Emirates Seat Selection

Important notice, fly in your favourite seat.

Settle into a seat that’s right for you on board. Choose where you want to sit before you fly, whether it’s a seat on the aisle, extra legroom, or a window view. Book your favourite spot at the same time as your flight or later through  Manage Your Booking . You can also select a seat when you check in online, or on the  Emirates App .

Not sure where to sit? Explore our  immersive 3D seat map and seating charts  to find your perfect spot.

Economy Class seat selection

There are a few different seating options to choose from in Economy Class. Take a look and find the right one for you.

*These seats are allocated according to safety requirements .

First Class, Business Class and Premium Economy seat selection

It’s free to choose your seats in First Class, when you fly on a Business Class Saver, Flex, or Flex Plus fare and when you fly in Premium Economy.

If you are travelling on a Business Special fare you can select a complimentary seat when check-in opens 48 hours before you fly. Skywards Platinum members can select their seat anytime.

Seat selection fees

We’ll automatically allocate you a seat selection free of charge if you have specific needs, for example if you’re travelling with an infant or if you have medical requirements.

In Economy Class, it may be free to choose your seat in advance, or there could be an extra charge depending on the fare type or your Emirates Skywards membership tier.

Book ahead to secure your favourite spot, or select a Regular, Preferred or Twin seat for free when online check-in opens 48 hours before your flight.

*Preferred Lower Deck only.

These are the indicative prices ranges for Economy Class seat selection. The seat selection fees vary according to the season, route, and destination.

Children (aged 2-12 years) travelling with adults are entitled to a 50% discount on regular and preferred seats.

Economy Class Seat selection for Emirates Skywards members

Enjoy more benefits as a member of our Emirates Skywards and Skysurfers loyalty programmes or as a Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Emirates Skywards Members

Qantas frequent flyer members, terms and conditions.

Read more about our seat selection terms and conditions .

Seat Selection FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible to purchase and travel on an Extra Legroom seat?

To qualify for an Extra Legroom seat you will need to meet the following safety criteria: 

Extra Legroom seats will be re-assigned before or during the journey without any refund if customers do not meet any of the above safety criteria.

Extra Legroom terms and conditions must be expressly accepted at the time of purchase.

Customers travelling on Economy Special tickets who are not Emirates Skywards members are not eligible to select Extra Legroom seats.

Some exit row seats ending in A or K may not be located next to a window due to the emergency exit door placement, and leg space might be partially restricted. Additionally, armrests cannot be raised on extra legroom seats.

Are seat selection charges refundable?

We’ll do our best to provide the seats you reserve. However, we may have to move you to a different seat in case of disruption, aircraft change, or for any other operational, safety or security reasons. Seat reservations are subject to change up until flight departure. Therefore refund requests can only be submitted after your flight departs.

In case of involuntary changes to your seat due to operational, safety or security reasons, you are eligible for a refund only in the following cases:

Refunds will include the total amount paid for seat selection minus taxes (where not refundable). For flights already taken, the refund will be compared to your last selected seat before involuntary changes.

Customers are not eligible for seat selection refunds if:

Seat selection refunds for compassionate reasons follow ticket rules on compassionate refunds.

Can I change my seat after I’ve paid for it?

If you selected and paid for your seat, you can change to another seat of equal value for free or choose a higher value seat by paying the difference. If you changed to a higher value seat and were charged the full amount, our team will automatically refund the difference. If you change to a lower value seat, we will not be able to refund you the difference.

If you’ve made changes to your flight number or flight date, but are travelling on the original sector, you can choose new seats of equal value for free. However, we will not be able to refund you if you’ve made changes to your sector, if seats of the same value aren’t available, or if seat selection isn’t available on your new flight.

To change your seat, please go to Manage a Booking (opens in the same window)   .

Do I have to pay for seat selection for infants, children or Unaccompanied Minors?

