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How to Get a Row to Yourself on the Plane

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When your flight is several hours, cross country, or an overnight redeye flight, getting an entire row to yourself can make your flight more comfortable. These seven tricks can turn what could have been a miserable overnight (or long) flight into a flat bed flying experience.


On some flights having your own row is better than flying in First Class. Say what? Yep, that’s because you can lie flat and stretch out.

Although I wouldn’t choose an entire row in coach over flying in Business or First Class on American Airlines’s A321 flight from Los Angeles to New York or San Francisco to New York.

But how exactly can you score an entire row to yourself on the plane? Here’s how to get an entire row to yourself (or at least an empty seat next to you).

1.  Eat Refried Beans

row to self on plane, refried beans, gas, Traveling Well For Less

Refried beans will create more than space in your belly

“Beans, beans, the musical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot.”  Need I say more?

Plain and simple, eat refried beans, broccoli, cabbage or some other food item that gives you gas.

Your seatmates won’t be able to clear out of their seats fast enough to find another row.

2. Eat Buffalo Wings

Get a row to yourself on plane, buffalo wings, stomach troubles, diarrhea, Traveling Well For Less

Buffalo Wings – hot going in and hot going out

Another way to clear the seats next to you is to eat buffalo wings or anything with buffalo wing sauce before or during your flight.  Eating hot sauce can give you serious body odor.

And you should be seriously dedicated to getting an entire row to yourself because buffalo wings can cause stomach issues and diarrhea. (Not what you want to have during a long flight.)

Garlic can also cause body odor. So eating garlic bread could be a better option.

3.  Wear Lots of Perfume

Get a row to yourself on plane, Traveling Well For Less

Putting on lots of perfume can make you stink

If you’d rather skip the buffalo wings, you can mimic body odor by wearing lots of perfume.  The eau de toilette smell may drive people away. But remember you only want to mimic the smell of a toilet and not actually smell like one.

4.  Take Off Your Shoes

Get a row to yourself on plane, smelly shoes, Traveling Well For Less

Stinky shoes = empty seat next to you

Got stinky feet? Take off your shoes and fan the odor away from you and towards the people sitting next to you on your flight.

5.  Fake Being Sick

Get a row to yourself on plane, traveling when sick, Traveling Well For Less

Your weapon in the plane seat wars – used Kleenex

Fake a cold by blowing your nose and or coughing a lot will almost guarantee that no one will voluntarily sit next to you.

6.  Travel With a Baby

get a whole row on plane, travel with a baby, Traveling Well For Less

Your bundle of joy might not be so joyful to other passengers on a plane

It’s all about you and your vacation right? So bring your baby and who cares what the other passengers think.  Or just pretend you have an infant by holding a blankie close to your chest and making soothing noises.  If the fake baby routine doesn’t work, the people near you will think you’re crazy and move.

7.  Pick Your Nose

Get a row to yourself on plane, pick your nose, Traveling Well For Less

You can’t pick your seatmates, but you can pick your nose

Kick up the gross factor by picking your nose. This totally creeps me out and it’s all I can do to not hand someone a Kleenex. You can be sure I’m hand sanitizing everything that person touches.

Keep in mind that these travel hacks will only work if there are empty seats on the plane. If your flight is full, no matter how many of these tricks you use you’re out of luck.


You can get a whole row to yourself on a plane by following these simple tips.

Drive away your seatmates by preplanning and eating refried beans and buffalo wings before your flight.

Or use the stink factor to your advantage by wearing lots of perfume and taking off your shoes.

You can also fake being sick or picking your nose. Even going as far as faking that you have a baby.

This was a tongue in cheek post, not to be taken seriously. I do not endorse or recommend, nor have I tried any of these tricks to get a row to myself on a plane.

I wrote this post having just flown a redeye across the country, in a fully booked flight and my upgrade didn’t clear.

That said, have you ever used one of these tactics to get an entire row to yourself on a plane?

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Amber Killmon

Monday 6th of February 2017

These are hilarious! I'd be too afraid of getting booted from the flight to try them, but the laugh enough may be worth it.


Thursday 2nd of February 2017

Oh my gosh, this post is hilarious! I love having a row to myself but never in a million years would I have thought of any of these ideas. You crack me up!

Deborah Cruz

Wednesday 1st of February 2017

This was funny and slightly gross. I have found that if you check your seat the day before or of and leave a middle seat you can usually keep that seat free if the flights not packed. There is nothing worse than flying cross country in the middle seat.

Wildish Jess

Wednesday 1st of February 2017

Oh goodness, have you done this to people? I'd be so upset if I were them!

Up Run for Life

Wednesday 1st of February 2017

Haha, these tips would only work if the plane wasn't full. It has been a long time since I have flown on an airplane. I hope that I can fly overseas in the near future.

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