use ExpertFlyer alerts to snag a greater seat

We get it. Airline seat choice could be a irritating endeavor. Window or aisle? Most popular seat or commonplace seat? Over the wing or not? Ought to I not choose a seat and hope to attain a terrific one at check-in?

Generally, your ultimate seat will not be obtainable whenever you e-book. And who has time to manually verify a seat map a number of occasions a day main as much as a flight within the hopes that a greater one opens up?

Luckily, ExpertFlyer (owned by TPG’s guardian firm, Purple Ventures) can do that for you robotically. Better of all, you’ll be able to set an alert for a window or aisle seat with ExpertFlyer’s free membership. Right now I’ll take you thru precisely the right way to set ExpertFlyer seat alerts.

ExpertFlyer overview


ExpertFlyer is free for anybody to hitch, nevertheless it additionally contains two paid membership tiers that unlock expanded options and performance. If you happen to’re a brand new member, you’ll be able to join a free five-day Premium trial on ExpertFlyer’s web site. Listed here are the three membership ranges:

  • Free: Set an alert to inform you when a extra fascinating seat opens up in your flight. You’re restricted to at least one free alert at a time, although you’ll be able to add extra for $0.99 every.
  • Fundamental ($4.99 monthly): Gives further options, similar to award and improve stock search and flight availability. You possibly can set 4 seat alerts concurrently, however you are restricted to 250 queries monthly.
  • Premium ($9.99 monthly, or $99.99 per yr): Consists of versatile search choices, limitless queries and the power to create plane change alerts and flight alerts. You possibly can have as much as 200 mixed flight and seat alerts concurrently.

For extra data on ExpertFlyer, take a look at our newbie’s information to discovering award house with ExpertFlyer. This information will focus solely on ExperFlyer seat alerts.

set an ExpertFlyer seat alert


When you’ve signed up for ExpertFlyer, you’ll be able to set a seat alert even for those who go for the free membership tier. However earlier than you go to ExpertFlyer to set a seat alert, collect your flight data. Particularly, you will want the next details about your flight:

  • Departure airport.
  • Arrival airport.
  • Date.
  • Airline identify or Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation (IATA) code.
  • Flight quantity.
  • Class of service.

After you have this data, log in to your account and click on “Create new seat alert” from the homepage.


Subsequent, enter your flight particulars and click on “Search.”

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Now, click on “Create seat alert.” Identify your alert and choose your standards on the proper earlier than clicking “Create.” Be aware that if you’re on a free ExpertFlyer membership and are utilizing your free alert, you will solely be capable to arrange an alert for any seat, any aisle seat or any window seat.


When you create an alert, ExpertFlyer will notify you through e-mail if your required seats turn into obtainable.

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Once you’d need to set a seat alert


There are a handful of occasions when you could end up in want of a greater seat, together with the next situations:

  1. Your most popular seat sort (aisle or window) isn’t obtainable.
  2. You’re caught in a center seat and like a window or aisle seat.
  3. You possibly can’t discover seats collectively for you and your partner/pal(s)/member of the family(s).
  4. You’d want a seat in a distinct a part of the aircraft (like nearer to the entrance for ease of deplaning or nearer to the again for restroom proximity).
  5. You desire a particular seat, similar to an exit-row seat or a seat in a two-seat row.

In any of those instances, the ExpertFlyer seat alerts characteristic can assist get you out of your current seat and into a greater one.

Utilizing ExpertFlyer seat alerts

Now, let’s contemplate the right way to use ExpertFlyer seat alerts. Let’s say that you’re flying American Airways flight 171 from John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK) to Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX) on Nov. 27, 2022 — a flight roughly 4 weeks away on the time of this writing. Given the flight’s size, you’d wish to keep away from sitting in a center seat. Sadly, there are not any extra commonplace window or aisle seats left — solely paid ones:


To arrange an alert, log in to your ExpertFlyer account and click on “Create new seat alert” from the homepage. Enter the search standards on your flight:

  • Departure airport identify or code: JFK.
  • Arrival airport identify or code: LAX.
  • Date: 11/27/2022.
  • Airline identify or code: American Airways (AA).
  • Flight quantity: 171.
  • Class of service: Financial system.

The positioning will then pull up the above seat map. You possibly can then choose particular seats. On this case, I ticked off all of the complimentary aisle and window seats aside from the aircraft’s final row.


When you’ve added these particulars, click on “Create.” You’ll get an instantaneous notification that your alert was efficiently created.


As soon as ExpertFlyer locates a seat that matches your alert standards, you’ll obtain an e-mail notification. At that time, it’s as much as you to entry your reservation instantly with the working airline and choose the seat. Achieve this instantly, particularly in case your flight departs inside 24 to 48 hours. Open seats are inclined to get snapped up shortly on the final minute, so that you’ll need to maximize your probabilities of choosing a greater seat.

You’re restricted to only one alert at a time with a free account. You possibly can solely use a free alert to inform you of an aisle or window opening. However you should buy further alerts which can be additionally legitimate for the three further alert settings above — exit rows, two seats collectively or particular seats — for $0.99 per alert.

If you end up buying seat alerts with a free account, you would possibly need to improve to a Fundamental or Premium membership. These memberships unlock 4 or 200 simultaneous alerts, respectively, and assist you to make the most of the extra alert settings. Plus, the Fundamental and Premium memberships present plenty of perks which can be invaluable to frequent award vacationers.

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How ceaselessly are ExpertFlyer seat alerts profitable?

ExpertFlyer may allow you to discover an aisle or window seat, so you do not have to journey within the center on United’s Premium Plus. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

In 2019, TPG ran a knowledge experiment to find out how usually ExperFlyer seat alerts are profitable. TPG checked out all ExpertFlyer seat alerts that had at the least one search related to them from August 1 by September 24, 2019 — which totaled 29,706 distinctive alerts for 111 airways — and located that 91.4% of particular person alerts have been profitable at the least as soon as.

After all, this evaluation used pre-pandemic knowledge. However I can let you know that I ceaselessly set ExpertFlyer seat alerts for my flights after I need to transfer to a greater seat and these alerts usually come by. A number of issues may clarify why ExpertFlyer seat alerts usually discover a higher seat earlier than take-off:

  1. Different passengers get upgraded.
  2. Different passengers change flights.
  3. Different passengers change seats.
  4. An airline modifications the gear sort to a aircraft with extra seats.
  5. An airline blocks seats however then opens these seats within the hours (or days) earlier than departure.

Nonetheless, as famous above, it’s important to act shortly when you get an e-mail if you wish to profit from these ExpertFlyer seat alerts.

Associated: How ExpertFlyer saved my spring break journey from a drastic schedule change

Backside line

ExpertFlyer can have a ton of utility for superior flyers, as you’ll be able to set alerts for awards and upgrades on dozens of airways with a paid Premium membership. Nonetheless, it’s additionally a implausible instrument for informal vacationers, because of the seat alert characteristic that is obtainable even to customers with a free membership.

If you cannot choose a window or aisle seat you want for an upcoming flight, I like to recommend beginning a free ExpertFlyer membership (or a five-day free Premium trial) and setting a seat alert to seek for a greater seat. It is fast and free to take action, and you could allow you to snag a window or an aisle seat. Likewise, for those who’re touring with a pal or member of the family and may’t discover two seats collectively, it might be nicely definitely worth the $0.99 price on a free ExpertFlyer membership to create a seat alert for 2 seats collectively.

Further reporting by Kyle Olsen.

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