You Can Get A Whole Airplane Row To Yourself With This Seating Trick

When it comes to flying, personal space is a commodity that costs a pretty penny. If you're flying in the coach section, you're probably all too familiar with the sensation of being wedged between two total strangers as you navigate how much of the armrest is fair game for each of you. Fortunately, there's TikTok to the rescue. A few clever travelers have figured out how to get more room on a flight without paying for a first-class ticket. Put simply, these hacks are a game-changer.


A travel content creator named Chelsea Dickenson, who goes by the handle @cheapholidayexpert, shared a hack to get a full row to yourself when traveling as a pair. Dickenson has tried the strategy about 10 times and, so far, it has about a 60% success rate, she said in an interview with Fox News. She's also gotten positive feedback from her followers who have tried the method, citing a full flight as the main reason it doesn't always go to plan. But, hey, it's better than leaving it up to chance.

How the hack works for couples

Let's say you're booking a well-deserved vacation to Hawaii. When you purchase your airline tickets, make sure to book the fare that allows you to select your own seats, typically one above the rock-bottom fare. From there, choose the aisle seat and the window seat, leaving the middle seat empty. That's it! It's really that simple. Dickenson suggests that the reason it works is that strangers are far less likely to book a seat between two strangers and select another row instead. With such a high success rate, she may be onto something.


In the video, she explains that she's had more luck with this trick by booking seats in the back of the plane. Dickenson also opts to book Row 13, which she believes people think is unlucky. If it doesn't work and someone happens to book the middle seat, she has a solution for that, too. You can always ask the other passenger if they want the middle or aisle seat, freeing up you and your travel buddy to sit next to each other. While not all airlines let you try this hack (some only offer seats together), it's well worth poking around for carriers that do. After all, it's 100% free.

You could also try the 'poor man's first class'

Even if you're not traveling as a couple, you're still in luck. There's another solution for solo travelers. A TikTok creator named @ndainternet calls it "poor man's first class." Here's how it works: You book a ticket at whatever fare category you want, even the cheapest option available. Next, you book out the rest of the row, this time choosing fully refundable tickets. On the day of your flight — he recommends about 45 minutes before you depart — you cancel the other two tickets to get the whole row all to yourself.


If you're concerned about your travel karma, you may want to be careful with this one. While there's no doubt that it's a sharp idea, it does cause the airline to lose revenue, and it may inconvenience other travelers trying to get onboard your same flight. Plus, this trick is only available to passengers who can afford a brief upfront cost for three tickets. In the end, it still may not work out, as users in the comments were quick to point out that many airlines have a standby list. Still, he says this strategy works about 90% of the time. Whatever you decide, you have to give this creator points for creativity.