Travel hacks are all the rage these days, but potential passengers be warned, this one could get you in a lot of trouble.
Travel hacks are one of the industry’s best developments in recent memory. From hacks that will help you get a free lunch, beat ‘recline rage’, or ensure you can sit next to your pals using Mia Khalifa’s dirty trick, all of them are interesting but some are more successful than others. One to definitely avoid, however, is a ‘hack’ that’s done the rounds on social media a few times but resurfaced this week. Not only is it distasteful, but it could be criminal.
The basic notion of a travel hack is that you find a way to get a little extra value out of your travel venture, whether that be by changing the way you approach your next trip — packing smarter, for example — or by finding loopholes in your carrier or accommodation’s ways of working that allow you to feel you’ve found yourself a hidden bonus. This hack, shared this week by Spoken io, takes all of this a little too far.
The basic premise of the hack — which you can watch in detail below — is that when you book your flight as a solo traveller, you book out an entire row. Yes, this requires the spending capability to shell out for three seats at once but — and here’s where things get controversial — you then cancel two of those seats at the last minute. While the airline may put these seats out on ‘standby’ sale, they’re unlikely to be able to fill them before take-off.
WATCH: Well crafted as the video may be, it’s still totally out of order.
This means that you’ll be left with a whole row entirely to yourself, giving you the option to lean back against the plane window and stretch your legs out across spare seats, giving you a cheap and wholly underwhelming version of first-class legroom. Not only is this hack a bad idea as the space you gain isn’t all that much and certainly doesn’t come with the luxurious add-ons of an actual upgrade to business or first class, as pointed out by View From The Wing, this sneaky little hack “is actually fraud”.
While you can legitimately book more than one seat for yourself if you really want the room, the two main issues with this hack are as follows: First, there’s no risk the seats will stay free after you cancel the booking. The airline will do its best to fill them and other passengers may just move into them if they prefer the look of your row to theirs.
More concerning, however, is that this qualifies as fraud and is against the Terms and Conditions of every airline out there. Not only do you risk having your frequent flyer account closed, but you could be banned from the airline altogether. If you get really trigger-happy with this one, you even risk legal proceedings.
As the famous saying goes: ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’. This is definitely one such case. Sadly, if you want the first-class feel, that comes with a first class price tag.