Earning or buying elite status on airlines is hard af. Even for me. There are a million ways to ensure you don't get a middle seat next to a screaming baby and a rude weirdo in the aisle right next to the bathroom. But one thing people don't get is that they need to be a member of the loyalty club on each and every flight on each and every airline. Even if you won't be flying often or soon, you don't want to be the lowest person on the totem pole. The airlines will literally consider you last in all things when it comes to seat placement or bumping you. It's easy to sign up. Do it before every flight and make sure you book your tickets with it.