Travel Tip: Try Taking the Middle Seat
Whether flying for hours halfway around the globe or simply a couple of hours to a neighboring country- flying can pose a few comfort challenges. Those who frequently travel are more often than not keeping an ear to the ground for the latest travel tip and trick. When I heard about a trick that could help me have an entire row to myself on a flight, of course, I became excited and gave it a try. I’ve tested this trick out to give you a little more insight into the answer to “Does this travel tip work?” This is what happened:
The travel tip suggested to pick the middle seat on your flight (yes, the middle seat) and that the result would lead you to, more often than not, having the entire row or at least one empty seat next to you- since others will not typically pick a seat next to a full seat. I decided to test this theory on my most recent flight since the logic behind it seemed legitimate.
In the past, any time I have had the luck of having an entire row to myself I was toward the back of the plane. With the restrooms and increased plane hum- most travelers try to avoid this area. Hoping this would double my chance at having a sans-neighbor row, I picked as far back as possible on the plane, right in the middle. And then I waited.
The day before my first leg of my round trip flight I checked the seating chart to see just how full the flight was: completely booked. The more full the flight, the less seating options. This scenario was not looking too promising. I still had hope that the arrangement would change last minute. Unfortunately, it did not.
On my second leg, I sat down to a full row upon boarding the plane, another fail. However, right before closing the doors to taxi, my neighbor had to urgently exit the plane. I did end up having an aisle seat with an empty middle seat, but no thanks to the travel tip. So far this trick did not work at least 50% of the time for me.
On both legs of my returning flight, I experienced the same outcome- stuck in the middle. If by some stroke of luck (or by choosing an isle or window seat like everyone else) you have never had to sit in a middle seat and aren’t sure how it might differ from the other options- it’s a pretty tight fit. In fact, one gentleman on my last flight of the journey informed me he was impressed I was able to successfully use my laptop while in the middle seat. The middle seat apparently teaches more than one life lesson: sharing space and computer usage with minimal room to spare.
The end result of this test?
Although this tip did not provide the result I was originally shooting for, it did provide for an interesting flight, a little more appreciation for an aisle seat and a new skill.
If you’ve tested a travel trick let us know the outcome! If you would like to read more travel tips and tricks you can network with expats here.