Star Gold Trick for US Air Seats

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I wind up flying US Airways for most of my short haul flights and crediting the miles to United to help keep status (something I’m seriously re-evaluating with all the recent changes). This means I’m not eligible for complimentary Choice Seats unless I’m flying with Jeanne. However, I found a trick that usually gets me in non-middle seats near the front.

I don’t select my seats during the booking process and when I log in to my reservation immediately after, I’ve usually been assigned a window or aisle row 4-9. I haven’t checked if it’s a written benefit or a glitch, but when left to its own devices the system gives star gold good seats.

Almost always. Sometimes I get no seat assignment (which is better than a bad seat) and I can decide whether to pick an aisle in the back or gamble that I can snag a better seat at airport check-in.

This time it was unusually nerve-wracking. Last week I started monitoring this morning’s flight and only seats in the back were available without upcharge. No dice. On Saturday I logged in and all seats were gone. Grrr.

Last night one exit row seat was showing (which I couldn’t select) and a message appeared saying I would be assigned a seat at the airport. Uh-oh. I had a 10AM meeting this morning and I couldn’t afford to be bumped to the later flight. Nor did I relish showing up to the meeting cranky and upset from sitting in the middle waaay in the back.

I wanted to wait and check in at the airport, where I might have more options, but the first leg left at 5:25AM.  I needed to check before in case I overslept and was cutting it close.

I hit print passes.

4F! A bulkhead window. #winning

It meant I wasn’t working on the flight, since it would be a pain to get and re-stow my laptop case, but it was not in the back or the middle!

In hindsight, I’m not sure the $25 savings is worth the anxiety and risking a bad seat, but this morning’s experience didn’t teach me any anything.

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world.

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