There's no doubt that 2022 is the year that travelers found that flights have gotten far more annoying than they once were. This is because of delays, cancellations, high prices and serious overbooking by the airlines.
This makes getting a seat on a flight far more difficult than it had been in the past, but getting an entire row all to yourself? That's impossible. Nevertheless, one traveler managed to do this using a, let's say "interesting" method.
User mikewdavis on TikTok, in a video he uploaded to his account, shows him seated on a Southwest Airlines flight as people board and, anytime a passenger passes by him, he looks up at them, makes uncomfortably long eye contact, smiles – perhaps a bit too kindly – and pats the seat next to him.
How to keep seats open next to you on a flight♬ original sound - mikewdavis
It seems that these seat-pats are the straws that break the camels' backs for passengers who perhaps were assigned the seats next to him but continued to walk, looking for alternate seats.
It seems that long eye contact and light taps on the seats make many people distance themselves.
In order for this silly strategy to succeed, one must order their seat in an empty row as far in advance as possible and, most of all, remember that this too-kind approach might actually excite some overtly friendly people rather than scare them away, according to the site Matador Network.