Stuck in a middle seat? United’s app will help you find a better one

Dec 7, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Nearly everyone hates being stuck in the dreaded middle seat, and United is doing its part to help upgrade your onboard experience.

As part of the airline’s latest mobile app update (version 4.1.36), the airline will now send you a push notification if you’re stuck in the middle and a better seat becomes available. The latest update is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Release notes for United’s mobile app (Screenshot courtesy of Apple)

Once you receive the push notification, you can log in to your existing booking and change your seat in just a few taps. We reached out to United to learn more about how the new functionality works, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

This is the latest flyer-friendly feature that United has added to its mobile app. The airline recently debuted a new group shopping experience that lets you share itineraries and preferred flights with a group of friends or family members who are all traveling together.

Late last year, United released a major new version of its app, focused on enhanced day-of-travel updates, a refreshed MileagePlus member account page, accessibility improvements and more.

While United is leading the charge on mobile technology, any traveler — regardless of airline — can use ExpertFlyer to snag a better seat. One of the key features of ExpertFlyer — which is owned by TPG parent company Red Ventures — is the ability to set seat alerts for any type of seat, including an aisle, window, bulkhead or exit row.

Related: How to boost your chances of getting a better seat by 91% or more

You can choose to include premium, paid or blocked seats, which are available sometimes to elites and other frequent flyers. After setting an alert, you’ll be immediately notified via email (or text, if you prefer) should your preferred seat become available.

Personally, I’ve used ExpertFlyer countless times to snag a better seat — and I’m excited that United is deploying a similar feature to its mobile app.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.