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How to limit costly airline seat selection fees – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-07-24 19:44:54 –

Unless you care about standard legrooms and middle seats, you can completely avoid seat selection fees. (Getty Images)

(NerdWallet) -Airlines always seem to have another trick to add to the cost of airfares. Anyone who has boarded a plane in the last few years knows that some airlines charge basic charges such as carry-on baggage and printed boarding passes. Still, one sneaky fare is often ignored even by knowledgeable travelers. It’s a seat selection fee.

On the surface, there is nothing complicated about these charges. Some airlines allow you to choose a specific seat in the markup based on the basic cost of the ticket. However, the method of presenting the fare is often misleading and it seems that you have to choose a seat and pay the accompanying fare.

This approach, in which a company adds fees throughout the checkout process, is referred to by experts as “drip pricing.”And According to the survey It should be an effective sales tactic to confuse customers and boost overall prices.

But there is a problem here. You rarely have to pay these fees. Here’s how to avoid, or at least minimize, these annoying charges:

How to avoid seat selection fees

Skip seat selection altogether

It may sound scary, but there’s one weird trick that airlines don’t want you to know. That means you don’t have to choose a seat. Most airlines will assign you a seat at check-in or at the gate if you don’t have one yet.

It seems that some airlines require (or at least select) a seat at checkout. Frontier Airlines also has a graphic interstitial page that explains why seat selection is such a great option.

Don’t be fooled by it. You can always skip seat selection and save money, but keep in mind a few things.

  • Skipping a seat selection does not mean that you will not have a seat on your flight.
  • If you don’t pay, you may get stuck in the middle seat.
  • Even if seat selection is free, we recommend skipping if only poor seats are available (see “Upgrade Hack” below).

Choose an airline with a cheap seating fee

Part of the great confusion about these charges is how consistently the industry is not applying them. Unlike the changes and cancellation fees that most US airlines have recently abolished, many airlines appear to be raising additional charges for seat selection.

However, some are charging much more than others.

according to Airfare analysis According to NerdWallet, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines charge the lowest seat selection rates, while Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines charge the highest rates.

Moderate seat fare (less than $ 10 for each sector) airlines:

  • Alaska.
  • Hawaiian.
  • JetBlue.
  • United.

High seat fare airlines ($ 15-in addition to each sector):

  • delta.
  • American.
  • spirit
  • Frontier.

Southwest Airlines It is excluded from this data because it does not technically charge or allow seat selection like other airlines. However, this is also a good option as you will not be charged a Southwest Airlines seat selection fee at checkout.

Roll the dice with an upgrade hack

As a regular and infrequent flyer, it’s difficult to upgrade seats these days. Still, skipping seat selection may offer you the opportunity to hit a premium seat.

The mechanism is as follows. Airlines currently offer “premium economy” fares and more. In some cases, all suitable seats, including exit rows, are considered premium. The airline will try to charge extra for these seats, but no one will use them and if the flight is full, you will have to assign it to someone.

Specifically, the airline assigns these empty better seats to passengers who have not selected their seats. Therefore, putting yourself in this pool may give you even better seats than those who paid an extra fee for advance seat selection.

Of course, there are potential drawbacks. Instead of being upgraded, you may get stuck in the center seat at the back of the plane. However, if the flight is full and many passengers find that they have not upgraded to the appropriate main cabin seats, skipping seat selection altogether can be an expert-level travel move. I have.

Don’t pay for advance seat selection

Airlines are playing the same game. They want to show the lowest fare possible in their search results and upsell at checkout.This drip pricing tactic Passenger pain.. Billing for seat selection is one way airlines try to make last-minute money.

Know your options and avoid their tricks. Skip seat selection altogether or fly with airlines for limited seat rates such as Alaska, Hawaiian and JetBlue. Each charges little or no fee to select a seat. In the worst case, you will end up in the middle seat. In the best case, you will have plenty of seats under your feet.

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Sam Kemmis writes to the Nerd Wallet. Email: skemmis@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @samsambutdif.

An article on how to navigate the seat selection rates of expensive airlines was originally published in Nerd Wallet.

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