If you’re down to the wire and facing a cramped middle seat for a long cross-country flight, you may still be able to turn things around. When check-in starts, unreserved seats go up for grabs.
So once the check-in process begins — typically 24 hours before the flight’s departure — log on to the airline’s website and try to select a better, unclaimed seat. You’ll have to act fast — these seats go quickly.
If all else fails, turn on the charm. A smile and a nice conversation with the gate agent, flight attendant or even another passenger might get you a better seat.
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