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Key Takeaways

  • Always book your flight as early as possible to secure a seat with more availability.
  • Choose your seats during the booking process to guarantee your seat numbers.
  • Check in as early as possible to increase your chances of being seated together.
  • Booking all seats under one reservation tells the airline to seat passengers as a group.
  • Opt for priority seating and consider working with a travel agent to be seated together.

Whether you're traveling to a new destination or heading back home, the ability to sit with friends or family makes flying a much more rewarding experience.

The key to sitting together on a flight is to plan ahead and follow some practical tips, such as booking your flight as early as possible on the same itinerary, manually selecting the seats during the booking process, and checking in online as early as the airline allows you to.

As an avid traveler who has encountered this challenge on numerous occasions, I've gathered valuable insights and recommendations from various sources to guide you on how to always sit with your group on a flight. In this article, we'll explore various tips and strategies that will help you ensure your group remains connected throughout your flight – because let's face it, flying can be a lot more enjoyable when you're with your favorite people.

Table of contents


Book Tickets Early

When I plan a trip, booking tickets early is my go-to strategy to ensure my loved ones and I sit together on a flight. It's simple, and it's effective.

In my experience, grabbing seats together becomes more challenging as the airplane fills up, so making reservations as soon as possible gives me a higher chance of finding adjacent seats. Plus, it can sometimes help me score better deals on airfare!

Once my tickets are booked, I double-check the seat assignments using the airline's website or by speaking with their reservation agents. This helps me confirm that the seats I selected are the ones I'll get on the plane.

Choose Your Seats

Having everyone sit together during a flight is essential, especially when traveling with family members. To guarantee that we sit together on a flight, I make sure to carefully pick our seats when booking.

These days, just about every flight booking service lets you choose your seats as you move through the ticket buying process. After you choose your preferred flight, this is usually the next step after you enter the passenger information.

However, I have found that choosing seats for my flight can sometimes vary depending on whether I book directly through the Airline’s website or through a third-party booking platform.

Airlines' Websites

When booking flights, I prefer to use the airlines' own websites. This way, I can directly access their seat selection system and avoid potential misunderstandings with third-party platforms.

Before choosing our seats, I usually review the family seating policies of various airlines. For example, AFAR magazine mentions that Southwest has an official family boarding policy that allows you to board early if you have kids that are 6 years or younger. Air Canada also has a policy that aims to seat families close together.

As a general rule of thumb, dealing directly with your airline is the most reliable way to ensure you are seated with all your favorite people on your next flight.

Third-Party Booking Platforms

At times, I might have to use third-party booking platforms due to various reasons like discounts, special deals, or multi-destination packages.

In such cases, it's important to confirm seat selections made through these platforms directly with the airline. The Points Guy recommends booking as early as possible and reserving the family's seats together at the time of purchase, followed by confirming these seats with the airline itself.

When traveling as a couple, I often choose the best airplane seats for us by referring to Seat Guru. Thanks to TripSavvy's advice, I can navigate to the airline, find the type of craft assigned to our flight, and get a schematic of the plane listing good seats, those with drawbacks, and poor seats to help make an informed decision.

Remembering these steps and tips has helped me ensure that my family and I can always sit together on flights, making our journeys more enjoyable and comfortable.

Check-In Early

One effective strategy to ensure I sit together with my friends or family on a flight is checking in early. A lot of airlines have systems for advance seat assignments for basic economy fares that could result in your entire party getting separated in middle seats around the aircraft.

To avoid this, I highly recommend checking in as early as possible. Two ways to do this are by online check-in and airport check-in. This way, I can have a better chance to secure the seats I prefer before they are filled up by other passengers.

Online Check-In

Most airlines allow passengers to check-in online within 24 hours before the flight. By doing this early, I can double-check or change my seat assignments to sit together with my travel companions.

For example, on Spirit Airlines, they assign free seats at check-in, 24 hours before the flight. And if I want to reserve seats prior to that, fees start at $5 per passenger, one-way.

Airline Apps

When checking in online, I often use the airline's website or mobile app to find available seats and make seat reservations. This can help me avoid potential seat assignment issues at the airport later on.

EarlyBird Check-In

Some airlines, like Southwest Airlines, offer open seating policies that require passengers to check in early to have a better chance of sitting together. For this airline specifically, they offer an EarlyBird Check-In at a starting price of $15 per passenger per flight segment.

Airport Check-In

If for some reason, it's not possible for me to check-in online, I can always try to check-in early at the airport. Arriving at the airport a few hours before the flight allows me to speak with the airline's customer service representatives and request them to help me secure seats together with my companions.

In some scenarios, such as last-minute reservations or connecting flights, airport check-in becomes essential to discuss seat preferences with the airline staff directly. However, I recommend being punctual and patient as there might be a queue at the check-in counters, and airline staff do their best to accommodate everyone's seating preferences.

Boarding Upgrades

Moreover, I can also inquire about the possibility of securing Upgraded Boarding at the gate, which may cost between $30 and $50 per person per flight segment. This could give me a better boarding position and a higher chance of sitting together with my travel companions on the flight.

