• How to get the best seat before your next flight

    2016-10-14

    Getting to your travel destination should be relaxing and enjoyable. However, sometimes standard coach seating can leave passengers feeling cramped and uncomfortable for the majority of their flight. How can you prevent this from happening? Find options that offer extra space or upgrade to a cozier seat.

    Seats that offer extra legroom and additional amenities often cost more than many travelers are willing to spend on a flight. However, there are travel tips and tricks to snag the best seat without emptying your pockets. Remember these before your next flight.

    Know your options
    Some airlines offer more legroom for extra seating than others. Before you purchase your ticket, find out which planes will give you the most for your money. Check sites like SiteGuru to see your potential aircraft and the legroom each seat offers. Conde Nast Traveler noted that most coach seats give passengers between 30 and 31 inches of space, while extra-seat options usually start at 34 inches.

    You can also check out online travel sites like Flyertalk.com to read reviews from flyers who have recently purchased the ticket you're considering from the same airline. Some flights also charge more for extra-space seats depending on where they're located, while others advertise one cost for all. If you don't mind where your seat is located - window, aisle or middle - it's best to look for a carrier that offers one price for all extra-space options.

    MarketWatch recommended knowing when you've got a good deal and when you're being ripped off. Most extra-space seating is $15-$30 more than a coach ticket and up to $100 more for longer international flights. If you're going to be charged any more than this, you may want to consider buying an aisle seat and occasionally stretching out instead.

    Compare all available seating
    It's common for airlines to offer last-minute deals that upgrade passengers from coach to business class at the airport kiosk or online, according to Airwatchdog. However, travelers often have to ask the airline attendants or search around online, or the company may not bring it up.

    You may find a deal that offers a business class ticket for around $200 more than your original economy seat. Although this may seem like a lot at first, remember that most business class seats can cost thousands of dollars more than coach. If you're willing to dish out the extra fee, you'll be able to enjoy all the luxuries of first class at a significantly lower cost than everyone else. Similarly, frequent fliers can always use their points to reduce the price of a better seat instead of paying the entire cost of an economy seat.

    For some carriers, like JetBlue, if you pay for an economy ticket but choose not to select a specific seat, you could end up being upgraded to a premium ticket. It depends on what other passengers buy and you normally don't find out where you'll be seated until you arrive at your gate, but whether you're upgraded or not, you won't lose any money.

    Compare how much you would end up spending for your premium seat on a connecting flight with a nonstop one. USA Today noted that most travelers will find that nonstop flights are the cheaper option, as the extra cost for premium seats is added to every flight. This means that you would have to pay more for your seat every time you have a layover. Although connecting flights are generally less expensive, in this case, never neglect to compare both prices.

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