Why You Shouldn't Buy 3 Seats In A Row To Give Yourself More Space When Flying

You probably won't get the elbow room you hoped for.

woman on a plane Natee Meepian / Shutterstock

Have you ever found yourself boarding an airplane, dreading the moment? You walk fast to find your seat and try not to bump into anyone in the process. Struggling, you lift your carry on in the cabinet above, all the while the passengers behind you wait impatiently.

Finally, after struggling for the longest 30 seconds of your life, you are able to sit down and enjoy your flight. Sighing in relief, you get comfortable and think to yourself, “It’s finally over, now I can relax.” That relief is short lived, however, when you realize that the seats next to you are now completely full.


At one point or another, we have probably thought to ourselves, “I should have just purchased the seats next to me.” Well, to solve the issue of discomfort, some people have actually decided to purchase the seats next to them.

Unfortunately, buying the seats next to you might just be an added expense instead of added personal space.

Whether it's to have extra elbow room or to avoid as much human interaction as possible, imagine for a moment that you did decide to purchase the seats next to you on your flight. In your head, it seems like a good idea; after all, it will put an end to those uncomfortable moments of awkward positioning, right? Wrong.


There’s more to take into consideration. Because while reserving these seats seem like a great solution, it comes with its own issues.

buying three seats in a row on a flight might not be worth itPhoto: cottonbro studio / Pexels

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The most significant issue arises when the flight is overbooked, and there are more passengers than there are seats available. In these situations, airlines have their own procedures for handling these extra passengers.


In most cases, they place seat overbooked flyers in any empty seat available. This means that the hard-earned money you spent on those additional seats goes down the drain, as airlines intend to fill every seat on the plane.

Although it may seem hard to believe, it is true, according to ex-gate attendant Kat Kamalani. Her video discusses the procedures of an overbooked flight.

Stitching another creator who booked additional seating, she states that the gate agents will give these passengers empty seats if there are no present bodies residing in those seats.



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It's a gamble to purchase extra seats if you're not sitting in them.

Commenters were generally outraged by the practice, and rightfully so. As a consumer, when you buy something, you expect some ownership in that purchase. Although airline policies differ, the general consensus seems to be that purchasing a seat on a flight is not a guarantee of that seat.

Additionally, another point being brought up involves airlines not being accommodating to those with disabilities and to those who are plus-size.

While it is reccommended you purchase an extra seat if you need the room for actual medical reasons, many people were quick to point out that it still doesn't guarantee you won't lose that seat if the flight is overbooked!

buying three seats in a row on a flight might not be worth itPhoto: Candy Box Images / Canva Pro


So, while the idea of securing additional space may seem appealing, it is also important to consider what can happen if your flight is overbooked.

Before making the decision to invest in those extra seats, be sure to weigh the pros and cons when planning your trip. You might even be able to use points and upgrade to first class for the extra space.

If you aren’t sure, it is best to contact the airline and discuss their procedures in these circumstances. But if you do roll the dice, be prepared to eat the extra costs.


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Marielisa Reyes is an entertainment and news writer for YourTango. She focuses on pop culture, lifestyle and human interest topics.