As part of our Emirates family friendly policy, customers travelling with infants in the same booking (PNR) are exempted from seat selection charges on all regular seats, bassinets and adjacent seats on a bulkhead row, even if in a preferred area. Customers opting for other Preferred and Twin seats before online check-in will be subject to seat selection charges.

We will always aim to seat families with children together. If children travelling with adults wish to select seats before online check-in opens, they are entitled to a 50% discount on regular and preferred seats. Twin and Premium seats are not subject to a child discount and Extra Legroom seats can’t be selected due to safety regulations. We will do our best to ensure children travelling alone are seated comfortably during their flight. You don’t need to pay for seat selection for Unaccompanied Minors, as suitable seats will be assigned by Emirates free of charge.

Do I have to pay to choose my seat on Emirates flights?

If you're travelling in First, Business Class, on Saver, Flex or Flex Plus fares or Premium Economy, you do not need to pay for seat selection. Business Class Special fares can only select seats when checking in.

Discover more

comfortable bed in Emirates Boeing 777 First Class

seat selection cost emirates

Seat selection costs on Emirates - Air Travel Forum

Seat selection costs on Emirates

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We're looking at going Emirates out of SEA to MAA, then out of COK back home. In the course of research, I've not found anything even close to Emirates as far as schedules and costs, so they've become first option. With the connection time being somewhat tight transferring in Dubai coming and going into India, seat selection becomes an issue. In searching their website, I see that they charge for seat selection, but give no pricing until after purchase as an add on cost. Not wanting to go bankrupt in the process of seat selections, I have some queries I hope someone has the answers to.

My questions therefore as thus:

1.) Is seat selection charged per leg?

2.) What charges are typical cost wise if you're familiar with their costing?

3.) What are additional leg room charges (I assume more, hopefully not much more)?

Any help from any experienced Emirates travelers would be appreciated. I searched for forum answers, but didn't quite find what I was looking for.

Thanks in advance for your assistance,

this article has indication on fees

and would be per leg

This link shows the cost and unless you are at least a silver FF or travel on flex and upwards you need to pay.

The Emirates link gives you the T&C's for reserving preferred seating etc

It looks as if it'll cost you $110pp unless you meet the criteria for complimentary seating or you wait until online check in opens.

Seat charges are for the cheaper fare buckets.

The last time I flew with EK I didn't pay for any seat reservations.

seat selection cost emirates

You can select seats free of charge at online check in. The charges for seat reservation vary according to whether they are regular seats or preferred seats (in the forward part of the cabin). Window seats cost more than middle row seats. There is no charge for seat reservation in business class or first class. The last time I flew Emirates in economy I paid £25 to reserve preferred seats in the forward cabin on an A380 and I only did this because I was travelling with my daughter and three small grandchildren and needed to be seated near them. For the return journey DXB/LGW I did not bother and got decent seats at online check in.

Thank you all for your informed assist. Just pulled the trigger on the tickets, and the seat selection charges weren't that heavy. In fact with the seat charges, Emirates still had the best scheduling and prices. We did opt to fly FlyDubai, as the option was afforded us by Emirates to better our connection time out of Kochi into Dubai. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to fly their new MAX if it's utilized on that route. Thanks again to all for your help.

seat selection cost emirates

Trying to find out what I paid for tickets, traveling Feb. 21 - May 23, 2018. Emirates SEA - JNB.

PLEASE can someone help me.

#7 Necropost alert. Don't know how anyone can help you other than to suggest you check your old emails from Emirates or tickets from your travel agent.

we have encountered the similar issue, I think Emirates should have indicate the seat selection before passenger proceed to make the payment. For us we bought the saver fare with 4 transits x 3 pax, we do understand we need to pay for the seat selection fees but we did not expect it would be so high. Ends up we have to top up about £220 if we want to make sure we will be sitting together with our young children, if not Emirates will not guarantee we can sit together. I felt cheated.

