How to Get the Best Possible Seat on a Flight for Free

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If you’re able to get a seat near the front of the plane or in an exit row, you’ll likely have more room and be able to get off the plane fasterSimilarly, aisle seats give you access to move around more freely, and window seats are great for sleeping or if you like the view. Of course, the middle seat is the worstHere’s how you can get the best seat possible on your next flight.

Some “window” seats don’t have windows

There’s more to seat selection than window, middle, or aisle. Some window seats don’t actually have windows, some seats have more legroom, and some seats don’t recline. Before you even think about choosing a seat, do some research. SeatGuru and aero LOPA are two websites that offer insight into those Keep in mind that neither are perfect—aeroLOPA doesn’t have as many airlines or airplanes as SeatGuru, but SeatGuru hasn’t been updated with new aircraft types and seating configurations. Still, they’re worth a look.

Joining the loyalty program is worth it

If you’re flying with a specific airline regularly, it’s worth signing up for their loyalty program to (sometimes) give you access to better seats, either through an upgrade or by allowing you to choose your seat in advance.on’t assume that seats will cost extra, because sometimes they won’t cost anything, and other times the cost may be so negligible that it’s worth it.

Fly during off-peak hours

This one depends on your schedule, but if you have some flexibility, aim to fly during less busy times.This usually means flying midweek rather than on the weekends, and avoiding holidays.The flights will be less crowded and you’ll be more likely to get a good seat.

Fly an airline with open seating

Some airlines have open seating, which means that you can choose any seat when you get on the plane. Then you’ll just want to make sure to board as early as possibleSouthwest famously offers open seating on flights in the US

Check in earlier than everyone else, and ask nicely

When you check in online, you’ll usually have the opportunity to choose your seat. The earlier you check in, the more likely it is that you’ll have more options available. If you wait until the last minute, all the best seats will likely be gone. And if you’re really hoping for a specific seat (like an aisle or window), it’s worth checking in even earlier.

That said, keep in mind that some airlines (typically low-cost carriers) will automatically assign a seat at the back of the plane when you check in, and then the only option is to pay extra for a better seat. flying a low-cost carrier that does this, it could be worth gambling on checking in at the last minute because you might get a better seat.

And if you’re having trouble getting a good seat, sometimes it helps just to ask nicelyGo to the gate desk and ask if there’s an emergency or bulkhead seat availableWorst case scenario, they say no and you stay in your current seat, but often they’ll just give you a better seat without yours having to pay anything extra.

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