British Airways 777

British Airways Seat Selection
I recently came back from a whirlwind trip to Scotland and London for Wimbledon on British Airways. I’ve flown BA dozens of times, and along the way I’ve picked up a few tricks for flying with them. My number one tip? Instead of paying a fee for an assigned seat, set your alarm for 24 hours prior to your departure time (that’s when check-in opens). Actually, set it for a few minutes before that so you can have your computer or smartphone ready to go as soon as the secondhand reaches check-in time.

Then, immediately login and select your seat—hopefully, ahead of most of the other passengers. Most people don’t pay the fee (except possibly for a bulkhead or exit row) in advance. Just keep in mind that if you’re flying from London you probably won’t get that much of a headstart since most passengers on the plane will be connecting and will have already had the chance to check-in hours before you. Still, you may as well put yourself first in line!



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Johnny Jet

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12 Comments On "Travel Tip of the Day: British Airways Seat Selection"
  1. Jbmin|

    Confused ! .What is the fee for early selection ?.Is this only for British Air?.

    1. Johnny Jet
      Johnny Jet|

      A lot of airlines do it to make $

      1. Jbmin|

        I fly Delta,United,Southwest ,Jet Blue and Virgin America all domestic flights.I need to select early due to my wife’s handicap.
        Don’t recall being charged for early seat selection unless it’s hidden.
        Would like to know which Airlines besides British Air charges.
        Big fan hear you each week on Leo LaPort.

  2. Robert Powell|

    Four of us recently flew BA from LAX to LHR on AAdvantage award tickets. I was able to select seats 1 week before on BA website because I have AA gold status

  3. kevincm|

    Remember that OneWorld Elites (Ruby upwards) can reserve seats free of charge. Certain seats are restricted. And yes, it’s a revenue driver… much like the LCC’s and most European Airlines do these days.

  4. Louise Johnson|

    Love this tip, do it all the time. And especially love it when I’m on a connecting flight and get to book my seat early for the next flight!

  5. Gina|

    I purchased my ticket for Africa via AMEX Platinum Travel for my next BA flight and was able to book seats in advance – I guess that’s a perk of having to pay the $39 booking fee to Amex!

  6. johnb|

    Oh no, my secret’s out!

  7. Anonymous|

    I think your recommendation is great for British Airways. But, how about an airline like Iberia. Even when you check-in online 24 hrs ahead, you cannot pick your seat. You are given a seat at random unless you pay for seat selection. I am traveling with my husband and would love to sit next to him – preferably in the two-seat side sections vs the middle that has five-six seats. Would you just pay out the cash or would you take your chances and hope somebody will change with you? **Also, what happens if Iberia changes the type of airplane after you have booked and paid for your seats? Would you just be put somewhere at random? If so, are you better off selecting and paying for your seats closer to the departure date? Thanks in advance to any tips or sharing of your experience.

  8. Phil|

    Your tip isn’t very effective when you try to use online checkin and the BA website reports “Sorry, online checkin isn’t available for this flight.”
    Or when you try to check in at the airport for the second leg of your flight (since online checkin wasn’t available) only to be told that they still can’t check you in.
    Then you’re screwed.

  9. Me|

    Im TRYING to pay (grrrrrr!!! Dont WANT TO, but… that’sthe British way: pay for everything, no matter…. (!)) but I cant even get to the page whers I enter my methld of payment for chosen seats. Ive tried for lver an hojr. So frustratin. Dont know if its their lousy site that gets me to enter my same iinformationin time and time again to no avail or what???? Awful site. If i end jp in a middle seat fkr 10 hours flying Ill be furious!!!! Why wont BA take mh money??! So dumb.

    1. Johnny Jet
      Johnny Jet|

      I would call them

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