A traveler has revealed a crafty hack that can help you secure a whole row for yourself for your next plane trip – but not everyone is convinced.
Sharif Ceasar, known online for sharing money-saving tips and tricks, said he books one flight ticket for himself and two more refundable tickets, all in the same row.
He then cancels the refundable tickets and gets his money back when check-in closes and after the airline has had a chance to fill the now empty seats.
The 22-year-old called hacking “a poor man’s first class technique,” but some were quick to point out shortcomings with his advice.
Some called the hack “selfish,” while others said the trick wouldn’t work because the seats would be filled by passengers on standby.
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A traveler has shared his controversial hack for scoring a fight with yourself on your next flight. Sharif books three seats in the same row and cancels two at the last minute (stock image)
“This is called a poor man’s first class,” Sharif explained on Instagram video referring to scoring a row of three seats for yourself.
“I bought one ticket for myself and then I bought two more fully refundable tickets in the same row. 45 minutes before my departure I will cancel the two refundable tickets and get all my money back.’
Sharif said that “90 percent” of the time the seats won’t be filled this close to takeoff and that most of the time he will have the entire row unoccupied.
“So in the end you only pay for one normal ticket?” he wondered as he reenacted a hypothetical conversation.
“Precisely because the other two were fully refundable.”
Sharif’s clip has been viewed more than 4.2 million times online and caused a stir in the comments.
“This is a terrible idea for many reasons,” said one viewer, while another agreed: “This is so ignorant and selfish and won’t work on most airlines because of the standby.”
“This is why airlines have stopped fully refunding tickets and only offering account credits that eventually expire,” a third wrote.
Others said the seats will be occupied by people on standby, pointed out that the hack could lead companies to raise prices and warned airlines they could blacklist passengers who repeatedly cancel tickets.
‘This will not work. This is not a hack. Those seats will easily be filled by standbys. This will also cause airlines to overbook and increase the price of tickets for everyone,” a flight attendant explained.
‘This would only lead to airlines increasing overbookings and prices. Taking advantage of a system only leads to additional policies and restrictions for everyone in the future,” another noted.
“Hey, airlines will blacklist you and ban you,” said a third.
Someone said that getting a full refund on airline tickets was not as easy as Sharif made it out to be.
‘I was once given ‘fully refundable’ tickets, but couldn’t make the flight due to extreme flooding in my area. “I literally had to spend over six hours on the phone with customer service, arguing that my fully refundable tickets should be refunded because I met all the conditions,” they recalled.
“Just because the tickets are labeled ‘fully refundable’ does not mean the airline won’t try to prevent you from getting the refund.”