When it comes to group travel, one common concern is ensuring everyone in the party sits together on the flight. Airlines capitalize on this worry by offering seat selection options at an additional cost. However, a recent study conducted by Which? Travel has exposed the unnecessary expense of paying extra for seat selection, particularly when it comes to guaranteeing seating for families and groups.
Which? Travel, consumer advocacy group, analyzed data from several leading airlines to determine if paying for seat selection was a worthwhile investment for passengers traveling together. The research indicated that the majority of travelers who did not pay for specific seat allocation still ended up seated next to their companions.
Most airlines will almost always seat you with your travel companions even if you don’t pay – the only real exceptions to this rule are Ryanair or Wizz Air.Jo Rhodes, deputy editor of Which? Travel
The study showed that 94% of British Airways passengers who did not pay for seat selection were still placed next to each other. These findings suggest that families and groups could save a significant amount of money by opting out of seat allocation when booking their flights.
According to Rhodes, “in most cases, passengers are wasting their money by paying for seat selection on the plane – which can be upwards of 115€ extra for a family of four” . For example, a family of four could end up paying an additional 130€ to pre-select standard seats on a London-Tenerife flight, a cost that can rise up to 220€ for seats with extra legroom.
For those trying to make their holiday budgets go further this summer, this is an easy way to make some substantial savings.Jo Rhodes, deputy editor of Which? Travel
EasyJet and Jet2 also performed well in terms of seating their passengers together for no additional cost: Easy Jet, with 93% of customers seated together, even when they hadn’t paid the 8€ to 10€ to select seats; with Jet2, 90% enjoyed the same benefit, while avoiding the 11€ to 15€ fee.
Ryanair and Wizz Air, on the other hand, showed lower rates. Only 66% of Ryanair passengers who hadn’t added seat selection, which is priced between 11€ to 19€, were seated with their companions. The figure dropped to 61% for Wizz Air, which charge s16€ to 24€ for that effect.
There is no legal obligation for airlines to seat passengers together, including families with young children, according to the the Civil Aviation Authority. However, it recommends that young children and infants should ideally be seated in the same row as adults, or at most, be separated by one seat row from accompanying adults.