Well, I mean, you could always score the best plane seats by paying for first class or buying a private jet, but that would be unrealistic.
So what constitutes a good seat? Exit rows, bulkhead seats, window and aisle seats, and seats near the front of the plane may all be considered good. Maybe you want a first class, business class, or economy premium upgrade. Or maybe you just want a break from the screaming baby and the prodigal recliner.
Here’s how you can get the best seats on a budget.
- Use those reward miles to snag an upgrade. If you’re part of a frequent flyer program, stick with it to get those rewards.
- Book early. The earlier you book, the more likely your preferred seat will be open.
- When booking your ticket, check to see if your airline offers seat selection. Some do for free and some do for an additional fee.
- If your flight offers online check-in (which most do), take advantage of the opportunity! Even if you couldn’t choose your seat at booking, you may still be able to select a seat during check-in. Typically, the earlier you check in (max. 24 hours usually), the more choice you have.
- Do your research. SeatGuru.com has seat maps for practically every airliner there is, and with a few simple searches, you can scope out the seats that you really want.
- Strategize. Everybody hates sitting beside other people. If you’re travelling as a pair, take the window and aisle seat so that others are less likely to choose the middle. If you’re travelling alone, take the middle seat and keep your fingers crossed that your strategic position in the middle deters others from sitting beside you.
- Feeling lucky? Wait until the last minute before boarding to ask if you can have an upgrade. Sometimes, there will be upgrades available at a steeply discounted price.
- Be nice. This really works in combination with #2 and #5. You’ll be surprised how much you can bend the rules this way.
This is what I’ve found out so far, and this plan has served me pretty well in getting my ideal seat (aisle seat, within 5 rows from an exit). How do you snag your preferred seat?