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Preferred seating

united airlines seat types

Purchase preferred seating for a more favorable spot in United Economy ® .

Preferred seating includes United Economy seats that have standard legroom but are closer to the front of the aircraft in the first few rows behind Economy Plus ® .

When you purchase preferred seating, you’ll not only enjoy a better seat in Economy, but you’ll also receive earlier onboard service and, when you land, get off the plane and on your way faster. Better yet, MileagePlus members with Premier ® status can select preferred seating at no additional cost and all other MileagePlus members will earn Premier qualifying points on preferred seating purchases after travel has been completed.

Preferred seating is available on all United and United Express ® flights, and prices vary based on the route. Customers who are traveling on Basic Economy tickets are eligible to purchase preferred seating.

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united airlines seat types

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United Airlines Seat Selection: What You Need to Know

Carissa Rawson

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Table of Contents

United Airlines seat selection

United seat selection fees, united airlines seats for elite members, united airlines seat map, how to select a seat on united airlines, final thoughts on selecting united airlines seats.

When you take to the skies one of the most important things when it comes to preparing for your flight is knowing where you'll be seated on the airplane. Like most other airlines, United gives its guests assigned seating on its flights. The majority of customers can select from a variety of seats for free, but there are also options for preferred seating and even upgrades for those who are willing to pay. Here's a look at United Airlines seat selection and United Airlines seat assignment policies.

» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now

Most United Airlines flights will have at least two cabin classes: economy and first class. Depending on where you’re going, you may also find business class and premium economy seating.

No matter your fare class, you will be able to choose a seat from the available selection, though how much you’ll pay and the associated fees will differ according to your ticket and various other factors.

How much is seat selection on United Airlines? Charges vary, but generally speaking, the longer and more in-demand your flight, the more expensive it will be for your seat selection.

Basic economy (most restrictive)

Basic economy tickets don't provide complimentary seat selection in any cabin. In exchange for cheaper tickets, you can either opt to pay for a seat assignment or wait until check-in and be randomly assigned a seat.

united airlines seat types

Families and groups who book basic economy tickets won't be seated together; though again, they can pay to ensure that they’re near each other.

Standard economy

You may be wondering: “How do I choose my seat on United Airlines?” Happily, those booking a regular economy class ticket will have the ability to book a seat for free, although the available options may not be desirable. In this case, customers can also choose to pay for better seats while maintaining their economy class ticket.

If you’re traveling with young children you may want to know: “Does United seat families together?” Yes, it does. If you’re booking an economy ticket or above, United’s system will automatically attempt to seat children under 15 on the same reservation together with their parents.

» Learn more: Is United Airlines good?

Preferred seating

Preferred seating features seats with better locations than standard United economy flights. The seats are the same, but they tend to be closer to the front of the cabin. Costs for preferred seating vary depending on the flight, but these are the cheapest paid seat upgrades you can find on United flights.

Economy Plus

Economy Plus seats are within the standard economy cabin, though they’re located just behind first class seating. They provide more legroom than regular economy seats and also offer free alcoholic beverages on premium transcontinental routes. These seats are more expensive than preferred seats.

Premium Plus

Premium Plus is United’s premium economy offering and is available on select flights. This is better than economy class but not as good as United’s international business class, Premium Plus seats are all free for those who book this cabin.

United first and business class

Like Premium Plus, those who book either first or business class can choose any seat within the cabin for free.

» Learn more: How you’ll earn United Premier Qualifying Points on flights

Loyal members of United’s MileagePlus program receive additional benefits when booking flights, including better seats.

Silver elite members and above have complimentary access to preferred seating at booking.

Gold elite members and above can pick an Economy Plus seat for free when booking their ticket. Silver members, meanwhile, can choose from available Economy Plus seats upon check-in.

United elite members are also entitled to complimentary upgrades on select flights starting as early as 96 hours before departure.

Wondering what the seats on your flight will look like? United provides a seat map that you can find when booking your flight. Before selecting a flight, you can view the seat map by selecting “Seats” on the search result page.

united airlines seat types

This will open a live preview of the seats on your aircraft that shows you the layout of the seats as well as which seats are available to select. You’ll also see the seat map during booking, when you’re prompted to select your seats.

united airlines seat types

After booking, it’s possible to change your seats by going to "My Trips" and selecting "Manage Trips." Once on your specific flight page, you’ll be able to view your seat and select a new one if you desire.

