Influencer shares weird US plane feature that lets anyone access first class

Many airlines assign seats to passengers at check-in.

While some allow you to pick where you sit in advance, others ask you to stump up extra cash to choose your aisle.

But this travel firm does things a lot differently.

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Aussie influencer Shelby Bilby recently took a trip to the US – and revealed business class could be accessed on a “first come, first served” basis.

She told her 55,000 Instagram followers: “I just went on a flight where there were no seat numbers, so you just sit wherever you want. How weird is that? First in best dressed.”

Shelby didn’t clarify which airline she was talking about – but it’s likely she travelled with Southwest Airlines.

The company is a major carrier in the US and does not allocate seats to customers.

Instead, it places punters in different “boarding groups” and allows them to pick their position themselves.

Southwest Airlines’ website explains: “You will be assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and position (1-60+) upon check in.

“Your unique group and position combination (for example: A35) will be displayed on your boarding pass and represents a reserved spot in the boarding group at the gate.

"Numbered posts in each of our gate areas indicate where to line up. When your boarding group is called, find your designated place in line and board the aircraft in numerical order with your boarding group.

“Southwest-operated flights have open seating. Once on-board, simply choose any available seat and stow your carry-on items in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.”

Those in boarding group A can head straight to first class – and to increase your chances of being allocated this prime position, you can pay for Upgraded Boarding.

Bumping passengers into a more favourable group is likely to be a great money-maker for the airline.

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