One man says he secures “poor man’s first class” – an entire row of coach seats to himself – with what he claims is a genius hack. It’s fraud, and something you’ll pay the price for if you try it yourself. Don’t be like this TikTok influencer.
What he says he does is buy extra refundable tickets and assigns those passengers to the seats next to him. Then he cancels the seats at the last minute, so that they are empty and it doesn’t cost him anything. This is a bad idea, I’ll explain why.
@ndainternet How to get a “Poor man’s First Class” 👑✈️💰 If you’re flying and can’t afford the first class or business class, you can Save Money when booking airline tickets! 🎫 #airline #ticket #personalfinance #savemoney #firstclass ♬ original sound – NDA
Here’s what you should know about this idea.
- You can actually book more than one seat for yourself. “Poor man’s first class” would be buying 3 seats in a row for yourself, cheap, and major airlines generally let you do this but you’ll need to call.
- Cancelling tickets at the last minute, though, doesn’t actually get you these empty seats. Passengers on standby will get them, certainly on a full flight. Other passengers may move into these seats also.
- It’s against airline rules, in fact it is fraud. You may have your frequent flyer account closed, and could even be banned from travel on the airline.
Buying seats that you do not intend to fly, to keep other people from buying them, creates actual harm to the airline (it prevents them from earning revenue). They won’t sit idly by. Consequences could be even greater.
This is another form of an idea that passengers used to do with upgrades years ago, until airlines caught on and cracked down. Customers would book refundable first class tickets to keep some seats in the cabin from being sold. Cancel at the last minute, then there are upgrade seats open. If you have the highest status, those seats go to you.
It’s the same concept and you can imagine airlines look unfavorably on preventing them from selling their most valuable product. It’s an easy way to get banned, and loss of an elite frequent flyer account that gets upgrades is an even bigger loss. It’s also not too tough to figure out when this happens semi-regularly.