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How to Make the Most of Emirates Economy Class

Amanda Johnson

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Emirates is known for its service and luxury. However, for the budget-minded, Emirates Airlines economy class can offer surprising value.

With spacious economy seats and notably good economy food, the savvy traveler can make the most of Emirates, even in the economy cabin.

What to expect flying economy with Emirates

Value-focused travelers will find Emirates international economy flights pricier than those on budget airlines, but the trade-off is a much more enjoyable experience in economy class. Know what to expect to get the most of your flights in Emirates economy:

Bag allowance. Your baggage allowance varies based on your fare type and location. For flights to and from the U.S., if you have what’s called a special economy fare, you’re allowed to check one bag up to 44 pounds (23 kg). However, saver, flex and flex plus economy class fares receive two bags, each at the 44-pound (23 kg) limit. With the exception of flights originating in Africa, if you're flying to/from a region other than the U.S., a different weight-based system applies.

Boarding. Priority boarding is available for families and for Emirates Skywards Platinum and Gold members. Otherwise, the economy cabin is boarded row by row based on seats on the plane, with those in the back boarding first.

Seats. Free economy seat selection is available online 48 hours prior to boarding or with your purchase of flex and flex plus economy fares. Emirates' international economy seats are comfortable, with above-average size, ergonomic features, flexible side panels and leather headrests.

Upgraded economy tickets. Emirates only unveiled a premium economy product on select A380 flights at the end of December 2020. These seats include a 40-inch pitch — incredible legroom for premium economy travelers — and a 19.5-inch width. These seats will also be installed on the Boeing 777X Emirates is adding to their fleet. For now, these seats are hard to come by and will only be offered as spot upgrades, most likely for those with higher loyalty status.

Ways to get good value

Stay awake and enjoy the show.

While the A380 will provide a quiet and smooth flight perfect for napping, save yourself the cost of several movie tickets and enjoy Emirates’ award-winning entertainment system. With 13.3-inch seat-back screens and thousands of entertainment options — movies, TV, music, games and even language-learning applications — you may have a hard time resisting the entertainment options available.

Bring the kids

For the budget-minded traveler, booking a whole family on a premium airline may seem counterintuitive; however, Emirates is extremely child-friendly and justifies a potentially higher flight cost. The airline goes above and beyond in terms of entertainment for kids, with child-friendly channels on the TV system, stuffed animals and accompanying blankets, and various age-appropriate travel-themed activity packs.

Emirates even provides special children’s in-flight meals, organic baby food options and milk- and bottle-warming services. On top of all these perks for kids, children 11 years and younger travel on a discounted fare. There are even separate check-in desks for families to help ease the potentially stressful experience of traveling with children.

Use the Best Fare Finder and pay in cash

Emirates’ Skywards loyalty program is not known for giving frequent travelers the best bang for their buck, though there are a few ways to find redemption sweet spots. Good deals on Emirates through partner airlines, such as Japan Airlines and Alaska Airlines, are possible, but more difficult to find than simply looking for good deals in cash.

To make it easier to fly Emirates economy class for less, use the Best Fare Finder tool on the Emirates website. Only available for economy travel on Emirates Airlines, this tool shows a classic fare calendar to find the best deals for those who can be flexible with their travel dates.

» Learn more: Get even more value with the Emirates Skywards Rewards World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

If booking with points, don’t forget the fifth-freedom flights

Fifth-freedom flights refer to flights operated by an airline between two countries, neither of which is the airline’s home base. While Emirates may be based in the United Arab Emirates, it operates fifth-freedom flights that can provide incredible value for U.S.-based economy class travelers. New York to Milan and Newark to Athens are two of the fifth-freedom flights Emirates operates through the U.S.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted typical flight schedules, fifth-freedom routes have the potential to give you the biggest bang for your buck, especially when booking with loyalty points.

