Never Prepay For Seating On Flights: Here’s Why!


Did you know that in the UK alone, travellers waste £175m a year on allocated seating? Why is this wasted money? Because the airlines will try to seat you with your travel companions regardless of whether you pay for allocated seating or not.

I usually fly around Europe in Business Class on British Airways. I travel on British Airways Avios for free accrued on by my FREE Amex Gold Card. I convert my American Express Rewards directly to airline miles so that I can fly about exclusively on these.

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Recently I booked the onto an Easyjet flight which I also reviewed. I booked and paid for allocated seating as I didn’t want to risk not being seated with my husband and 7 year old son.

According to the Guardian newspaper, this was a waste of money. This is because almost half (45%) of people who pay to sit with their companions would be seated together anyway, according to an investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The CAA found between 6.8 million and 10.4 million passengers are spending £74-£175m “unnecessarily” on the fees each year.

Did I waste my money? Apparently yes! Most parents are concerned about being separated from their children but guidance states they should be sat together to speed up an evacuation in the case of an emergency. On British Airways, easyJet and Thomas Cook, there is just a 15% chance of not being seated with your companions. The option to pay to secure a seat position is largely a strategy for airlines to squeeze more cash out of your wallet.

So in a nutshell, don’t waste your money prebooking seats. You will almost always be seated together anyway and the risk of being seated apart is very small (although arguably still there).

Remember, if you are planning to book a First or Business Class flight or a luxury hotel, contact our luxury travel concierge to get a quote before booking. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, deals and special benefits.

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Reviews within this content are solely the opinion of the author and have not been sponsored, influenced, or reviewed by American Express.