Exit Rows, the best way to enjoy an Economy Class flight

So you booked a really cheap deal on a no frills airline? Nice work! You’ll be sun baking on a beautiful beach in no time. But I get your not looking forward to the flight itself. Well, get yourself into an Exit Row and the tables will be turned in your favour.

Almost all no frills airlines these days charge for everything. Seats, Food (some don’t even let you bring food on bird with you), Baggage, and there was some talk RyanAir was going to charge for use of the toilets! (Although this turned out to be a hilarious April Fools joke).

One of the last ways to really enjoy an Economy Class seat, for free, is to get seated in an Exit Row. Especially if like me, you are over 6 foot tall, and your legs feel like a can of sardines in a standard seat.

Although online check in these days means passengers can start selecting seats up to 48 hours prior to the flight departure, most of the time this doesn’t include Exit Rows.

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Exit Row seats on a Long Haul flight are even. It’s important, especially if you want to get some sleep.
Exit Rows are almost always barred and unable to be selected in online pre-checkin. They are restricted so that airport staff are able to allocate them to passengers manually. The reason for this is, in a real emergency the passengers who sit in an Exit Row are required to manually open the door and lookout for danger. So, for this reason not everyone is able to sit here. For example, the elderly, the disabled or people unwilling or unable to perform these functions. However, for you, it means a comfortable and relaxing seat where you can stretch your legs. Also, in an emergency it means you will exit the plane first anyway. So for most people, it’s a no brainer.

Here are #5 tips to help you secure your seat on the wing for your next flight:

  1. Arrive well before flight departure, ideally as early as you can, and request an Exit Row seat. I have never been denied an Exit Row seat. In fact, even with a group of 3 I was able to obtain it.
  2. Travelling solo is always easier for this.
  3. If you are told all Exit Rows are full, half the time they just don’t want to do it for you because sometimes they need to call their supervisor for authorisation and the staff can’t be bothered, so ask the question “Are you able to move someone so I can sit there?”. This just reinforces that you want the seat and your going to be a little pushy to get it.
  4. Always be polite to Airport Staff. It is not your right to have an Exit Row, so request the privilege with a smile on or face. Most of the time their job sucks, so making their day a little brighter goes a long way.
  5. Try and sign up to the Airlines frequent flyer programme in advance. Most of the time it’s free, and preference is always given to members over non-members.

Did these tips work for you? Do you have any tips of your own to get seated into a better seat on board? Share them with us in the comment below!

-J

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