» Learn more: Plan your next redemption with our airline points tool

Final thoughts on Emirates Airlines economy class

Emirates is best known for its luxurious first and business class products. Still, with high standards of inflight service; enjoyable, regional economy food; and generous seat sizes and baggage allowances, there are plenty of ways to make the most of economy class on Emirates Airlines.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

seat selection cost emirates

Select Your Seat: Emirates Seat Selection | Fee & Its Faqs

Everything that you need to know about emirates seat selection process.

Based in Dubai, Emirates is one of the largest airlines in the Middle East which is known for offering its customers the best services and offers. Further, to make booking and managing processes simpler, the airline has introduced various online processes in which one can opt by visiting the official website of the airline. 

Further, for the passengers who wish to select a preferred seat for their reservations, they are offered with the service of Emirates Seat Selection which one can opt to select seats for your booked reservations.

So, for the passengers who are willing to select seats for their reservations here, they will be provided with the complete details regarding the seat selection service.  

What is the Seat Selection Service of Emirates?  

The seat selection service of Emirates offers an option to the passengers to select preferred seats for the booked reservation by using the manage booking tool. Further, who are traveling by Economy class they are offered an option to select a seat in advance or at the time of check-in. However, for those traveling by Business and First class are offered with complimentary seat selection option. 

Further, for the passengers who have no clue, the airline offers its customers with multiple seat options which one can select as per their requirement. And to help out the customers here are the details about the seat types offered by Emirates. 

Types of Seats Offered by Emirates For Seat Selection

By using the seat selection tool of Emirates, the customers are offered an option to select seats as per their requirements like whether the passenger wishes to be seated at the front or at the back. Besides, the customers can also select a seat for free at the time of check-in until 48-hours before the departure.  

Further, these are the few seating options offered by Emirates: 

Besides, the stated seating options the customers are offered with lower deck and upper deck seats too. 

Further, for the passengers who are worried about what would be the charges for the seat selection service here are the complete details on Emirates seat selection fee.  

Seat Selection Fee for Emirates Flight Tickets

For the seat selection process, the airline has introduced a standard fare for each type of seat which is as follows:

Seat Selection Benefits for Loyalty Programme Members

For the passengers who have enrolled in frequent flyer or Skywards program are offered with additional benefits for Emirates Seat Selection . 

Further, depending on the tier the passengers can select seats for free with additional benefits. For complete information regarding this additional benefit, the passengers can contact the airline directly. 

How to Select Seats for Booked Reservations?

For selecting seats online the passengers can simply opt for the seat selection service or opt for the online check-in option. In case, if the passenger fails to select their seats online they can contact the airline directly and select a suitable seat for their reservations.

Find Useful Seat Selection Faqs

Would I need to pay for seat selection for infants and children?

Emirates always proffers a reliable policy and if any passenger traveling with infants in the same booking, then there is no seat selection charge on all sorts of regular and adjacent seats. If children are traveling with adults and want to select their preferred seats before online check-in, then they will be entitled to a 50% discount on their preferred seats.

Do I have to pay any fees to select a seat on Emirates?

You would not need to pay any for seat selection if you are traveling in First Class, Business Class on a Saver, and Flex Plus fare.

If you’re traveling class is Economy Class on a Flex Plus fare, then you can very easily select a regular or a preferred seat with the help of Emirate Manage Booking without any extra charges.

You can also wait until the online check-in opens 48 hours before the scheduled departure of the flight and choose a select a seat of your choice without any fee.

Do I have to pay for seat selection if I need special assistance?

Charges for seat selection are applicable before online check-in begins for the passengers who need special assistance. In case you don’t choose your seat and pay for your seat before online check-in begins, then Emirates Seat Selection automatically assigns a suitable seat free of charge.

This special assistance for:

Will I have to pay to select my seats on codeshare flights?

Seat selection charges are only applicable to Emirates for the passengers who are traveling in Economy class to flights operated by Emirates airlines. If you are traveling with the codeshare partner airlines of Emirates, then you can check the charges with the partner airlines.