» Learn more: Delta vs. United vs. American

During booking

You’ll automatically be prompted to select a seat when booking your ticket online. Once you’ve selected your flight, you’ll fill out your passenger information and any frequent flyer programs.

Depending on your flight, United may also offer the ability to purchase discounted bundles during checkout. These may save you money over choosing extras individually, though you’ll want to take a look at the costs.

united airlines seat types

After deciding whether to add a bundle, you’ll be taken to the seat map to choose your seat. A legend on the right will show you which seats are included and the costs of any upgrades.

united airlines seat types

Once you’ve selected a seat, complete the check-out process and pay for your ticket.

After booking

If you’ve already booked a ticket and would like to select a seat or change your existing seat, you can do so from the “Manage My Trips” tab under the “My Trips” option.

united airlines seat types

Then, you’ll select “Manage Trip” from your available trips. Here you’ll find your trip information, including the option to change your seat.

» Learn more: The pros and cons of MileagePlus

United Airlines’ seating policies can be confusing, especially when you’re booking an economy class ticket. The short of it is this: If you book at least a standard economy ticket, you’ll be able to choose a seat for free. You can also pay to have better seats, though some United elite members will receive access to these better seats for free. Basic economy customers, meanwhile, will always need to pay to select a seat.

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

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united airlines seat types

United Airlines Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees, & More

Erin Miller

United 787

We may be compensated when you click on links from one or more of our advertising partners. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone. Terms apply to offers below. See our Advertiser Disclosure  for more details.

There’s no doubt you know United Airlines (and may have even flown with them before), but are you aware of their different fare types, the ins and outs of their baggage allowances, and all of their extra fees/add-ons? What about their seat specs and their consumer satisfaction ratings?

This helpful guide covers all you need to know about this large U.S. carrier so you hopefully won’t be caught unaware on your next flight.

In this post you’ll find a general company overview, ticketing/fare options, extra fees/add-ons (including baggage allowances ), cabin class amenities, seat specs, and more.

Table of contents

United Ticketing Options

United frequent flyer program, baggage fees, united’s other fees & add-ons, how to avoid paying excess fees & travel expenses, united inflight amenities, most common complaints, consumer rankings, ratings, etc. , safety and performance, charity partnership, final thoughts.

Table of Contents

Airline: United Airlines

Alliance:  Star Alliance

Category:  Legacy domestic and international airline

Frequent Flyer Program: MileagePlus

Tag Line:  “Fly the Friendly Skies”

About/Mission Statement: “We are committed to providing a level of service to our customers that makes us a leader in the airline industry. We understand that to do this we need to have a product we are proud of and employees who like coming to work every day….” (source)

Daily Flights:  4,700

Main Hub:  Chicago-O’Hare International Airport ( ORD )

Destinations:  356 (including 125 international)

United Airlines Route Map

United’s fare types are pretty standard for a large U.S. carrier. But with stiff competition from lots of low-cost airlines, United recently introduced a Basic Economy fare — which pretty much just gets you a seat on the plane.

Handy for those traveling light, this reduced and restricted fare does not include any standard carry-on or checked luggage.

And for anyone part of United’s frequent flyer program (covered later on in this article), you won’t be eligible for premier qualifying miles that go toward your elite status when flying in this class.

Below are the additional differences in fare types and cabin classes, with inflight amenities covered later on in this article:

Basic Economy (most restrictive fare): 

Economy (standard): 

Economy (flexible):

Premium Plus:

The availability of certain cabin classes is dependent on the route and plane type. We’ve also covered how you can upgrade to business or first class on United Airlines .

Economy Plus

If you’re looking for a little extra legroom, you can upgrade your booking to Economy Plus. This will also seat you closer to the front of the aircraft so you can disembark quicker.

You can upgrade as a one-off, or subscribe to yearly upgrades when booking a regular economy ticket (where Economy Plus is available).

United Airlines MileagePlus

MileagePlus is United’s frequent flyer loyalty program where you can earn miles to redeem against reward flights and work your way up membership tiers to gain elite benefits, such as priority check-in and additional luggage.

These reward miles can also be used against flights with other Star Alliance members. You can earn miles through flying, shopping, dining out, and spending on certain credit cards.

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our article on United’s MileagePlus frequent flyer program .

