Is it Really Worth it to Pay for Seats on a Flight?

pay for seats

Things are changing. In the past, all seats on airlines were free to select. But since many airlines want to maximize their revenue, it’s becoming common to pay for seats.  Some people won’t pay for seats on principal but others will pay all the time. Should you do this or is it best to save your money and take your chances?

Pay For Seats!

I am a firm believer of ponying up the cash to sit where I want to sit. There are several reasons for this. For one, seats at the front often come with priority boarding and I like getting on first so I know I have a place to stow my cabin baggage.

Also, some seats are better than others. For example, I know that row three and row six on an Aer Lingus A320 have a decent window alignment. I like to see out without having to stretch, and the views are worth it.

On long haul flights, I generally like to have an aisle seat. This way I can get up and down without bothering anyone, plus it’s easy to visit the crew in the galley.

That being said, it can be expensive. You can pay as much as £80 or more on a British Airways flight in business class for example. Is that worth it? Well, for a flight of 12 hours or more, I’d say it is. The possibility of being stuck in the middle is enough to get me forking out the cash.

Overall Thoughts

It is a very personal thing as to whether you pay for seats or not. As you can see, I think it is worth it, no matter what the cost. Even so, I still wince when I pay €50 return for a flight, then have to pay €34 on top for seating. Even so, the benefits are worth it.

What is nice is when frequent flyer benefits give you seating for free. This is a tangible cost saving and a really decent reward for being a loyal customer.

Do you pay for seats? What’s the most you have paid? What do you think of the whole situation? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Omar Prestwich via Unsplash.
Ryanair ground image by Jordan McSherry.

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  1. Christian says

    I’m willing to pay for seats within reason. On LCC’s in Asia, I’ll often buy the bundle that includes baggage, seats and food, although the food isn’t really necessary. Partially, this is to alleviate hassle for my wife and I, and part of it is due to my unusually large size and height. For non-LCC’s, I think the most I’ve paid is around $100 per person each way for exit row seats.

  2. Richard Kelly says

    Thanks to status I rarely pay / buy up for seating. But I do go out of my way searching flights for the best seats and then pick seats that I can live with.

    • Jeffrey Gacad says

      I usually like window seats as I feel they are the best inflight entertainment. On my current trip, I paid to upgrade to Finnair’s Economy Comfort seat (and window) on my LAX-HEL-LAX leg. To me, it was worth it on that long of a flight.

  3. Onas Bonas says

    Quoting the article above “You can pay as much as £80 or more on a British Airways flight in business class for example. Is that worth it?” End quote.

    What do you get in return for your £80 or more on British airways?
    A business class seat?
    This is in the year 2019??
    And will the aircraft be airborne after said payment for such a seat?

    Are you seriously wondering if it is worth paying £80 for a business class seat?

  4. Jessica Wiles says

    I haven’t paid for seats on the last few flights that I’ve been on and every time I was upgraded to an even more room space. They have to give you a seat and if you wait you can get a better seat at no price. I guess it’s been luck, but I’ll take it!

  5. Elaine says

    I really grudge paying for seats when I’m travelling long haul business class. I accept the cost if i’m travelling economy but really feel that i’m already paying over the odds for BC and think this should include seat selection.

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