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The reality behind the ‘hack’ to not sit by anyone on a plane

A woman shared how she prevents people from sitting next to her on an airplane with a simple hack.

The hack originated from the travel TikTok account for The Upgrade (@theupgrade_), a news website that produces travel content. The website describes itself as “a world-leading indie travel news source, providing the most up-to-date and relevant news for travelers across the globe, since 2017.”

In a now-removed video, that received 6.7 million views as of Monday, a woman showed how she ultimately finessed a flight without anyone sitting beside her. Set to the popular sound of Kim Kardashian saying, “Because it’s iconic and I love to do iconic s***!” the woman can be seen in the clip guiltily grinning and holding a hand to her face as the overlaid text said, “When I buy 3 refundable seats and cancel 2 at the last minute.”

Kashlee Kucheran – founder of The Upgrade – explained to the Daily Dot that they removed the video because it was “satire and joke” that was misconstrued.

“The video was born when our social media manager, Ivanna, just by chance had an entire row to herself and made it into a fun parody for TikTok,” she told the outlet. The social media manager defended her video, saying: “Everyone dreams about having a row all to themselves, and I was lucky enough to realise that dream on my last flight. The video was a cheeky spin on my experience that day.”

The seating hack was shared on TikTok account for The Upgrade (TikTok)
The seating hack was shared on TikTok account for The Upgrade (TikTok)

Kucheran added, “We have removed the video in good faith to ensure people don’t take a social media parody seriously.”

The video proved divisive before the outlet took the video down, with one person writing at the time, “That’s not iconic. There are people who need seats to see loved ones and your selfishness prevent [sic] them from doing that.”

Others chimed in that the hack would never work in reality, since there are usually passengers on standby.

“As a family that flies standby regularly – my kids and I will be thrilled to have those seats!” one person wrote, while another added: “As a flight attendant who flies standby, I hope I’m on all your flights!!!”

“Doesn’t work if there’s a standby list,” another viewer chipped in.

However, there were some people willing to take a chance on the hack. One person commented, “If there is no cancellation fee then this a great lifehack.”