What are some ways to improve your chances of getting good airline seats?


Quick Answer

Some ways to get better airplane seats in economy class include booking early, checking Seat Guru to view seat ratings, checking in exactly 24 hours before the flight to see if better seats become available, or simply asking agents at the airport. Other strategies include not selecting a specific seat if only middle seats are available in economy class and booking the aisle and window seat when traveling with one other person.

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Full Answer

On airlines that allow advance seat selection, travelers who book early have the first chance at the best seats. Travelers can consult Seat Guru, a site that compiles user feedback, to learn which seats are best on every jet.

If good seats are not available in advance, Brian Kelly of The Points Guy recommends checking in online exactly 24 hours before the flight, when additional seats are often released. Kelly also notes that gate agents may be able to offer better seats to passengers who simply ask nicely to be moved.

If only a few middle seats in economy are available at the time of booking, both George Hobica of Airfare Watchdog and Erica Ho of Map Happy recommend not reserving a seat at all. If all the economy seats fill up, this often results in a free upgrade to better seats.

The Boarding Area recommends that couples traveling together reserve an aisle and window seat in a row. The middle seat is undesirable, so there's a good chance of it remaining open during the flight.

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