Getting Better Airplane Seats

Oct 30, 12 Getting Better Airplane Seats

Being comfortable when traveling on an airplane seems impossible most of the time, with carriers reducing the space per traveler and adding more seats whenever they can get away with it. Buying First Class tickets is not an option for most flyers due to the excessive costs involved, but this does not mean that there aren’t a few things you can do to get better seats. Read on for some ideas on how to snag the coveted locations on any airplane with little or no extra cost.

Never wait until the day of departure to book your airline seats. Book your ticket online and do not log out until you have chosen your seats. It is much better for you to see the seating chart yourself, rather than allow a reservation agent to tell you what is available over the phone. Seeing the layout will let you to notice undesirable features such as proximity to restrooms. Choose aisle or window seats for the most comfort, rather than middle seats where you will be trapped between other travelers.

If you travel often, or even if you don’t, make sure you join the airline’s frequent traveler program. When the most desirable seats are available at the gate, it is often those who are in the loyalty programs who get offered upgraded seats. These can be in First Class sometimes, which can be offered free or for nominal fees. If you do have frequent flyer points accumulated, check into the possibility of trading them in for a guaranteed upgrade ahead of time.

Arrive at the departure gate as early as you can and check in with the gate agent. Even if it is not required that you do so, this will give you the chance to ask about open seats and the possibilities for upgrading. You can ask to be put on a list for those waiting for exit row seats, which have more leg room, and for other desirable seats that are held until the last minute. These seats are often offered for a fee, or to frequent travelers with advanced levels, but if they remain empty before departure, you could end up snagging one. You must ask though, so don’t be shy.

Inquire about the availability of bulkhead or exit row seating, but also be aware that there are some drawbacks to these seats. Many of them do not have the capacity to store you carry-on bags at your feet, so it will be more difficult to access things you may need during the flight. Your bag will be stowed in the overhead compartments. Some of these seats also do not recline, and the arm rests do not have the ability to be lifted.

Flying late at night on what are called red-eye flights could give you a better chance to get more desirable seats. These flights are typically less crowded, thereby leaving more open seats to choose from. Ask the gate agent to assign you seats that do not have other passengers on the same row, increasing the chance that you could have room to stretch out and sleep. Most of these flights depart slightly before or after midnight, so you will appreciate the chance to sleep.

These are just a few of the things you can do to end up with better seats at little or no cost. Try some of them out, and enjoy the flight.

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