For some, escaping the drudge of economy airplane seats is a lifelong dream.
You love to travel, but you can’t bring yourself to cough up the dough for a reclining, luxurious seat. You’ve hoped and prayed that you’ll get a random check-in upgrade, just like the movies say is possible, but it’s never happened.
My friends, we have the tip that you need – and it’s a lot simpler than you think.
You won’t have to part with any extra cash, kick up a fuss, wear a suit when you’d normally wear yoga pants, or any other upgrade tactics.
All you need to do is check to see if your airline seat is broken in any way.
If it is (it doesn’t recline properly, it wobbles weirdly or the armrest is stuck, for example), you’re entitled to request a new seat. And it’s pretty likely that, on a busy flight, that seat will be in first class.
This fact was discovered when Rick Brown, author of Kiss My Baggage Fees! How To Be A Savvy Travel Hacker, spilled the beans on the previously unknown airline rule.
Writing on Quora, he said: ‘If your seat is broken, you can request a new seat. If one is not available in economy, they have to put you in first.’
We’re not sure if this rule applies due to health and safety or the threat that passengers might kick up a fuss if they feel they’re getting a worse deal than others. Either way, it could be a quick and easy way of winning a plane ride in luxurious surroundings.
He said: ‘I’ve been on several packed flights where passengers had broken coach seats and were reassigned to business or first since they were the only seats left. This is luck of the draw, though.’
We definitely do not endorse deliberately breaking your seat to get an upgrade. Not only is it illegal, it would also be incredibly rude and disrespectful to both the cabin crew and the other passengers, who would be inconvenienced and possibly delayed by your actions. Brown warned: ‘Don’t break your seat on purpose, it’s a crime.’
But if your seat is genuinely broken, you could be living the high life for a few short hours.
Looking to hack your travels? Here’s how to make sure your suitcase comes out first at the airport, and how your flight manages to arrive on time after being delayed.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.