Seat selection strategies to get an empty seat next to you?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by trobb49, Sep 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. trobb49

    trobb49 Silver Member

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    Does anyone have a special way to trick the system (or the passengers) so that the seat next to you remains empty? Of course, if the plane is chock-a-block full, there will eventually be a body in every seat so no strategy will do any good. But what about those flights that don't fill up completely?

    For example, would selecting a middle seat in a set of three discourage people (or the system) from assigning the window or aisle seat?

    Would selecting an aisle seat in the last row in the cabin, particularly in the middle section of a wide-body, yield a higher probability that the center seat(s) will remain empty? (Since it seems that seats fill up from front to back...)

    What about a couple selecting both aisle seats in a center section? Does that work?
     
  2. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Sorry but you're forgetting about the Non Revs buddy... With load factors being high and capacity is being trimmed all the flights are leaving with less open seats.

    Posted via a Russian Lektor in the hands of SPECTRE.
     
  3. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    The best thing you can do is constantly monitor seats literally up until boarding and make a change if necessary...you can use expertflyer to do this on most airlines. Even with that though, you might not end up with that empty seat.
     
  4. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Purchase two seats if you need more space...really the only way to guarantee it...
     
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  5. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Problem is that load factors are very high, and if there is another flight that is delayed or went mechanical, your plan wouldn't work.

    Sure, if everyone traveled in threes. All you would be doing there is helping business travelers take up the bad seats in advance.


    Not necessarily. And I'm not sure trading in that potential for one empty seat versus a high-traffic area such as the back with everyone going in and out of the lavs is worth it.


    Again, load factors go against that plan.

    Like some else said, the only way to guarantee an empty seat next to you is through purchasing another ticket.
     
  6. avflyer
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    avflyer Silver Member

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    When Mrs. Flyer and I travel together, I will often book the A and C or D and F seats leaving the middle seat open. Since we are both 1k and IF we both don't get upgraded, that middle usually stays open.
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Selecting the middle seat and hoping that no one picks the aisle or window seems like a bad strategy.
     
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  8. pyndasky

    pyndasky Silver Member

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    about 75% of the flights I have flown have been completely full (I haven't checked bathrooms at take off, but let's just say I have my suspicions ;) ....). My best strategy has been to book the exit row and monitor the seat map up to the last minute. It seems that most folks won't pay the exit row premium for a middle seat particularly if there are other options.
     
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  9. CGK
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    CGK Gold Member

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    When I see that someone has picked a middle seat in E+ to try to block a row for themselves and there are no exit row or bulkhead aisles available, I usually select the aisle seat next to the person in the middle seat to thwart their attempt at blocking a whole row for themselves.
     
  10. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Out of 4 tries this year, this strategy has worked for us twice. If you cannot constantly monitor seat assignments, this is worth a try.
     
  11. marcocean

    marcocean Silver Member

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    If the aisle is already taken in Economy Plus and there's a middle and window seat still available, I take that window seat hoping that the person that's in the aisle is Premier too so they fill that middle seat last. It's worked a few times for me.
     
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  12. ella
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    ella Silver Member

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    I've changed my seat assignments several times leading up to check-in. I constantly watch for that center seat, hoping it will stay empty. But with flights being so full, I usually end up with someone in that center seat.

    Choosing a center seat and hoping no one will book window or aisle is, in my opinion, a really bad idea. I would not do it.
     

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