United Airlines Baggage Fees & Other Fees/Add-Ons

United Airlines Carry-On Allowance:

1 personal item: FREE 1 standard carry-on bag: FREE (including Basic Economy Transatlantic flights but excluding all other routes for basic economy)

United  Airlines Checked Allowance:

Max weight: 50lb (23kg) for all economy and premium plus fares and 70lbs (32kg) for business and first class fares.

Max size: 62 inches (158cm) linear

United recommends that passengers check their official baggage fee calculator tool to view baggage costs associated with their specific fare type.

We ran some basic route searches, and the fees appeared as the following (do a check on your specific fare before booking to confirm):

Domestic U.S. & Canada

U.S. to/from Mexico

U.S. to/from Europe

Additional and Excess Baggage Fees:

Oversized Fee: $200 per bag (up to 115in/292cm)

Overweight Fee (route dependent):

MileagePlus Status weight allowance:

Hot Tip: See our post on United Airlines baggage policy  which details specific baggage allowances for all types of cabin class, status and personnel such as the military. 

Service Fees

All reservations on United.com can be made without incurring a service fee. For other methods of booking made within the U.S. or Canada, the service fees are as follows:

By Phone: $25

City Ticket Office:  $30

At the Airport: $50

Reservations Made Outside of the U.S.: Fees vary according to country

Cancellation and Change Fees: (Cash Tickets)

We’ve also gone into detail on United’s  award flight change & cancellation fees .

Seat Selection Fees

There is no charge to select a seat with United (where available), but you can opt for “Preferred seating” (closer to the front of the economy section) from $9 each way.

Economy Plus Upgrade: $16-$169 each way

Unaccompanied Minor Fee: $150 each way

Pet in Cabin Fee: $125 each way

Fare Holding Fees

If you’re not ready to book at the time of searching, then you can pay to reserve your fare using “Farelock.”

The fee varies by destination, but ranges from $5-$20 with the ability to hold a fare for either 3 or 7 days.

United Airlines Annual Subscription Fees

Economy Plus: From $499

Benefit from additional leg room and being closer to the front of the plane for quicker exiting when you reach your destination.

United Bundle Options

Bundles are offered during the reservation process combining different options, such as an Economy Plus upgrade and United Club trip pass. Prices vary per route, but United states that savings can be had by buying these bundles.

Wi-Fi: From $49

United Club Membership: From $550

Get access to all of the  United Club locations and select partner lounges.

United Airlines Bistro Onboard

Onboard Refreshments

For flights over 3 hours (within the U.S. and to/from Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America) customers can order from the “Bistro on Board” menu serving items such as a chorizo breakfast sandwich, pepperoni deep dish pizza, or a mezze sampler with prices ranging from $6.99-$9.99 . Menu choices depend on the flight route.

On flights over 1.5 hours (within North America, including select Latin American destinations and the Caribbean, in addition to Singapore , Australia , and New Zealand ) customers can order from the “Snack Shop” serving sweet and savory nibbles and snack boxes. Prices range from $3.99-$9.59 .

Beer and wine are $8, while premium spirits range from $8-$9 and specialty cocktails will run you $10.

Onboard entertainment

Available on select Boeing 737 and 757-300 aircraft, customers can purchase access to DIRECTV with more than 100 TV channels plus movies.

This is complimentary for United first passengers, and $5.99 for United economy passengers on flights less than 2 hours ($7.99 for flights more than 2 hours).

Many travel rewards cards come with an annual airline credit and can be used to offset fees such as baggage fees, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card  come with an annual $300 travel credit that can be used to offset almost  any  travel expense.

The cards below allow you to redeem Capital One miles for 1 cent each as a statement credit for previous travel purchases (within 90 days):

In addition, if you have the United Explorer℠ Card  you can get 1 free checked bag for you and a companion on your itinerary.

United Seat Specs & Inflight Amenities

United Airlines Fleet Seat Specs

United Airlines has 14 different types of aircraft with varying cabin classes and seat specs.

United Express operates a further 5 aircraft through its partner airlines. You can view the aircraft and seat specs here .

United Airlines Business Class

United Business & First

United Airlines Polaris Business Class

Polaris Business & First

Premium Plus

United Airlines Economy Plus

United Airlines Economy

Economy (Basic and Standard)

Hot Tip: Check out our post on United Airlines’ boarding policy so you’ll know what to expect from the boarding process as almost all airlines have a different procedure!

United Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a real mixed bag with United Airlines. Their social media channels and Tripadvisor reviews seem to attract many compliments from loyal customers, which is unusual as these outlets are often utilized to rant and rave about poor service!

