Whenever we book a holiday that includes flying as a means of transport, I always wonder whether I should pay extra to book plane seats or whether to wait until the designated time for check in and take my chances.
There seems to be a great divide between people’s opinions on whether you should pay extra to book plane seats, and I think the ultimately it comes down to whether you are prepared to hold your nerve and take a chance, and the time of year you are travelling.
I’m not a seasoned traveller by plane, however in the last few years I have been lucky enough to enjoy a few trips away. My first long haul flight was in 2014 when we flew with British Airways to Orlando. On this flight we chose to book and pay extra for our plane seats.
I don’t enjoy flying, so for me it was peace of mind that we would all be sat together despite the extra cost. I am 100% sure I did the correct thing for my family during this holiday as it meant one less thing to worry about.
In 2016, our second long haul flight, this time with Virgin. I had been reading about the upper deck on Virgin 747’s where there is a selected seating area for economy sitting with Premium Economy. With just a few rows, we decided we would like to sit in the bubble and paid extra to reserve our seats.
This was an amazing experience for us, the upper deck was a lot quieter than sitting downstairs and we were one of the first passengers off the plane at the end.
I read a lot of forums seeing the different opinions of whether people should pay the extra, and the when I read the horror stories of families being sat apart, I start to worry about any upcoming flights we have booked.
The guidelines appear to be that any under 12-year-old will be sat with a parent / responsible adult they are travelling with. The guidelines of sitting with though can be across the aisle, the row in front or behind. I don’t like to cause a scene, or complain too much, and I think that perhaps the airlines have me as their perfect customer who is too afraid to be sat apart from my ten year old.
I also read stories of people who have pre booked and paid for their seats, but have still been sat apart on the plane. This is the time I would choose to complain. If I have paid for a service then I expect to receive what I have paid for. This hasn’t happened to me yet, and fingers crossed it won’t in the future.
Earlier this year I travelled to Mallorca with two friends to celebrate our birthdays. This time the other two weren’t willing to pay to pre book seats, so I had no choice but to wait until it was time to check in and hopefully would be sitting together.
It turns out that we were all sitting together both on the outbound and inbound flights. I think a two hour flight is a little different to nine hours. For two hours as an adult, I would read a book, but during a nine hour flight sitting away from my family wouldn’t be very much fun at all.
Our holiday to Walt Disney World this Summer has been a little bit last minute for booking our plane seats. I decided that I would wait until check in and select seats for free, however over the last few weeks, I found myself thinking about it more and more. It was obviously bothering me, and in the end I caved and did pay extra to book plane seats.
I wish I could hold my nerve a little more, however for me the peace of mind is worth the cost I pay.
Do you pay extra to book plane seats or do you wait until it’s time to check in and take what you are given?