AN AUSTRALIAN travel expert has shut down a myth surrounding the middle seat on a plane.
While the middle seat is the worst for comfort, legend has it it’s the one that is most likely to get you an upgrade as cabin crew will feel sorry for you.
However, Angus Kidman, travel expert at comparison site Finder, said it is “absolutely not true” — well, not for Aussie airlines anyway.
Mr Kidman told news.com.au: “Upgrades go to the highest-tier frequent flyer members — and there’s often a queue of them who have applied prior to the flight,”
“If you’re just a regular passenger, there’s no chance you’re getting upgraded.”
Mr Kidman’s comments come after Travel company Stasher claimed middle seat passengers were more likely to get a free upgrade.
Jacob Wedderburn-Day, CEO of Stasher told Sun Online Travel: “If you don’t like the uncertainty of waiting until a few hours before your flight to check in, then make sure to select the middle seat.”
“Airlines are more likely to upgrade passengers who are sitting in the middle seat as this is generally considered the least desirable place to sit.
“So, if you don’t mind being wedged between two other people, it might pay off to book those seats.”
However, Mr Kidman said “booking the middle seat doesn’t make sense”.
He said: “There’s a myth in some quarters that if you’re in the middle seat, you’ll be the first picked for an upgrade. For Australian airlines, that’s absolutely not true.
“On international flights from Australia, spare seats are largely non-existent right now anyway.
“With airlines running well below their pre-Covid capacities, most flights are full — and with cancellations, any spare capacity generally gets filled up.”
He advised travellers not to “fall for the middle seat myth”.
“If you want an uninterrupted flight, choose the window. If you want to stretch your legs or need the bathroom a lot, choose the aisle,” he recommended.
“If you’re stuck with choosing a middle seat, try for the middle in a set of four rather than three — that way, no-one is stepping over you to get out of their seat.”
The one seat that will help make the plane journey bearable is the window seat at the back of the aircraft, according seasoned traveller Jon Burfitt.
“I noticed those seats had a wall behind them, and no one was getting kicked there. No wonder those people looked relaxed,” he wrote for Escape.
This article was originally published on News.com.au and has been reproduced with permission.