Additionally, their PR team is pretty genius, sponsoring a number of great causes and shouting about their good deeds on social media — so even if the service was only mediocre for a customer, their philanthropic ways may improve consumer brand impression.

Lost baggage is a real gripe for United customers, being one of the most prominent issues on review sites. Also, inconsistencies of aircraft age can lead to disappointment in inflight amenities.

One customer complaint we found said they had experienced a seat-back entertainment system on once international flight and not on another. That’s going to disappoint any traveler.

United prides itself on their personal device entertainment, but this does rely on the customer having a smartphone/tablet at their disposal.

United Airlines had 1,169 complaints lodged against them from January-September 2018 according to the  September 2018 Air Travel Consumer Report . The chart below represents the complaints by category.

There are a number of different review websites out there when it comes to airline ratings. Here are a few of the most popular so you can see the general consumer opinion for United Airlines.

Skytrax Ranking: 3 Star Airline (out of 5)

Skytrax Customer Rating:  3/10 (average from 2,594 reviews)

United Airlines Skytrax

TripAdvisor Airline Review Rating:  3/5 (average from 36,791 reviews)

Kayak Customer Rating: 7/10 (average from 61,414 reviews)

AirHelp.com Overall Rating: 7.59/10 (departure/arrival performance, service, and satisfaction of claims processing)

Airlineratings.com Safety Rating :  7/7 (takes into consideration whether the airline has an IATA Operational Safety Audit Certification, government and crash records, plus information from the World’s Aviation Governing Body).

United Airlines Charities

United Airlines supports numerous charities across their main hub locations and across the globe. It strives to be a more sustainable airline supporting environmental charities and operations such as Clean the World and Conservation International.

United also supports many youth projects, including Youth Guidance with the goal of inspiring future leaders.

Overall, customer satisfaction seems to be somewhere in the middle for United — and as with other legacy U.S. carriers, there will always be a place for the airline with reasonable fares and route availability.

United will never have the sass and style of Virgin Atlantic or the service and luxury of the Middle Eastern airlines, but it serves its purpose and does have a loyal customer base (although this may be dwindling slightly, with many referencing the “good old days” when United was great).

Their current focus seems to be on revamping their premium cabins, with their Polaris offering in business and first — but we’re hoping they don’t neglect economy for too much longer either.

The information regarding the  Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

Frequently asked questions

What alliance is united apart of.

United is apart of Star Alliance partnership.

What is the United carry-on baggage allowance?

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united airlines seat types

The captain (William Timmons) was excellent in our emergency situation, he even push the cart for my disabled mother in order to get us to our connection flight, besides making sure the connection flight waited for us. It is refreshing in this day that people get out of their roles and help others that are in need. Big thank you to the crew and the captain for their help

united airlines seat types

Hi Dimitrios, great to hear about your positive experience with United! Thanks for sharing with the readers at UpgradedPoints.com.

united airlines seat types

Just got our tickets and checked a bag, it cost me $100 for being one pound over their weight limit which is 50 pounds with United. I used Delta on the way there and their charge was $30, which they waived since I was retired military. I flew United going back since all the Delta flights were booked. Thanks for nothing, United.

united airlines seat types

By far the worst travel experience I have ever had. I have flown with United before and everything went fine but that’s because all my flights were on time and I didn’t have to deal with customer service. Yesterday 7/16/19 I was flying from SAN to OKC with a layover in DEN. Due to my flight leaving SAN late and then our plane having to “do S shapes in the sky to let other planes land ahead of us” I missed my connecting flight. I get it, things happen but the way United handled it was absolutely ridiculous. They canceled the second leg of my flight and refunded me $178 (I paid $450 for my flight including bags) without my consent. Then I was told since they did that the history of my ticket was out of their system so the ONLY way for me to be able to fly out of Denver was to buy another ticket. That would have been fine if there were tickets that would get me to OKC for $178 the same amount they refunded me for but of course there wasn’t, they wanted me to pay $620 for a ticket not including bags which I had two that needed checked. After standing in line for an hour and then arguing with them for TWO HOURS telling them that the logic literally makes no sense at all, they booked me a flight to leave today for $318. Still had to pay for it which I will be fighting it once I get to OKC. After being at customer service for 3 hours everything was closed, they did not offer a food voucher or even simply a bottle of water. I had to sleep on the floor of the DEN airport. On top of that only one out of the three employees that “helped” me was actually helpful (the fact that it took two hours for her to do anything aside). Other employees were useless and completely rude- threw his hands up and walked away in the middle of my sentence because I was questioning how their logic makes any sense at all. Needless to say I WILL NEVER FLY THIS AIRLINE AGAIN. If I could give them no stars I would.

