When I checked in to United Flight to Munich, the machine asked me if I wanted to change seats. I took a look, knowing that this would give me visibility on how full the flight was.
I booked my flight a week ago and I’d selected the rear rows which were empty for going forward a few rows so I was confident of getting space. I looked now and saw the rows were pretty much full but there empty rows but only in Premier Economy.
Not wanting to sit next to anybody so I could spread out and sleep, I caved and forked out for an upgrade to a seat in an empty 2 seat row just in front of the exit/ wing seats . The twin seats in rows 21 and 22 behind me were similarly free as well as middle row/isle seats. I was checking in within 90 minutes on an International fight so I felt pretty good about getting a two seats for an overnight 10 hour flight.
As I boarded, I then found ALL the Premier Economy 2 seats filled and isle seats filled and there was a 8 year old kid in the seat next to me. His sister was in the adjacent middle isle seat and I recognized the two kids as they and mom, had checked in prior to me in the line. They therefore, had their tickets way before mine so obviously had not bought that seat upgrade.
Son of a bitch I said to myself : I’d spent money for nothing and United had upgraded quite a few passengers to fill these seats.
It turned out somewhat ok in that I asked the sister if she wanted to sit with her brother – she did- so I got an middle isle seat with nobody in between but I will not pay for this again just to try the free row lottery. The longer foot room was not my care about. Not only that but when I went to the toilets towards the end of the plane, the rows weren’t as full as original seating diagram suggested. I could have had a 2 seat option to myself if I had done nothing.
Beware the ides of the isle seat upgrades.