Think Twice Before Using This Viral Hack For Getting A Row To Yourself On Your Next Flight

When booking a flight for your next travel adventure, scoring the best on the plane always seems to be a priority. There are lots of travel hacks floating about the internet, insisting they can help you score that elusive perfect economy class seat. Some say to book your seat in the back of the aircraft so you can be closer to the bathroom. CNN has reported that choosing a seat in the emergency row is a good strategy if you want that extra legroom without paying for business class. And if you want to score a whole row to yourself, YouTube influencer Portable Professional has shared with her over 93,000 subscribers a superstitious hack: Book a seat in row 13, which will deter those who believe in the number's bad luck. Another way to get an aisle to yourself is to fly with your partner but book the window and aisle seat, leaving the middle seat free. This hack, according to travel expert Chelsea Dickenson, will deter others from booking that middle seat (per The Express). 

These all sound like great ideas, but a new travel hack, dubbed the "Poor Man's First Class," has taken TikTok by storm, and people are questioning the ethics of it. According to the hack idea, it involves booking an entire row to yourself, but only paying for one seat. How does it work, and is this fraud?

Poor Man's First Class could get you in trouble with the airline

TikTok influencer @NDAInternet shared the "Poor Man's First Class" travel hack to his 1 million followers, where he explains that the trick involves buying an entire row, then 45 minutes before boarding, canceling two of the three seats, thereby getting a refund. He insists this last-minute trick will prevent the airline from reselling those tickets before departure, leaving the entire row for yourself. "There's no catch, just make sure the two additional tickets are fully refundable," he says. This trick has been backed up by Instagram influencer @spoken_io, who repurposed the idea to her over 87,000 followers.

However, after a brief look at the comments section on both videos, viewers are quick to call out the dangers of this hack. "The catch is it's fraud," one person wrote, while another noted, "They'll ban you from buying tickets if you keep refunding most of them." Another TikTok user reminded everyone that, "There's always a standby list. They will always fill that seat." 

Travel expert Gary Leff of "View From The Wing" agrees, warning that if the airline catches on, you could be banned from the airline permanently, or have your frequent flyer membership revoked. So while this hack might be ethically questionable, we are loving some funny reactions to the hack. One TikToker quipped in the comments, "I bought 100 refundable tickets, so I get a private plane." Mega LOL.