Hi Meagan, sorry to hear about your disappointing experience with United. Thanks for sharing with our readers.

united airlines seat types

I am scheduled to fly with you in a few months. I hope my fight goes smoothly. If it doesnt it seems as you dont even care your response is very insensitive.

united airlines seat types

Hi Patricia,

We are not United Airlines. We are Upgraded Points, a website that publishes helpful information and guides for travelers. If you’re looking to contact United you’ll want to do so on the United website .

united airlines seat types

I truly want to thank the United crew of UA459 of Friday Aug 2nd 2019, for finding my left behind carry-on luggage. And most of all the wonderful ladies at LAX United – Baggage Claim center for most efficiently finding my bag which had a lot of valuables both in memories and value within 24 hrs, with very little information to go on. Mostly I am grateful for the courteous service that was provided. Thank you so much once again.

Hi Himalee,

It’s great to hear of your positive experience with United – thanks for sharing with readers. We want to make you aware that we are not affiliated with United Airlines in any way, so you may want to send your feedback directly to the airline.

united airlines seat types

After 28 hours of flying you decided to take me off already delayed flight. I’m tired af, my relatives are waiting #onlyinamerica

Hi Aleksey,

Sorry to hear of your issues but please be aware that we are not United Airlines, we are UpgradedPoints.com. We advise you forward your feedback to the airline directly.

united airlines seat types

I’m booked to arrive on flight 4299 around 2:30 pm on Wednesday, December 18th. How do I get to 38 Carson Road, Budget auto rental?

united airlines seat types

Hi Lillian. Please understand that we are not United Airlines, we are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in credit card and travel resources. You can use rome2rio.com to find options for reaching your destination.

united airlines seat types

I’ve purchased a ticket a few months ago and in the meantime, my girlfriend’s husband got relocated to Japan and they have to leave. So now I have no place to stay. I bought a ticket with insurance in case an emergency came up but I still have not had it posted to my account. That’s what insurance is for and I paid 40 extra dollars for it. Please get back to me as I would like to know how to get my money back. I have gone through your whole system and still, it has not been refunded.

Hi Sheri. Sorry for your experience. Please be advised, however, that we are not United Airlines. We are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in credit card rewards and travel resources. You should contact United to have them help you resolve this issue. 1-800-864-8331

united airlines seat types

On two last bookings with United, we have had been charged under Taxes and Fees a Senior(65+) fee of 87.01/person. I cannot find this explained on any United site. What is this, it’s additive not a discount.

united airlines seat types

Basic Economy turns out to be a money grab. Carryons have to be checked…at a cost. Pay for luggage, pay to be seated together, pay extra for the basics. Our tickets were purchased way in advance. Our initial flight out of Denver was delayed so long that we barely made it to our connector…thus an entire travel day with no food. Even though we booked early, the two of us, both 75 years old, were not seated together. Really? Would you not assume that a couple needs to be together? Will use other airlines for our upcoming trip.

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Understanding United Airlines’ Confusing Seat Category Names

While most airlines are happy to call the lowest class of service “Basic Economy,” once you get to anything above that, airline marketing departments get creative. The differing names lead to confusion when you’re looking at tickets and trying to compare prices. What makes it worse is when even the airline uses terms that don’t mean the same thing for all flights.

United Airlines is one of the worst offenders as one of our readers discovered when looking for tickets to Germany.

Here’s the chart from United showing the different seat classes:

united airlines seat types

Here are the pricing options when looking for a flight from Newark to Frankfurt on a 777-300ER:

united airlines seat types

To which one of the above categories does each price correspond? You have to click on the details button to get a better description of the class of service.

united airlines seat types

There are three types of Economy tickets, from the most restrictive basic economy to fully refundable tickets.

Premium Economy is actually United Premium Plus. While it’s listed on United’s website as part of the economy cabin, it’s different from an economy seat. You also see that the Business Class seat is listed as United Polaris Business.

So is Premium Plus like the extra legroom seats you’ll find on a domestic United flight?

