Plane rides can lower your standards so far that having an empty seat next to you feels like living in a mansion.

(via Thinkstock)

Travel writer Scott Mackenzie has a list of strategies for picking where to sit on a plane, and they've helped him land empty seats next to him multiple times without any special connections. He explained his rules on Travel Codex, and here are some of the highlights:

  • Choose a seat in the back, because the gate agents will fill in new seat assignments from front to rear.
  • In a 3-3-3 configuration, middle seats on the left and right are more likely to stay open than middle seats in the center. This is because they're less desirable since the person in the window seat has to climb over you to get out.
  • Pick a seat next to one empty seat rather than a lot of empty seats, because groups of people will be more likely to go for the group of openings.
Sources: h/t Lifehacker | Travel Codex