Get a whole row to yourself next time you fly

Kristine Tarbert

There are few things that compare to the genuine elation one experiences when finding out that the seat next to you on a plane is going to remain empty.

So imagine the absolute bliss of having an entire row all to yourself.

Well one clued-in traveller has revealed a few of his tricks to make sure he always ends up with the best seat in economy class.

Blogger Gilbert Ott is an expert at finding cheap flights and scoring first class seats and shares his tips on his blog God Save The Points.

Imagine having a way to secure a whole row of seats to yourself. Photo: Getty

Gilbert revealed the first thing he suggests is looking for a relatively empty flight before you book. You can do this by checking the seating chart which most airlines will make available to you.

"Before actually buying a ticket, most airlines allow you to see a map of available seats," he wrote on his blog.

"Try to take a quick mental snapshot for each flight option of which flight looks the most empty."

Another thing the traveller suggests is to go with an unpopular seat choice, which might be the opposite of what you normally do.

"By being less ambitious and opting for a mundane seat toward the middle or rear of the cabin, you’ll be instantly in seat that’s highly less likely to have someone sitting next to you," he said.

Gilbert scored a whole row to himself in economy. Photo: Gilbert Ott

Of course, asking at the boarding gate is also an option.

Gilbert suggests to ask the airline staff at the gate either before or at the end of boarding - not during - whether there is a seat without someone next to it or even an row free.

And if all else fails it helps to have a good look around once you've boarded the plane and if you end up with a dud but have spotted a better option which is still free at take off, then just asked to be moved there once the seat belt sign has been turned off.

"Landing that empty row before someone else is a race, so be ready to move swiftly when you hear the ding. A flat bed in the sky is so worth it though," he said.

Gilbert explained he uses an app called ExpertFlyer, and has found himself with an entire row of seats on more than one occasion.

He said the app "allows users to view up-to-the-moment seating charts and, better yet, allows users to set alerts for when and if their ideal seat pops up."

He also explained the app basically allows you to play ‘musical chairs’ within the cabin right up until the time of boarding.

Travel blogger Gilbert Ott has revealed what app he uses to secure the best seats. Photo: Facebook

“If the best seat in the house is available immediately — book it. If not, get the next best available seat — and set free alerts on ExpertFlyer for any and all the seats you’d prefer,” he continues.

“Once everyone else has settled their fate, you can often stand in the boarding line with your app open seeing if final seating assignments have created any opportunities — like an entire row to yourself. It really does happen."

He says to keep an eye on the seats right up until boarding. Photo: Getty

Speaking to Business Insider, Gilbert says there are a few things to keep in mind:

Figure out the best seats on your flight using sites like SeatGuru, set alerts for the type of seat you prefer (like any free window seat) and keep your eye on the seat map after check in.

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