Nope, it’s an entirely different class of service that falls between Polaris business class and Economy. You’ll have a seat that reclines and includes a leg rest. The seats are also wider, having a 2-4-2 configuration compared to the 3-4-3 seating in economy class. It’s similar to a United domestic first-class seat. You also get free drinks, a hot meal and two free checked bags.

It’s what most other international airlines would call Premium Economy. US airlines had to invent a new name because they’ve been charging extra for “Premium” seats which are only economy seats with a few extra inches of legroom.

So where’s the Economy Plus fare, the economy seat with extra legroom?

You need to select Economy class and then you’ll get the option to “upgrade” your seat.

united airlines seat types

So that’s $200 to get a few inches of legroom or $400 for a seat that reclines, has more width and has the chance to possibly get a few hours of sleep on the flight.

Admittedly, United can better explain the type of seat you’re buying during the booking process. Even the headers on the categories don’t match the names they use for the different products.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for United’s long-haul international flights.

I hope this makes it easier to search for United seats!

*** Thanks to Chris L. for being the catalyst for this post!

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I booked a Business Class flight on United SFO to HNL in a Polaris seat for November 17. Now they changed the aircraft to a narrow body and they show me in First Class in a plain recliner seat like you describe as Premium Plus. Was this a switch-a-roo with no rebate?

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United Airlines Seat Selection: Information for Travelers

September 20, 2017.

Choosing the seats on your flight is quite the hot topic these days. The airlines are trying to squeeze every ounce of space out of their flights and travelers are trying to retain as much comfort as humanly possible. For these reasons, shouldn’t you pay attention to what sort of seat your ticket buys?

flight seat selection

CheapAir.com has done the research so you have this important information at your fingertips. The measurements and rules from airline to airline are not standard, so make sure you’re doing an apples to apples comparison depending on your airline, itinerary and aircraft. First up – the skinny on United Airlines seat selection!

Basic Economy Basic Economy is United’s most inexpensive fare – think of it as your “bare bones” option. It’s always going to be the best price, but it comes without the option to select your own seat, or change your seat should it not meet your approval. When you buy a Basic Economy ticket, you leave the seat selection in the hands of the airline and you do not have the flexibility to make any changes even if you’re a Mileage Plus member. Customers who purchase Basic Economy do the best when they’re motivated by price alone and don’t mind where on the plane they’ll be sitting. The main sticking point is that you can’t upgrade after the fact to get yourself better seating if you’re not happy with Basic Economy seating. Generally speaking, you can recline your seat 4” in a Basic Economy seat. Seat pitch, which is the measurement from a point on one seat to the same point on the seat in front of it and usually is correlated to legroom) is typically 31” in Basic Economy. Keep this in mind when you book!

Economy An Economy fare on a United flight allows you to self-select your seat and travel with a personal item plus carry-on at no extra charge. When you purchase an Economy ticket, you also have the flexibility to buy upgrades and Economy Plus (when available). Mileage Plus Premier members also receive “seat benefits,” though the site is a little vague on what extra seat benefits this elite status provides. The seat measurements in Economy are exactly the same as they are in Basic Economy (seats recline can recline 4” in an Economy seat with a 31” seat pitch). The seat width is often slightly wider in Economy than in Basic Economy. Overall, many passengers find these incremental comforts worth the extra cost.

Economy Plus The main draw for Economy Plus is the 5 inches of extra legroom you’ll get – yes, we said 5 inches! The seats in Economy Plus are at the front of the Economy cabin as well, which means you’ll be first off the plane and on your way upon landing. Economy Plus is available on all United Flights and on most United Express flights. You are permitted to change seats at no extra cost, if the seat you prefer is priced the same. If you choose a seat that is more than your original purchase, that seat will be refunded and the new, more expensive seat will have to be purchased in full. In the unlikely event that you purchase an Economy Plus seat but the airline is unable to accommodate you, United will refund the difference in cost. In general, your seat will recline 5” in Economy Plus. Seat pitch is 34”.

United Business/First Class With your purchase of a United Business or First Class ticket comes premium seating, designed for comfort and convenience, whether you want to relax or work during your flight. It features beautifully contoured two-tone leather, a six-way adjustable headrest, padded articulating seat cushions, and 180 degree reclining capabilities. Seat pitch can accommodate a 6’4” person in Business and a 6’6” person in First.

There are a couple of additional important caveats to remember when booking airline tickets. First, the seats you select are not guaranteed, not even in First Class. Basically, United promises to do everything in their power to keep your chosen seat – the airlines know how important seat selection is to their customers. One way to avoid losing your seat is to simply be on time. We know it can sometimes be unavoidable, but the airlines are not required to hold your seat past the check-in time you see on your ticket and boarding documents.

