Sometimes you don’t want to spend a lot of money to go somewhere, and you’re willing to ‘rough it’ in economy to get there with more money in your pocket. If this is you, you’ll love this week’s newsletter. We’re covering all the best hacks to get the best seat possible without paying for premium economy.
Let’s start by reviewing the benefits and drawbacks of the seats by position.
Here are some additional pointers:
Bulkhead seats are the ones immediately behind a wall – they typically have the tray table built into the armrest instead of the seat (which doesn’t exist) in front. Some travelers prefer them because there is no one in front that can lean their seat back and intrude upon your space. Depending on how tall you are, the wall could infringe upon your legroom, but more often than not, you end up with more legroom than a traditional economy seat. The drawback is that there is usually no space to store a personal bag like a backpack.
Exit row seats typically have the most legroom in economy because of the required passageway to the door. These seats tend to be the coldest on the plane, and they typically cost extra. People really like the legroom.
Seats just in front of the exit row do not recline, so these are typically the worst seats to choose on the plane, except perhaps the very last row of the plane, which also does not recline.
Now, let’s get to the seat hacking!
Here’s the scenario: you have an economy ticket, but it’s a long flight or you’re already really tired. If you can get three seats together, you can stretch out and lie down for a good snooze after takeoff.
It’s a luxury in economy. So how does this hack work?
This hack only works when the plane is not full, and when you are seated near the back of the plane. It’s worth it if you really need a little rest.
The last middle seat between two unknown travelers is going to be the last seat booked on the plane. Only in the case of a full flight will a stranger be placed between you and your companion.
Here’s something I didn’t know or even think about. When the airline tells you to check in for your flight 24 hours prior, wait!
Instead of checking in right away, do this instead:
The closer to the departure is when seats will start to open up. I followed this process for a flight I’m taking in a few months. Because it was too far out, I couldn’t determine which plane I’d be flying. So, you really do have to do this closer to your departure date.
Pro tip: if you don’t have time to keep checking your reservation, you can pay for a month’s worth of seat alerts for $5 at ExpertFlyer.com.
If you plan to work on the plane, choose an aisle seat that allows your dominant hand room to work. Specifically:
This will allow your arm to jet out into the aisle as you work, rather than poking into your neighbor’s space.
Pro tip: choose an aisle seat in the middle of the plane so that your seatmates have two points of exiting the row, ensuring you don’t always have to get out of the way when someone needs to move about.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.