Book Under One Reservation

Many passengers wonder if you buy two plane tickets will they be together? In most cases, single reservations result in group seating, even for basic economy tickets.

One of the most effective ways to ensure that you and your travel companions sit together on a flight is to book your seats under one reservation. When you do this, it's more likely that the airline will consider your seating preferences as a group, rather than as individual passengers.

While making a single reservation for everyone in your party, try to book your fares at the same time under one confirmation code. This helps the airline staff to effectively seat your group together.

Link Reservations

If you've already booked flights separately, consider linking your reservations to increase the chances of being seated together. Some airlines may even have a specific process for this, so it's worth reaching out to your airline's customer service to inquire further.

Booking well in advance can also be beneficial, as it gives you more opportunities to find and reserve available adjacent seats. Furthermore, when making your booking, double-check that all family members or friends are listed on the same reservation to streamline the seating process for airline staff.

Confirm Reservations

In some cases, travelers booking through third-party platforms may need to confirm their seat selections with the airline directly. I recommend doing this to ensure your traveling party's seats are secured and correctly documented by the airline.

Opt for Preferred or Priority Seating

When I'm flying with family or friends, I always make it my priority to ensure we all sit together. One method I found to be effective is opting for preferred or priority seating.

Most airlines offer this option for a small fee, providing passengers with various benefits, including the ability to sit together.

However, some airlines give preferred seating options to their loyal customers or frequent flyers as a complimentary benefit.

Personally, I have experienced the incentive of having my preferred seats as part of my airline loyalty program membership. This, in turn, motivates me to continue using the same airline for my future trips and enjoy more travel benefits.

Benefits of Priority Seating

There are some key benefits to opting for priority seating that you should be aware of.

Not only do you increase your chances of sitting together, but you also get some additional perks that make flying a lot more comfortable and convenient.

Early Boarding

I've noticed that oftentimes, priority seating passengers are allowed to board the aircraft earlier than others.

This early boarding access gives me ample time to get settled and ensure our group is seated together. Additionally, by choosing preferred seating, I can secure seats with extra legroom or those closer to the front of the plane, making the journey more comfortable for everyone.

When looking for flights, I always make sure to compare the additional cost of preferred or priority seating with the value it offers. While it does incur an extra fee, I've realized that the convenience, comfort, and peace of mind of sitting together is well worth the investment.

Bundles & Free Checked Luggage

One great thing about preferred seating is that it occasionally comes in bundles, alongside other perks like free checked baggage and priority check-in. As a result, I'm not only able to enjoy the benefits of sitting together but also save on overall travel expenses.

If you are dealing with a travel agent or airline, directly express your desire to sit together when opting for priority seating. By discussing your preference directly with the agent or airline, I've found that they are more likely to accommodate requests, which in turn helps ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience for the entire group.

Contact Your Airline

When trying to ensure you sit together with your travel companions on a flight, contacting the airline is an essential step. There are various ways to reach out to them, such as social media and calling customer service.

Use Social Media

Today, many airlines have active social media profiles. Reaching out via their channels like Twitter or Facebook can often lead to quick responses.

If you send a direct message or tweet asking for assistance with seat arrangements, the airline representatives may help you secure seats together.

Keep in mind that having your booking details handy can make this process even smoother.

Call Their Customer Service

Another way to ensure you sit together with your travel companions is by calling the airline's customer service line.

According to Condé Nast Traveler, informing the agent that you are part of a family group might lead them to link your reservations or note your request in the system. Be prepared with your booking information and let them know your preferred seating arrangements.

Remember, being polite and patient during the call can increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Consider a Travel Agent

When it comes to ensuring you sit together on a flight, I found that sometimes a travel agent can be a valuable resource. They have experience in navigating airline policies and can often secure seats for groups that want to stay together.

I understand that in this era of online booking and self-service, it's easy to forget that travel agents still exist.

While I sometimes prefer the convenience of booking flights directly through an airline or travel website, it's undeniable that working with a travel agent has some advantages. These are the reasons you should consider a travel agent when wanting to sit together on a flight.

Access to Airlines Systems

Firstly, they have direct access to airline booking systems, which allows them to reserve a block of seats all at once. This makes it more likely that my friends or family and I can secure seats together.

Group Discounts

On several occasions, they've even managed to find group discounts or negotiate better rates, which allowed me to save some money. Furthermore, travel agents usually have access to exclusive fares, offers or packages that could be beneficial if you are traveling with a group.

Easy Adjustments

Lastly, they can save me time and effort by managing changes or adjustments to my booking. If I need to modify flight dates or timings, a travel agent will handle all the communication with the airline, ensuring that the entire group remains together.

This can be particularly useful if you notice you have an exit row seat, middle seat, or if you simply want to select seats that are different than what you originally planned.

I recommend asking for recommendations before choosing a travel agent. It's essential to find someone trustworthy, reliable, and efficient to manage your reservations.

So next time you plan a group trip, give some thought to using a travel agent. They can not only take the stress out of booking but also improve your chances of sitting together on your flights. Plus, who knows, they might just save you some money too!