Specific dimensions for your assigned seat can be found on United’s aircraft page . Click on the type of aircraft to pull up a seat map for your particular flight.

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I booked United to go overseas and I paid the extra for Standard Economy (not basic) as it included pre selected seats and a checked bag. One of our flights that we have purchased through United is Austrian Airlines (from Europe back to the states). We have to pay $35 for our seats on Austrian Airlines even though it clearly said we do not have to pay for seat selection when we decided to go with Standard and not Basic economy. This seems like false advertising.

Hi Cindy, Did you book with us? We’d be happy to take a look and see what happened. If you did please shoot us an email with your 10-digit booking number at [email protected] . It could have been a mistake or it could been that some seats were available for free selection, while other seats are reserved for an additional cost, such as towards the front of the plane, or wider rows. Thank you

If I purchase two tickets on United basic economy will those two tickets be seated together when they are assigned?

Or are we just put into a boarding group and have open seating and can choose to sit next to each other?

Hi Kendal, when you don’t purchase a seat, you are assigned one randomly on the date of departure. Often, people can request seats together, but if the flight is full that is not likely to happen.

If I purchase two United Economy Plus fare but do not make a seat selection, will I be assured that both seats will be together if the airline decides to give me the seats?

Hi Andres, There really aren’t any guarantees in getting seats together when you do not purchase a seat selection. If the flight isn’t full and the flight crew can accommodate you, they usually will, but remember – no guarantees. And these days it’s a pretty simple reason. When you charge people for their seat selections, the people who actually paid for their seats are less charitable about moving to other seats. If it’s going to be a huge disappointment if you are not seated together, we recommend ponying up for the seat assignment.

Hi, can i make a set selection for me and my daughter . i am looking for two windows seats on our fly to Panama Dec 06 2019 and return fly Dec 15 2019. Is a little big complicate to do the selection on your united,com. i used hotwire com, here is the itinerary # 7494995674642

Hope you can help me out.

Hi Eneida, Sorry we can’t help. We’re actually a travel site ourselves so we do not have access to Hotwire bookings.

how does one select their seat online when flight is paid for?

Hi M.B Loftus,

Great question. You can view to add and edit seat selection online using the “My Trips” link: https://www.cheapair.com/trips/ Just enter your booking details to access your itinerary. Separately, you can call us at 1-800-243-2724 and a Travel Advisor can assist you with seat selection as well as review any other questions you may have.

If I purchase a United Economy Plus fare but do not make a seat selection, will I be assured of a seat somewhere in Economy Plus on that flight?

Yes. If you purchase an Economy Plus Fare and do not select a seat, you will be assigned one on that flight.

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United Airlines Seat Selection Policy

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

United Airlines Seat Selection Policy

United Airlines allows its customers to select their preferred seats or make changes to their seat assignment for most of the flights. The airline offers multiple options for seat selection. This can be done by the customer himself/herself online after visiting United Airlines Official website, or through United Airlines Mobile App, or through leading OTAs like FlyOfinder and others. If you aren’t able to get a seat assignment then you need to check back closer to flight departure date for seat availability.

If you are planning to make United Airlines reservations or just waiting to board your flight, it’s important that you should know about United Airlines Seat Selection Policy.

United Airlines Seating Options

When you are booking United Airlines flights, there are many ways in which a seat can be purchased or upgraded, except when not travelling on a Basic Economy ticket. You can choose a seat for travel in United Airlines’ Polaris First Class & Polaris Business Class, United First, United Business, Economy Plus and Economy Class when booking flight tickets or getting a seat upgrade. Polaris First Class & Polaris Business Class: The Polaris First Class and Polaris Business Class are the latest cabin designs introduced by United Airlines. The customers booking international flights can choose to travel in either of the two classes. The premium travel experience is taken to a wholly new level with lots of perks and amenities coming your way. The exquisite services offered include free access to elegant Polaris lounge, angled seating with more in-seat space, fully lie-flat beds, complimentary multi-course gourmet meals, a la carte snacks, premium carefully-selected wines and spirits, designer amenity kit, extensive library of audio and video entertainment, and exclusive shower facility in the cabin.

