My GF Deborah gets early boarding on flights because of an injury that HIPAA rules prevent me from discussing. On our current flight from Detroit Rock City to Tampa FL, she asked at the gate if we could be moved to more spacious seats due to her handicap (because the sardine can that served as our last flight was ridiculous and caused her significant discomfort of an undisclosed nature), and in fact we could, the gate agent informed us. So we are now seated next to the bulkead that separates the hoi poloi from the First Class elites - so close we can smell the luxury - and my long legs have never been happier. And bulkhead is a loose term because there is still room for our bags underneath the extrawide ritzy seats in front of us. That is why I always say, "It never hurts to ask."