Am I eligible to purchase extra legroom?

If you want to purchase extra legroom on Emirates, then you will have to meet the below eligibility criteria:

Seats with extra legroom may be re-assigned before or during the journey without any kind of refund if a passenger does not meet any above-listed criteria.

Check Out the Emirates Advance Seat Selection Policy For Economy Class

Have you booked your reservations with Emirates Airlines and don’t know how to select preferred seats for your reservations? Well, don’t need to fret out as you can easily select seats for your reservations by opting for the advance seat selection option.

However, for Emirates Advance Seat Selection , the passenger needs to abide by certain terms and conditions provided by the airline. So, for the passengers who are willing to select seats for their economy reservations, here are some of the major pointers that one needs to keep in mind. 

Conditions For Selecting Seats in Advance:

Besides, the advance seat selection option for economy class flight tickets might vary with seat and fare type. So, to help passengers get a clear picture, here are the details about the Emirates advance seat selection option for economy class. 

Seat Selection For Regular Seats:

Seat Selection For Preferred Seats:

Seat Selection for Twin Seats and Extra Legroom Seats:  

Further, the Advance Seat Selection Charges are:

Besides, for the passengers who have regarding changes and refund related to Emirates advance seat selection they can contact the reservation center of the airline for complete information and manage itinerary easily. 

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seat selection cost emirates

How to Avoid Paying Airline Seat Fees

seat selection cost emirates

See recent posts by Peter Thornton

Sit Anywhere on the Plane for Free

Just as restaurants may ask for an extra fee if you want a special side dish or concert venues may charge more for specific seats rather than general admission, most airlines do charge extra if you want to pick a certain seat. I know this isn’t how it used to be, but Basic Economy is here to stay and this is just simply how the industry has evolved. The good news is that airfares are still historically low and, if you are diligent and don’t need all the frills of yesteryear, you can fly super cheap and sit anywhere (read somewhere) on the plane for free.

Don’t Be Fooled Into Paying to Choose a Seat


Airlines want you to pay extra to choose a seat — even middle seats. This is one reason airlines are able to sell tickets for pennies or across oceans for only a couple hundred dollars. The airlines are making big profits from ancillary fees and do everything possible to keep the actual airfare lower than the competition. As consumers of air travel, we need to be careful to only pay for what we want and not get fooled into paying more than we intend. In my opinion, the seat fee is one of the easiest airline fees to avoid.

It can be confusing when going through the booking steps and you may not even realize an extra seat fee was added by the time you get to the final payment screen. Even if an airline’s website makes it appear that you have to pay extra for a seat, you are never required to choose a specific seat and can always opt to decline seat selection in lieu of a FREE seat assignment during check-in.

Related: Passenger Etiquette: The Basic Rules of the Armrest

Watch for pop-ups and automatic add-ons.

The biggest culprits in trying to force seat selection fees are ultra-low-cost carriers like Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit. None of the fares sold by these airlines include seat selection, but there are certain bundles you can add on, which would include seat assignments. Some legacy airlines have simply made seat selection unavailable for Basic Economy fares and require that you purchase a standard or Main Cabin Economy ticket in order to choose a seat in advance.

Below, I’ll go over specifics on what to look for during the seat selection step when booking on the larger U.S. carriers. These same tactics can be used for international carriers. Just remember, you are never required to pay an extra seat fee.

How to Avoid Seat Fees on Alaska Airlines

Flying Alaska Airlines is one of the easiest ways to avoid a seat fee, because even Alaska’s version of Basic Economy, the “Saver” fare, includes limited free seat assignments at the back of the plane. When choosing seats on the seat map, scroll to the bottom to find seats marked with a “S” for Saver fare seats. Seats shown in a dark blue color are for passengers purchasing a “Main” class fare only so you’ll have to upgrade to that type of fare to choose those seats in advance. If you’re buying a Saver fare and don’t like the choice of seats, simply click on “Skip Seats” and you’ll be assigned seats for free during check-in, which may include seats towards the front of the plane.


