Digital Nomad Economics: The 24 Hour Flight Check-In

Trying to get a good seat without paying a premium for an aisle seat or an exit row or something else?

Always, always, always….check into your flight right at the 24 hour pre-departure time. Every airline is different and they’re all looking for new ways to screw you out of a penny. But when check-in opens, there are seats that have been on hold that get released.

Sometimes you get a free bump up to an exit row to get more legroom, but it’s more important for finding your way out of the dreaded middle seat. Maybe you like being cramped between two smelly strangers and a middle seat is awesome for you. But chances are, you will take any aisle or window instead of the middle.

At the 24 hour mark, elites start getting upgrades and airlines start losing hope that you’ll pay for the upgrade. It’s a game of chicken and works out 50/50. But I’ll take 50/50 any day of the week and twice on Sunday, especially after the last time I flew middle - on a Southwest flight next to a person working on a “Ted Cruz for President” excel grid on her laptop.