Stories by David Parker Brown

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:

I love flying with a middle seat open next to me (who doesn’t?) and I get to do it quite a bit. I wanted to give you advice on what has worked well for me, so that you too can fly high with an empty middle seat!

This is not one of those “how to” stories that is just clickbait and will tell you “use your miles to upgrade” or “give chocolates to the flight attendants.” Nope… this is all from my own personal experience. You won’t need to do anything unethical, it isn’t that hard, and it often pays off. It will take some time and it will require you to stay engaged from the moment you book your ticket until you board the plane. But I think it is totally worth it… and if you are an AvGeek, I bet you will enjoy the process as well.

Why should you trust me? Well, I would say that 85%+ of the time that I follow the steps below, I end up with a open middle seat next to me… I like those odds. See for yourself and follow these steps to increase the chance of getting an empty middle seat next to you…

Ahhh yes, this is the time of year to take a look back, before taking a look forward. I like to dive into AirlineReporter’s analytics and see what stories were the most popular and where you readers are from. Some of you maybe thinking “well heck David, there haven’t been as many stories this year.” Well, you would be right. I do not want to make any sort of grand statement that we will soon be back to the days of having a daily new story… but I hope we find a happy place in the middle.

And for those who love to see our new stories, but aren’t sure when they post, make sure to sign up for our newsletter and we will send you an email when we publish a new story (sweet self plug, right?).

Let’s take a look at the most read stories, what cities and countries our readers are from, and some other nerdy odds and ends!

The 51st Starship N514RS sits in Aspen, CO (ASE) before our flight.

I have been running AirlineReporter for over 15 years now and over that time I have been very lucky to experience some pretty rad things and I genuinely treasure all my adventures. Every now and again, someone will ask me which trip was my favorite and often my answers will differ. That said, there are three that consistently stand out. Since I was recently reminiscing about those good times, I figured why not share…

#1 – RWANDAIR’S FIRST 737 DELIVERY FLIGHT (September 2011)
During the delivery of RwandAir’s first 737, I remember being out on the flight line in Renton (where all 737s are built) and there were about five for Southwest Airlines. Getting a new 737 for an airline like that is just your typical Tuesday and there is no big fanfare. However, Rwandair’s 737-800 delivery was very different.

When you get a VIP invite to spend an afternoon spotting airplanes from the taxiways at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), you do not say “no”. You say something along the lines of “HECK YES!”

AirlineReporter Director of Photographry Francis Zera and I prepped our gear (and plenty of sunblock) and went with a group of around 15 other AvGeeks to enjoy this special time. After getting our neon PPE, badges, and a security rundown, we were escorted to a few vans waiting for us on the tarmac (I think the words “herding cats” was mentioned a few times).