How To Secure The Best Seat Possible On A Plane, According To Travel Pro Samantha Brown

If you booked yourself a standard economy ticket for your next flight, you might want to try out travel expert Samantha Brown's tip for getting the best possible seat on the plane and avoid being one of the unlucky travelers who gets bumped off the flight: check in online the moment it becomes available. On her website, Samantha Brown's Places to Love, she states: "Most airlines open up check-in 24 hours before the flight. I recommend setting an alarm and checking ASAP to not only get the best seat possible but also to guarantee your spot."


There are a lot of reasons to want a specific seat for your flight. Maybe you need to get work done on the plane and need a spot where you won't be disturbed. Maybe you want to be able to open up the shade and see mountains and oceans below (though some would argue the window seat isn't as great as you think.) Maybe you just want to make sure that you get to sit with your friends and family. Unfortunately, the days of seat selections without fees are mostly gone, but if you're willing to take a chance, you might just be able to snag your ideal seat during check-in without paying anything extra.

It can keep you from getting bumped

In addition to helping you get the seat that you want, Samantha Brown mention that her strategy of checking in 24 hours in advance can prevent one of the biggest frustrations in flying: getting bumped from your flight. On her website, Brown stated that, unbelievably, a lot of airlines intentionally sell more tickets than there are seats on a flight, writing: "I can't believe this is legal. But if you don't check in until you arrive at the airport, you run the risk of not having a seat ... Essentially what will happen is the gate agent has to call customer service and rebook you on the next available flight. Even if it's only a few hours later, that can really mess with your travel plans."


As Brown explains, when a flight is overbooked, airlines have to make decisions about who gets to be on the plane and who doesn't. Since everyone in your section paid for the same tickets, being first on the list of check-ins is a great way to make sure you're not the one who ends up having to wait for the next flight.

Choosing the right economy ticket for your trip

Samantha Brown has excellent tips and tricks for travelers, from space-saving hacks to avoid the hassle of checking your luggage to protecting yourself against pickpockets on your vacation, and her advice to check in immediately is no exception — as long as you booked the right ticket. Today, many major airlines offer tickets at a discounted price with no seat selection available at all. That might save you money, but if you want to take advantage of Brown's tip for how to get the seat you want, you may want to consider bumping yourself up to a standard economy ticket.


On United Airlines, which is known for having some of the most extreme basic fares that don't allow for any free seat selection, the savings can be significant. For example: You could save around $200 on a flight from New York City to London by purchasing a Basic Economy ticket instead of Economy. However, paying in advance for a seat will cost $15 at minimum each way (and preferred seating will cost $36), which seriously cuts into those savings.