Try TikTok's Seating Hack To Get The Whole Airplane Row To Yourself

There's no other nicer way to say it: airplanes are crampy and icky — that is when you fly coach, of course. It's easy to tolerate the general discomfort of flying economy during short-haul flights, but when your journey lasts six or more hours, you can expect to feel way worse. If you have seatmates or are stuck between two strangers (bonus points if they're extra chatty), you may find it bothersome to even as much as get up from your seat and use the bathroom. By the end of the flight, you may end up wishing that you had splurged on a business-class seat instead for more personal space and a lie-flat bed.

The only way you can experience even a smidge of the first-class experience in the basic economy section is when you have the whole row to yourself. Most of the time, it happens thanks to pure dumb luck. But you can also take matters into your own hands and try tricks to outsmart the system and enjoy a whole row the entire flight. According to a viral TikTok, what usually works is booking seats apart from each other. The catch? It's only feasible when you travel in a pair.

The trick is to book two seats apart from each other

If you're traveling with a friend, a lover, or any companion, really, travel content creator Chelsea dished that both of you can enjoy a whole row to yourselves by being smart about how you select your seats online. In a TikTok she posted on her Cheap Holiday Expert account, she explained that selecting the aisle and the window seats increases your chances of getting the full row compared to booking seats beside each other.

With this hack, solo travelers are more likely to be discouraged to take the middle seat. "Even if they do book that middle seat, you can ask them if they want the aisle or the window and it works out for everyone," she said. Chelsea also added that this hack works better for seats toward the back of the plane. She tends to go for row 13 as many people consider it "unlucky." But she admitted in an interview with Fox News that the hack is not fool-proof. "I've used the hack around 10 times and would say I have a 60% success rate," she said.

This hack will usually only work if the flight isn't full. If it's overbooked, you'll be lucky to even have a secured seat. But Chelsea shared in the comments section of her TikTok that there's no harm in trying: "But you often don't know until you turn up and so... this is worth a punt, right? It's FREE!"

You may also want to try the 'poor man's first class' hack but it's risky

For solo flyers, another hack you can try is the "poor man's first-class" method, coined by TikTok user NDAInternet. This method, however, may be considered borderline unethical and may pose a massive inconvenience to other passengers hoping to hop on that flight. With this so-called hack, he recommends booking three seats, two of which are fully refundable, with the intention of canceling those two at the very last minute — well, 45 minutes before the flight takes off.

"If you're looking to fly on an airline or travel abroad on holiday, you can't afford a private jet or the first class on most flights, but with this hack, you can book an airline ticket and get yourself the cheap version of first class and save money!" he wrote in the post, noting that it works "90% of the time" and that there are essentially no consequences. "There's no catch. Just make sure the two additional tickets are fully refundable," he said.

Take this advice with a grain of salt, of course, as most airlines don't offer refunds for cancelations that close to takeoff, save perhaps for Southwest Airlines, which allows up to 10 minutes prior to departure. But even with them, you're not even guaranteed the seats prior, so this "hack" may just be for entertainment's sake more than anything else.