(Nerd Wallet) – Booking flights is much more complicated than it used to be.should i choose Basic Economy or Main CabinDo you want a ‘bundle’ or would you rather pay ‘a la carte’ and how much are you willing to pay for a seat?
Seat selection This is especially troublesome for travelers with children. Airlines now charge to select “preferred” seats such as forward, aisle and window seats, so families simply pay hundreds of dollars for the privilege of sitting together on a round-trip flight. can do.
Is it inevitable for families to pay extra for seats? Or can these pesky charges be minimized or avoided altogether? And why do they exist in the first place? Is not it?
What is the seat selection fee?
There’s a reason seat selection fees have become more popular. It makes a lot of money for airlines. Low-cost airlines Spirit and Frontier will make about half of their 2020 revenue in “ancillary fees,” according to a report from industry analyst firm IdeaWorksCompany.
Ancillary charges also tend to mislead consumers. In his 2020 study in the journal Marketing Science, Ancillary charges have “drooped” Throughout the checkout process, I ended up paying more overall than someone who had pre-confirmed the total cost. So while a $20 fee to select a seat may not seem like a big deal, it can add up quickly and turn an apparently cheap airfare into an expensive one.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a notice to increase the transparency of airline subsidized charges such as carry-on baggage. But so far, seat selection fees have been approved. That means you’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
how to choose a seat
Should airlines require families to sit together? That said, the DOT notice clearly calls for more transparency from parents looking to choose seats for their young children. Until the rules change, however, parents will have to make tough choices. You can either pay for your family to sit together, or risk skipping seat selection and walking away.
To choose your seat without overpaying, try the following:
- Choose a seat in the back half of the plane. These are usually low or free to choose from and are the last choice by other passengers.
- Choose an airline that offers cheaper seat selection (see below).
- Avoid basic economy fares. These often impose restrictions on seat selection, making family travel particularly difficult.
please remember Children under 2 years old It’s free to fly and doesn’t require a seat (although some parents prefer to buy a seat anyway).
Whether you’re traveling alone or a family of 10, seat selection is always optional. It may seem nerve-wracking to head to the airport without confirming your seat assignment, but many families do so to save money.
Yes you can skip seat selection
Airlines want to make it look like you have to choose a seat for your family to sit together, but this is rarely black and white. Work with your family to ensure everyone is seated together, even if they are not assigned. It might mean bumping a family into the back of a plane, but young children aren’t left alone with strangers (for all).
This means you can skip seat selection entirely and (usually) stay seated with your companion.
Geek Tips: Skipping seat selection does not mean that you and your family will not be able to secure a seat. This means you have to wait until later in the process to be allocated.
Skipping this step may not be as easy as it seems. Many airlines now include seat selection as part of the checkout process, making it look like seat selection (and payment) is a mandatory step. Frontier Airlines will even warn you if you try to skip the selection.
If you don’t want to pay these fees, find a way to skip this step. Don’t be intimidated by the pop-ups and warnings airlines use to force you to look.
Which airline is the most expensive?
Budget airlines like Spirit and Frontier may have pioneered the a la carte airfare model, but traditional airlines boarded to compete. Not all airlines charge the same amount. is not. Or, don’t charge for seat selection at all.
NerdWallet is ANALYSIS OF SEAT SELECTION FEE By comparing the routes of several major US airlines. This reveals that some people charge much more for seat selection than others.
Southwest Airlines is an outlier and is not included here. We do not charge or allow seat selection.
So which airlines don’t charge for seat selection? Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are the only airlines that allow passengers to select their seats for free, though sometimes near the back of the plane.
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, and Spirit Airlines all charged upwards of $10 each way for seat selection, even for poor seats. Passengers should skip these airlines (or the entire seat selection process) if they want to avoid such hefty fees.
Note the “upgrade”
Another airline invention of the last decade: charging extra for “main cabin priority” (or similar) seats with only a few inches of legroom. These seats often resemble regular economy seats on the seat selection screen, but can cost a lot more.
For example, an exit row seat on a non-stop Delta flight from Atlanta to Seattle costs $130 each way for a total of $260, or $358 for the flight. This 73% markup might make sense, especially for long-legged passengers, but for most travelers, these “upgrades” aren’t worth it.
Even more confusing is that many airlines say “premium economy‘ or ‘Main Cabin Comfort’ seats offer perks like complimentary drinks and priority boarding. These seat benefits vary greatly by airline. Some offer more spacious and comfortable seating, others standard seating, but offer complimentary alcoholic beverages and snack plates.
For kids with short legs and little need for cocktails, those upgraded seat markups are usually wasted.
the edge of your seat
Airlines want to charge a fee for seat selection because they don’t charge a fee. With this incentive, many airlines are going from strength to strength, making a “seat selection fee” seem like an unavoidable extra charge on most fares.
For families, this decision is especially difficult. Who wants to be separated from a preschooler on a six-hour flight? But it’s rarely that simple. Many families skip the seat selection fee and end up sitting together, no problem.
For some people, the peace of mind of knowing where the whole family will sit is worth the price. It works fine.
It really comes down to risk tolerance.
https://wgnradio.com/news/how-families-can-get-seats-together-on-a-plane/ How Families Secure Seats Together on an Airplane | WGN Radio 720