Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Man shares travel hack for keeping the plane seat next to yours empty

Want a row to spread out in? One US traveller has a nifty tip for getting more space on your flight

Lucy Thackray
Friday 08 July 2022 10:17 BST
US passenger shares his tip for getting more space
US passenger shares his tip for getting more space (TikTok/MikeWDavis)

A TikTok traveller has gone viral with his clever - but oh so simple - tip for getting more room to yourself on a plane.

Mike Davis posted a video captioned “How to keep seats open next to you on a flight” on Wednesday - and has already gained 2.2 million views and 175,000 likes with his ingenuity.

In the video, Mr Davis shows himself sitting in an aisle seat of a row of three on a plane, as other passengers board.

To keep the empty seat beside him free, he stares every boarding passenger right in the eye while patting the adjacent seat with his hand in a “welcoming” manner.

Baffled passengers quickly walk past him, seemingly put off, with no one taking him up on the offer.

The reverse-psychology-based tip is more pertinent to US domestic flights, since American carriers such as Southwest Airlines do not routinely assign seats to each passenger, leaving them to choose whichever is empty.

Followers found his “be weird” advice funny, but some pointed out it may not work for everyone.

“As a young female, this would backfire FAST,” wrote Chelsea Johnston.

“Or you’ll get the most extroverted person alive and talk the entire flight!” warned Adam Baca.

Meanwhile, another TikTok user suggested the tip could be improved, writing: “This.. but the middle seat double tapping both sides.”

“Coughing repeatedly has been my go to for the last couple years,” suggested follower Vit Zeh.

TikTok has become a hotbed of quickfire travel tips, many of them aimed at budget travellers - with users posting about everything from how to cram extra clothes into your small cabin-bag allowance, to how to book the cheapest flights online - and one even giving her secrets to bagging a completely free luxury holiday.

Earlier this month a TikTok user was hailed a “genius” after sharing her nifty trick for getting more liquids into her hand-luggage when flying.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in