Increasingly, Russian and foreign airlines are beginning to charge customers for additional services, including the opportunity to sit with the rest of the company members or relatives – thus imposing an additional service. However, tourists can avoid additional fees for choosing their seats on the plane. Travel blogger Cairo Ferguson, the author of the Journey Junket website, shared useful life hacks that can surprise tourists.
While some overseas carriers, such as Britain's British Airways, allow customers to select seats for free when checking in online, Russian low-cost carriers and Ireland's Ryanair only offer seat selection to those who pay for the privilege. “There are several ways to get seats together without paying to select them,” he stated.
One of his top recommendations is to simply ask, “Try calling the airline directly and asking if there are any seats available—you'd be surprised how a simple, polite phone call can work. I did this a few years ago when three of my girlfriends were flying together and we didn't pay extra for choosing a seat. I called the airline ahead of time and mentioned that one of us was a nervous passenger and they were happy to provide the service without charging a fee. Amazing.”
Alternatively, the tourist recommended booking all tickets for the flight at once, rather than in parts. “Try booking the same flight as someone else, as often the airline gives you two seats together for free if you're traveling with someone,” he said.
Travel blogger Jessie Moore, who runs luxury travel blog Pocket Wanderings, added that this is “by far the best way” to get seats nearby, but you should register online as soon as registration opens.
“Despite the suggestion that airlines will split your group if you don't pay for seat selection, they will generally actually try to keep you together – if there are available seats. I have made 16 flights this year and have managed to sit with the person traveling with me every time except for one trip where I forgot to check in and put it off until the last minute. Find out when your airline's check-in opens and set a reminder to be ready. Of course, there is still no guarantee if you do not pay, but this will significantly increase your chances,” advised an experienced tourist.
It should be recalled that tourists traveling within Russia will soon be able to book seats on the plane absolutely free of charge. True, while the bill concerns children from 2 to 12 years old and people with disabilities, as well as for persons accompanying them. The corresponding bill was submitted to the State Duma in the spring of 2022.
All other travelers who did not receive a free choice of seats can use discounts for groups flying together. “Check if the airline has affordable fares that include individual seats together,” recommended travel blogger Cairo Ferguson.
Recall the rules for choosing a flight from Russian airlines. The paid choice of seats in the cabin has already become the standard for most domestic carriers. In some, it is only a pre-selection of a seat before the start of registration for a rey, that is, for a fee. presitting, in the rest, and most of them – the service is paid even with online registration. And in some airlines, such as Pobeda, Nordwind and Yamal, online check-in does not work at all without choosing a seat. As for S7 Airlines, a few years ago it launched a seat selection service, and set up the registration system so that tourists who do not want to pay for choosing seats sit in the most uncomfortable places: between passengers and in the “tail” of the cabin.
For comparison, here are the conditions of British airlines:
- British Airways. You can check in online up to 24 hours before your scheduled flight departure. Customers who have a basic carry-on-only fare will not be able to choose their seat for free even at check-in, however all other ticket holders will be given the option to choose their seat for free at this stage. Customers also have the option to pay for seat selection when booking tickets.
- EasyJet. Allows passengers to check-in for a flight 30 days before its scheduled departure. While passengers will not be able to select their seats for free at the moment, the airline may seat groups together based on seat availability. Customers also have the option to pay for their seats when booking their tickets.
- Ryanair. Ryanair customers can check in for their flight up to 24 hours before departure. Passengers may pay for seat selection at the time of booking, but the airline does not allow free seat selection at check-in. In addition, the carrier also states that customers will be “randomly assigned” a seat upon check-in.
- Jet2. Tourists can check in for a flight 28 days before its scheduled departure. At the moment, customers are not entitled to choose their seats for free, but the airline is trying to bring groups together if there is an empty seat in the cabin. Customers also have the option to pay for seat selection when booking tickets.
- Virgin Atlantic. Check-in for the flight opens 24 hours before the scheduled departure time. Customers can choose a seat for free at check-in, and if you're checking in luggage, you can choose a seat for free before check-in opens. However, the airline will also try to accommodate groups together where possible.
- TUI. Check-in for the flight opens 14 days before the scheduled departure date. Tourists cannot sit together at check-in, but the carrier tries to seat groups together where possible. Customers can also pay for seat selection when booking tickets.
Earlier, Turprom wrote that “A tourist told how she does not pay for food and drinks at airports.”
For those For those who care about a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “Doctors have revealed the healing properties of tofu.”