Attention, Swifties! Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated new album Midnights is finally dropping tomorrow! If you’re sitting around waiting to buy or download the album, why not kill some time reading about her very clever travel tip, which she shared earlier this year.
Back in May, Taylor Swift received an honorary degree from NYU as she delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2022 at Yankees Stadium. My nephew was one of the graduates, so I read the transcript of her speech, which you can watch below:
One thing that stood out was when she spoke about people thinking she had such a glamorous life when in reality, it wasn’t as she ended up homeschooling and spending a lot of time on the road.
In her words: “I never got to have a normal college experience per se. I went to public high school until 10th grade and then finished my education doing homeschool work on the floors of airport terminals. Then I went out on the road for radio tour, which sounds incredibly glamorous, but in reality, it consisted of a rental car, motels and my mom and I pretending to have loud mother/daughter fights with each other during boarding so no one would want the empty seat between us on Southwest.”
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Ha! Now that’s funny and effective … and if you want to see an even funnier way, check out this hilarious video of another way to keep that seat next to you empty on Southwest or on a bus or train! But there’s another way that works even better. First of all, Southwest Airlines (SWA) is one of the few airlines that doesn’t assign seats, which is why this tip works. The reason Southwest doesn’t assign seats is because it speeds up the boarding process as it eliminates passengers trying to figure out where their seat is located. As easy as it sounds, it’s difficult for many first-time flyers and sometimes even seasoned fliers. Believe it or not, I’ve sat in the wrong seat (row) multiple times so I understand SWA’s rationale.
Tips for flying Southwest Airlines:
1. Check-In ASAP
Check-in as soon as you’re allowed, which is 24 hours before your flight. I mean, set your alarm for 24 hours and five minutes before and then check-in when the clock strikes 24 hours prior. Boarding assignments are first come, first serve. You can also pay extra for a Business Select fare to guarantee Group A1-A15 (meaning they will be one of the first 15 people to board and they usually choose the first few rows or the exit row).
2. Be on Time
Show up to the gate on time so you don’t miss your spot in line.
3. Split Up
If there are two of you in your party or four adults and you know the flight isn’t sold out (ask the gate agent), then pick a row at the back of the plane and have one person sit in the window and the other in the aisle, leaving the middle seat open. Southwest only flies 737 aircraft, which all have six seats across (three on each side of the aisle). Here are Seatguru’s pick for the best seats.
4. Taylor’s Tip or Tissues or ?
If the plane isn’t full, then you can try Taylor’s tip of fighting with your partner so no one wants to sit in between you. But you can also put a box of Kleenex on the middle seat with some crumpled up tissues next to the box. That might be more effective but with COVID still going around, it also might get you kicked off the plane!
What’s your best tip for keeping the middle seat open on a Southwest flight?
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That’s a great tip! I just flew SWA with my daughter and wish our arguments were staged- ha! One more way to get an early boarding position, I paid $15 each for our “Early-Bird” checkin which they describe as: “EarlyBird Check-In Customers will have their boarding positions reserved beginning 36 hours prior to their flight’s scheduled local departure time. Boarding passes can be accessed beginning 24 hours prior to the flight’s scheduled local departure time.” Now, they did not send me any notification that this 36-hour checkin was done, and it allowed us to do the on-the-minute, 24 hours in advance, checkin ourselves, and we did get A31 and A32, but I don’t know who gets the credit for the A positions, Southwest or moi. https://www.southwest.com/help/booking/earlybird-checkin