How to avoid airline seat selection fees: Our 4 top tips

by MaddOx
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The airline seat selection fee is one that frequently catches travellers unaware of the massive air travel expenses. You can sidestep these extra charges and ensure a more comfortable journey with a bit of strategic planning. This article will examine savvy tips and tricks on how to avoid airline seat selection fees, allowing you to enjoy your flight without the added expense.

Four top tips for avoiding airline seat selection fees

Understanding the seat selection policy

Understanding your airline’s seat selection policy is crucial to avoiding unexpected fees and securing seating arrangements for your travel group. Policies vary widely; some companies charge for all seats, while others target preferred or extra-legroom options. Preparing for these differences in advance allows you to plan strategically and save money. Keep an eye out for high fees; some operators demand prices that easily surpass the cost of the entire flight. Stay informed and conduct research in advance to avoid overspending on seat selection.

Employ seat alerts and SeatMaps

You can examine seat maps that are accessible on airline websites or other third-party platforms before completing your ticket purchase. You can find appealing seats that might not cost more by using these visual representations of the aircraft’s seating arrangement. Additionally, consider signing up for seat alert services to be notified when your preferred seats become available, and don’t forget to check the status of your flight for any updates on seating arrangements. This effective strategy will allow you to take advantage of favourable seating arrangements without having to pay extra.

Airline SeatMap for planes

Optimise your seating with airline loyalty

You can cut off the massive airline seat selection fees by utilising airline loyalty programs. This strategy will not only help you avoid those fees, but you’ll also attain perks like preferred seating and added comfort. Accumulate points through your journeys and explore available seats hassle-free using online tools. For instance, you can employ Jet2’s flight tracker to effortlessly monitor your flight status, making informed decisions about available seats.

Skip seat selection

You can minimise travel costs by not choosing a specific seat when booking your flight. Many airlines charge additionally for seat selection, increasing your overall travel expenses. By skipping this option, you might save money on your ticket. Although you won’t have control over your exact seat, it’s a practical trick for budget-conscious travellers. Explore the airlines that assign seats for free during check-in, offering a chance to get a good seat without paying extra.

Skipping the airline's seat selection process to just pick an available seat

Additional tips

  • Leverage Frequent Flyer Status: If you’re a frequent flyer with a particular airline, leverage your status to negotiate waived or reduced seat selection fees. Airlines often provide preferential treatment to their loyal customers, which might include complimentary seat selection or access to premium seating options. Ensure you are signed up for the airline’s loyalty program and highlight your status when making a booking or during check-in.
  • Travel During Off-Peak Times: Flying during less busy periods, such as mid-week or outside of the holiday seasons, can increase your chances of securing a preferred seat without an additional fee. Airlines are more likely to have a surplus of desirable seats during these times, reducing the necessity to pay extra for seat selection.
  • Check-In Early: Many airlines open their check-in 24 hours before departure, offering a wider selection of available seats at no extra cost. By checking in as soon as the window opens, you may snag a good seat before others have the chance to select or upgrade.
  • Use Credit Card Perks: Some travel credit cards offer benefits that include waived fees or seat upgrades. Review the perks associated with your credit card to see if it includes any airline fee waivers or seat upgrade options. Utilising these benefits can significantly reduce your travel costs and enhance your comfort during the flight.

By combining these strategies with the ones already mentioned in the article, you can significantly reduce or even eliminate seat selection fees, ensuring a more economical and comfortable journey. Remember, a little research and planning can go a long way in making your air travel experience both enjoyable and budget-friendly.

Aisle view of the interior of a plane

For more articles like this and other general topics, check out our Lifestyle & General section.

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