Travel Pro Tip: Ask to get moved forward when flight delayed

Frequent flyer pro tip: If your flight is delayed and you have a tight connection don’t be shy about walking up to the counter and asking for seat closer to the front of the plane.

Today I’m flying to Los Angeles (LAX) from WordCamp US in Philadelphia (PHL), via Chicago (ORD). If I could have avoided flying through Chicago in the winter without spending a fortune to do it, I would have… but today I couldn’t avoid it.

I did two things smart in booking this flight.

First, I made sure there was a later flight between ORD>LAX, just in case there was a weather delay in either PHL or ORD. However, it’s worth noting I already know that flight is full so of little use, still better to know it exists this time of year.

Second, when the inbound flight (coming to PHL from ORD) announced a delay I promptly went up to the gate counter and based on the fact that I was sitting in row 32 and that my 1 hour 30 minute layover in ORD was now was going to be closer to 30 minutes with a terminal change if they’d kindly move me to a row closer to “the front of the plane”. Nobody wants anyone to miss a flight and United graciously moved me forward to 7B, which while a middle seat, is an economy plus bulkhead head seat. I hate middle seats, but this is still loads better than standard economy.  In rare instances this will even result getting a free upgrade to 1st class.  Here however all I really want to to still make my connection in ORD.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, boarding flight UA 451 now.



  1. I had all kinds of delays today, so hope yours went smoothly. My tip from today, when it seemed pretty clear the connection would be missed, I opened the airline app to check on options and already had an offer of an alternate flight, snagging the last seat on that flight. Sometimes knowing how to navigate the app can help you avoid lines and phone calls.

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