6 ways to land best airplane seats
You can book seats on the plane either when you make a flight reservation, after you purchase a ticket, or when you check in at the airport. Either way it is fine as long as you get the seats you want.
Here are couple options how to reserve best airplane seats:
- You reserve or pre-assign seats. There are several websites that allow you choose and reserve seats. Some of them are checkmytrip.com, seatguru.com, or seatexpert.com . Usually you would need to have tickets purchased or on hold to reserve seats on these websites. Make sure you have a record locator, .i.e. reservation number, flight number, or traveler’s last name in order to access your travel record. Check the websites out and decide for yourself which one works best for you.
- You travel agent or airline agent books or pre-assigns seats. If you purchase airline tickets through a travel agent, agency website, or an airline directly, you can ask the agent to assign you seats on the plane before or after tickets are issued.
Usually there are no problems reserving seats on the plane. However, you need to know that airlines allow only certain number of seats to be assigned in advance, and the remaining seats are usually held until the airport check-in. If there are no seats available for you to select, don’t worry, you can always try getting your preferred seats at check-in.
6 tips on how to get the best airplane seat:
- Reserve seats early/ pre-assign seats. You can book seats as early as you or your agent makes a flight reservation. If there are no “good” seats left or no seats together (if you need more than one seat), get whatever is available. The fact is that if the flight is full and overbooked/ oversold, and you do not have a confirmed seat, i.e. you do not have a seat number, you can be the first one bumped off the flight. Some statistic show that one in every 10 people gets bumped off the flight because of overbookings (especially in the US); this seems rather exaggeration, but on some airlines it is true.
- Be specific, know your preferences. You need to know what seats you want or prefer whether you or an agent reserves your seats.“Good seat” term is different for each person.
- Get seats reserved for the whole itinerary. This is important especially if you have connections. Make sure you have the seats reserved for every leg of the trip. Note, some airlines do not allow to pre-assign seats (e.g. European domestic flights, some US domestic flights). In this case, contact your agent or the airline and ask them to enter a remark into you PNR (passenger name record or flight booking) with your preferences.
- Arrive early to the airport. This is necessary if you do not have seats assigned, you want to change the seats, and especially if you travel during the peak season. If you were not able to get your preferred seats at the time of booking, it does not mean that the flight is full. Airlines block seats for check-in only to include bulkhead and exit row seats – these are almost always available at check-in only.
- Join a frequent flyer program. Frequent flyer program membership can give you lots of perks to include landing you a great seat on the plane.
- Be kind and polite. Whether you speak to an airline or travel agent, your kindness can be your ticket to an extra “something.” Agents have relationships and ability to pull some strings and on many occasions surprise you.
A general rule is to always get a seat confirmation (a seat number) as soon as you reserve the flights or purchase a ticket. And if you do not like what is available at the time of booking, you can always try changing the seats at check-in.
So get seats and enjoy your flight!