The humble middle seat on board an airliner. Nobody wants to sit there, hemmed in by burly football players on each side… or actually, depending on what you like, that might be a bonus!

When travelling as a pair, there is a trick which involves a little chance and a little luck that can get you extra space. I call it the middle seat trick. Here’s how it works!

A Trick When Booking

Virtually no-one books a middle seat. When selecting seats at the booking stage these are the pariahs on the map and are usually free. You only see them taken when a pair is flying and one wants the window or aisle and their partner is stuck next to them in the centre.

Instead of booking the aisle or window and putting one person in the middle, book smart. Put one person in an aisle seat and one person in a window seat. This way the middle seat is free and you will have extra space, with a little luck.

But What If Someone Sits In The Middle?

Since no-one in their right mind would actively choose the middle seat, if someone is sitting there the airline has assigned them that seat. No problem at all!

All you need to do is tell them you’ll take their seat to sit next to your wife/husband/friend/colleague and they can take the aisle seat. Most people are usually delighted by this stroke of good fortune and happily take up the offer.

And If The Middle Seat Stays Free?

With the seat free between you, the world is your oyster. It could be a place for your magazine or newspaper. Perhaps it will be the storage area for your coat or handbag during the flight.

During the meal service, live a little. Use the pull down tray from the middle seat as an extra drinks table in between you and your travelling companion. Pretend you’re in business class in Europe, where the middle seat free IS business class. Enjoy it all!

Overall Thoughts

Travelling as a pair and selecting the window and aisle seats is the way forward. On more than one occasion I have had the middle remain free on a full flight. Agents can see both people are on the same ticket and the ones who care seat people elsewhere first.

It varies from airline to airline, but the chances are pretty good you’ll get to have extra space this way. Anything that helps gain a little more space in economy class is very important.

Have you done this yourself? Do you have any other tactics you use to improve your flight experience? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by captainflorent via Instagram.