How to Avoid Seat Fees on Allegiant Airlines

When the seat selection screen appears on Allegiant’s website, it doesn’t even indicate that there are fees associated with choosing a seat. However, if you do click on a certain seat, a pop-up will appear telling you the price and you’ll have to confirm that you agree. To bypass this and avoid paying a fee, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Continue”. You’ll have to do this for both flights if you are booking a roundtrip. Another pop-up will appear warning that you haven’t chosen a seat and asking if it’s ok. Just click “Yes, Continue” and be on your way without caving in to Allegiant’s fear of separation anxiety tactics.


Related: The 10 Best Underseat Carry-On Bags for Basic Economy

How to avoid seat fees on american airlines.

American Airlines does not necessarily try to trick you into paying a seat fee when booking. Its Basic Economy fares do not allow advanced seat selection for domestic or short-haul international flights, and therefore, you simply won’t be shown a seat map when booking a Basic Economy ticket. For transatlantic flights, Basic Economy fares do allow you to choose specific seats during booking for a fee, but prices are clearly displayed on the seat map. To avoid a fee, just click on the small text that reads “skip seats for all flights” and your seats will be assigned for free upon check-in. And if you avoid Basic Economy entirely, you’ll be able to choose seats in advance for any flight when booking a Main Cabin Economy ticket.


How to Avoid Seat Fees on Delta

Delta sells Basic Economy tickets in more markets than any other airline. And while some aspects of Delta’s Basic Economy differ depending on the destination, advanced seat assignments are simply not allowed for any Basic Economy ticket on Delta. Of course, Delta doesn’t want to actually sell its Basic Economy fares. Anytime you select a basic fare, you’ll get a pop-up asking if you’d like to move to Main Cabin Economy fare, which includes seat selection. If you don’t want to pay more, just click on the checkbox that you accept restrictions and then click on the small “Continue with Basic Economy” text to avoid the upcharge. Seats will be assigned for free after check-in.


How to Avoid Seat Fees on Frontier Airlines

Frontier doesn’t really try to mask the fact that you’ll pay to choose a seat. You’ll see prices listed for each seat directly on the seat map. To avoid a fee, scroll to the bottom and click on the green “Continue” button without choosing a seat. A pop-up will then appear and you’ll have to click on the small print “No Thanks, I’ll take whatever.” link to actually continue.


How to Avoid Seat Fees on Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines now offers a Basic Economy fare. While it’s currently limited to only a few routes between the U.S. mainland and Honolulu, Hawaiian’s “Main Cabin Basic” fare is likely to spread throughout its network eventually. This type of fare does not allow advanced seat assignments but you’ll always be asked to confirm your selection when booking a “Main Cabin Basic” fare. And not just once — a second pop-up appears during the booking process asking “Want to choose your seats?” To avoid the upcharge for a “Main Cabin” ticket, just click “No thanks” and you’ll be able to select seats during check-in.


Related: How to Choose the Best Seat on a Plane

How to avoid seat fees on jetblue.

JetBlue was the latest airline to implement a Basic Economy fare, which it calls " Basic Blue ". This fare requires a fee to choose a specific seat in advance. Be careful, because prices are not listed on the seat map itself. Instead, a price will pop-up when you hover over a seat and are also listed to the left of the seat map. To avoid this fee, simply scroll to the bottom of the seat selection page and look for the text that reads "skip seat selection for now". Click on that link and you'll have the chance to choose a seat from what's still available when you check-in starting 24 hours before departure. If you decide to purchase JetBlue's classic "Blue" fare, advanced seat assignments are included.


