I travel quite a bit on airplanes, but I rarely find myself seated next to a pretty girl. I got tired of depending on luck, so I’ve come up with the following strategy to improve my odds.

1. When booking your flight, reserve a seat in the last row of the plane.

2. Be the absolute last person to get on the airplane. I don’t get on until I hear the “last call” announcement. Otherwise there will be stragglers who get on after you.

3. Sit next to the girl you like. It doesn’t matter if the plane is full of empty rows—simply seat yourself next to the prettiest girl on the airplane. Don’t worry, she’s not going to ask for your seat assignment (and neither will anyone else). By reserving a seat in the last row, you can scope out the entire plane before making a decision.

4. When the plane starts to descend, look towards the girl and say, “Is this your first time in [city name]?” (I stole the line from an elderly Polish businessman who successfully used it on me.) Have a chat about the city. I like to wait until the end because I don’t want the pressure of having to talk to her for the entire flight. Descents usually take 20-30 minutes, which is a good amount of time to game and build attraction without having the conversation go stale.

5. Get her number.

It’s really that easy. You can also do this on long-distance buses and trains. The key is to get on last, ignore your seat assignment, and sit next to a girl you like. If someone claims the seat, just play dumb and chances are you won’t even have to get up.

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