use Seat Guru on every flight I take, but I am going to try the other 5 options too.
Try them yourself and then tell me about it in the comments section below. Or if you have any cool tips that aren’t on this list please do leave a comment!
Six Ways To Get The Best Coach Seat On An Airplane
(Photo: Thinkstock/Digital Vision)
Ooh, the dreaded middle seat. You aren’t the only one who hates getting stuck between two strangers. When checking in for a flight the other day, I used some tricks to get the best possible coach seat. And since I’ve never divulged these tricks in a single post before, here they are: six strategies that will help you get a mini upgrade, too. Just don’t use them on the same flight as I do.
(Photo: Thinkstock/Creatas Images)
If you book a ticket at the last-minute (like I usually do), chances are that the golden seats will be gone. But don’t fret, because the good seats will open up—I can almost guarantee it. The trick is to keep checking your reservation and the flight’s seat chart every hour or so. The best seats are usually being reserved by frequent flyers, and they will either be upgraded to business class or at least one of them will cancel at the last minute.
If you don’t have time to keep checking your reservation, create a seat alert with ExpertFlyer.com. They don’t charge for a single seat alert, but if you want more at once, you can buy additional alerts for only $0.99 each, or sign up for a Basic or Premium account (starting at $4.99 per month).
Most airlines will allow you to upgrade your coach seat. Just make sure you’re getting something worthwhile, like more legroom, for your money. Some airlines (ahem, American) will charge you extra just for putting you toward the front of the cabin, with no extra perks included. Don’t be fooled.
One of the best ways to get a great coach seat for free is to be super friendly to the gate agents—I usually bring them a box of chocolates—and kindly request a plush coach seat if they upgrade any frequent flyers to first class. The vacated seats in coach are usually in the exit row or bulkhead.
Acquiring elite status is by far the easiest way to secure the best coach seat. That’s because most airlines only allow their frequent flyers to sit in the most highly sought-after rows. Attaining elite status isn’t that difficult for business travelers. Typically you need to fly 25,000 actual air miles in a calendar year on one particular airline or its partners; to maximize your chances for elite status, don’t throw out your boarding passes until the miles have posted.
To find out which seats are the best on a particular aircraft, go to SeatGuru (a sister site of SmarterTravel) or SeatExpert. Both highlight the best seats on every plane and list exactly how much legroom and pitch each one has. They also tell you if there are power ports or personal TVs with each seat. Keep in mind that airlines can change aircraft types at the last minute, so there are no guarantees.
This article, Six Ways to Get the Best Coach Seat on an Airplane, originally appeared atJohnnyJet.com.