United First: If you are looking for maximum comfort and service when travelling on North American routes then choose to fly in United First cabin. An array of facilities is just waiting for you. Flying in United First is simply an exhilarating experience with amenities such as extra-spacious seats, 2 free checked baggage, dedicated security lanes for faster check-in, priority baggage handling, priority boarding, priority check-in, priority disembarking, complimentary access to extensive library of audio and video entertainment, complimentary full meal service along with a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and access to Wi-Fi after paying charges.

United Business: The customers making United Airlines booking for travel to Latin America and the Caribbean from the United States are offered a United Business cabin. Take advantage of a host of privileges when travelling in this premium cabin. These include priority boarding, 2 free checked baggage, Premium Access lanes for getting through quicker security, United Club access, extra spacious luxurious seats, and complimentary meals and beverages.

Economy Plus: Look forward to a more spacious seat with extra legroom when travelling in an Economy Plus cabin. You can seek a seat upgrade  from Economy Class utilizing your MileagePlus points. You can also purchase a seat upgrade in Economy Plus at the airline’s airport kiosk or by calling on United Airlines reservations phone number .

Economy Class: United Airlines offers its customers booking Economy Class tickets to select their seats, which may be confirmed during the time of booking itself or until check-in, free of charge. If you want extra legroom and enhanced services then consider upgrading to Economy Plus.

Basic Economy: United Airlines Basic Economy is its lowest fare. The customers cannot change seat assignments as provided by the airline. Seat assignment is done at the time of check-in. This fare class also doesn’t allow for seat upgrades. Those travelling on Basic Economy tickets are however eligible for purchasing preferred seating.

Additional seats are required to be purchased by customers who aren’t able to fit in comfortably in a single seat when flying in Economy Class cabin. The second seat to be purchased will be available for the same fare as the original/first seat only when it is purchased at the same time.

If you have any seat booking or upgrade queries, or want to know more about other travel related issues, then you may please talk to us directly at +1-571-378-7016 . We will promptly provide the best solutions and a hassle free experience.

Also, read our blog United Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Flight Policy .

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United Airlines (UA), headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world's oldest airlines. The carrier was founded in 1926. It flies to more than 300 destinations in 60 countries spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. About one-third of its destinations are US domestic. Major hubs in the network include Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Denver International (DEN), Guam (GUM), Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), Los Angeles International (LAX), Newark Liberty International (EWR), San Francisco International (SFO), and Washington Dulles (IAD). United Airlines is a founding member of the Star Alliance. Star Alliance is a collection of more than 25 airlines that provide airline service to more than 190 countries. United also has codeshare agreements with 13 other carriers. United Airlines flies with a fleet of over 700 aircraft including versions from Airbus, ATR, Boeing, Bombardier, and Embraer.

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United Airlines introduces a new family seating policy

United Airlines has a new seat map feature that will help families with children under 12 find seats together free of charge, the airline announced on Monday.

The feature will include Basic Economy tickets.

The new seat map technology will dynamically find available adjacent Economy seats at the time of booking and open up complimentary upgrades to other available seats as needed, the airline said.

In cases where side-by-side seats are not available, customers will be able to switch to another flight to their destination with adjacent seats in the same cabin for free. No fare difference will be charged in such cases, United said in a news release.

"We're focused on delivering a great experience for our younger passengers and their parents and know it often starts with the right seat," said Linda Jojo, Chief Customer Officer for United, in a statement.

United Polaris, First Class and Economy Plus seats are not included in the new family seating policy change.

US airline customers have long complained about seating that separates young children from their parents on flights and the added costs associated with purchasing seats in order to sit together.

President Biden addressed the government's efforts to curb such fees in his State of the Union address this month.

"Baggage fees are bad enough -- they can't just treat your child like a piece of luggage," Biden said in the speech

A July 2022 notice from the Department of Transportation called on US airlines to make seating children next to accompanying adults available at no additional cost

More adjacent seat options will be available on United Airlines immediately. The complete policy change is set to go into effect in early March, the airline said.

Delta Air Lines said Monday that it "does not charge family seating fees and regardless of the ticket class purchased, will always work with customers on a case-by-case basis to ensure their family seating needs are met."

Delta's website refers to family seating "upon request," referring passengers who are not able to secure seats via the airline's website or mobile app to contact Reservations.

American Airlines offers booking tips on its website for families traveling with children under 15, noting that "the farther in advance you book, the better."

"Our current policies regarding family seating are designed to allow families to sit together without having to pay extra," American Airlines said Monday in a statement.

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