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I recently booked a very last minute flight on United via Aeroplan. It was around 10pm and Aeroplan showed an 8am flight that I needed the following day. I quickly transferred over 12,500 Amex Membership Rewards, received a confirmation email, and went to bed.
The next morning, fearing a backup at TSA, I luckily arrived at the airport around 630. Long story short, I had no ticket, and Aeroplan had failed to inform me that United cancelled my ticket post issuance. It was tight, but everything got resolved; however, the only seat left on my flight from San Francisco to Indianapolis was the last row…in the middle.
No one likes middle seats, and the task was at hand…get out at all costs ( except paying anything extra 😉 ) This leads me to my tip.
When the gate opens, inquire if any other seats have opened up ( perhaps they have ). In my case they hadn’t. Here’s what I did next. I very politely asked, would you mind holding my boarding pass in case something does open up once check-in ends, and the maybe I could switch seats? See, at 30 minutes to departure, if passengers haven’t checked in, their seats will open up, and opportunity favors the prepared.