How to Avoid Seat Fees on Southwest Airlines

Southwest doesn’t assign seats on any of its flights so you won’t ever pay a seat fee, per say, when flying Southwest. However, it does give the option to add EarlyBird automatic check-in for a fee, which would give you an earlier boarding position and a better choice of seat. Alternatively, set an alarm on your phone to check-in exactly 24 hours before your flight and get a decent boarding position for free.


How to Avoid Seat Fees on Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is very clear and upfront that you’ll be paying a fee to choose a seat. There are prices for each seat on its seat map, but you don’t have to click on any of them. Look for the small print text that says “continue without seats” and click that link to avoid any seat fees. Of course, a pop-up will then appear inducing blatant FOMO (Fear Of Middle Overtone). Just click on the smaller “continue without seats” text again and you can continue without adding any cost to your cheap flight.


Related: Finally! Middle Seats Will Soon Be Larger on Some Airlines

How to avoid seat fees on sun country airlines.

Sun Country is also very upfront with its fees on the seat map. All seats will have a price listed, but it isn’t very clear on this page that you don’t actually need to choose a seat. To avoid a fee, just scroll to the bottom of the page (without clicking on a seat) and click the orange “continue” button. A pop-up will appear saying that your seat selection is not complete. Simply click on the white “continue without all seats” button to finish booking without adding any extra fees.


How to Avoid Seat Fees on United Airlines

United’s Basic Economy fare is the most restrictive of the U.S. legacy carriers, but it does allow advanced seat assignments — for a fee. Since prices are not listed on the seat map until you hover over or select a seat, it can be pretty easy to whisk through this step and add fees to your booking that you did not wish to add. To avoid any extra fees, just click on the grey “Continue to payment” button without choosing any seats. Free seat assignments will be given after check-in. Of course, if you purchase a standard Economy ticket, you’ll be able to choose standard seats for free during booking.


Related: A New Look at Basic Economy for Transatlantic International Travel

There’s a good chance you can sit together without paying a fee.


Choosing to leave seat assignments up to chance is more nerve-racking when you’re traveling with family and friends and want to sit next to each other. While it’s never guaranteed you’ll get seats together, don’t assume that a free seat assignment at check-in will doom you to be separated in middle seats throughout the cabin. Sure, it could happen, but in my experience, and hearing from several others, couples and families are usually still seated together when seats are assigned by the airline for free.

For better odds, I would recommend checking in as early as possible. And if you don’t end up sitting next to your travel companion, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll still get to your destination at the same time and might even enjoy the time to yourself in-flight.

Of course, traveling with small children is a different story and many parents would like to ensure that they will be sitting next to minor children onboard. The Families Flying Together Act calls for any child under the age of 13 to be seated with parents or guardians for no extra charge, but this doesn’t seem to be a concrete law.

To ensure small children are seated next to an adult, the Department of Transportation suggests contacting the airline directly after booking and discussing your situation. Arrive at the airport early and work with the agents to accommodate your family. Airline agents will do everything possible to seat young children next to a family member.

Related: JAL's Seat Map Feature Helps You Avoid Crying Babies on Flights

Book Your Ticket at the Airport


The internet has made booking flights extremely convenient and some airlines have decided to charge a fee for that convenience. I recently booked flights on Frontier and Spirit for a friend and I, in person, at the airport in order to save each airline’s hefty online booking fee. To my surprise, we were also assigned seats next to each other for free at the time of booking. I assumed our seats would be randomly assigned at check-in and never asked for specific seats. But, sure enough, we were given adjacent seats on both flights and even got Frontier’s extra legroom seats assigned for free.

This is not a given, but if you are courteous and friendly with the agent when booking a flight at the airport, you may just find yourself getting free seat assignments in advance. I haven’t tried this with any legacy carriers, but since a human agent has the ability to override the system, you’ll probably have a better chance of getting seats assigned next to each other for free when booking at the airport. I wouldn’t assume that this will happen, but if it’s convenient for you to book at the airport, it’s worth a shot.

Related: How to Avoid Online Booking Fees on Airline Tickets

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