Flying might be one of the most fun parts of travel. The whole idea of getting up early, making sure you have all your bags packed, heading to the airport to wait in line, grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and waiting to board is such a rush. Then, once you are on the plane, it starts to hit you that you are well on your way to your vacation destination. Granted, not every time you fly is it for vacation, but that tends to be the reason why I fly.
Then comes the take off, the view from 30,000 feet, and the landing. No one enjoys turbulence, but I figure with everything else I enjoy about this journey I should expect something negative to happen. There’s also the so-called food and drinks. They are mediocre, of course, unless you are sitting in first class. And trust me, there is a difference between the service between the front and the back of the plane.
But did you know there are secret ways to get a better seat on your next flight? Outside of paying the extra fees for first class there are a few spots on that flight that are superior to the average cramped seat in coach . But how do you get one of these coveted locations? Your answer has arrived. I have had the chance to fly all over the world and I have used most of these excuses and techniques to get a better seat, and sometimes even manage to weasel my way into first class.
Booking the Emergency Row
Most of us are now booking our flights online. It is easy, you can do it from home, even your phone, and it saves the hassle of being on hold and having to write down all sorts of information along the way. If you are using the Internet to book your flight, you will be prompted somewhere along the way to choose your seat. This list will show all of the seats currently available and is usually pretty up to date.
The best seats in coach, and I say best loosely by speaking solely on legroom here, are the emergency exit aisles. Most planes will have two rows with emergency exits and those seats have a lot more legroom than the others. But when booking your flight, almost every time you try to do that you will see that these seats are always taken. Why is that? Well, that is because these seats usually do not come available until twenty-four hours before the flight is schedule to depart. So, if you did book your seat online, the night before the flight head back to that website and see if you cant grab one of those extra leg room chairs.
Upgrading to First Class
Upgrading to first class is the best way to guarantee that extra leg room and great service. You are the first one on the flight, you are the first one off the flight, and you receive a much higher grade of service. Your booze is complementary, your bathroom is bigger, and you have extended offers such as hot towels and eye masks for those extra long flights. But how do you upgrade? Well, you have a few options actually. Initially the option of paying more for your ticket guarantees that you get a first class seat. Or, once you get to the airport and you check in you can ask the lady at the front desk if there are upgrade options available. These are usually much cheaper but also more difficult to get. However, smile when you approach the desk, ask nicely, and see if you are not offered the upgrade.
Another option, if you are flying on a flight that is not full, is to ask for the upgrade right before take off. There have been many of times I have been flying somewhere and I see seats up front that are unoccupied. If this is the case ask if you can move forward. Chances are your wish will be granted. Of course, this is another opportunity where you must smile and be as nice as you can be.
Fly Those Friendly Skies
The more you fly the more you can earn. So, if you are flying for business or just like to travel, make sure you stock up on those frequent flier miles. When you collect these flier miles you have the opportunity to redeem them for future flights. Airlines like the frequent fliers. You get access to private pre-flight areas that offer complimentary drinks, your bathrooms are less crowded, bigger and cleaner, and you are given the best treatment possible once aboard. Why? Because you are spending money on that airline. To be able to redeem these points, especially for first class tickets, you are spending a hefty amount of cash to earn those miles. The airlines know that, they want you to continue to fly with them, and they appreciate your business.
Flying While Staying Solo
A great way to increase your chances of flying first class is to be single. Now, you might be asking yourself how can being single have any effect on me flying first class? A few months ago, I was returning home from the 2010 PGA Merchandise Show in Florida. My flight was scheduled to leave at 2:30 PM. I get to the airport, head to my gate, and am told that I need to ask the front desk for a seat number. Once I arrived at the desk I was informed that my flight had been overbooked. I was offered a later flight, a mere three hours later, and asked if I would be willing to accept. I told them of course, but only if I was given a round trip flight to anywhere they flew and I was upgraded to first class on all of my flights. They accepted, provided me with a travel voucher, and I waited it out. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday evening.
Why did I say that you need to be single to do this? You don’t, of course, but it helps. If you are traveling with your spouse or family, or they are waiting for you at home, a few extra hours in the airport can be a world of difference. Being single helps s you can be worry free while waiting for your fight. However, improving your travel experience is no reason to break up with your sweetheart!
These are just a few tips on how to increase your leg room when you are in the air. There are other ways you can get the better seats, sure, but these are proven and ways that I have seen first hand on how you can make your way to the front of the plane. Once you sit first class you will have a hard time going back to coach, trust me. So I advise on your net flight you heed my advice and fly in the lap of luxury. All things aside, Dewar’s on the rocks never tasted so good as it does in first class.