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United Airlines Seat Selection: All You Need To Know

Author Gertrude Brogi

Posted Mar 4, 2023

Reads 9.8K

United Airlines Seat Selection is an important thing for passengers to know about before flying United Airlines. It allows guests to be assigned seating in advance, select preferred seating and even unlock access to more seats with certain airline credit cards. To make sure you get the most out of your flight, it’s important to understand United Airlines seat selection and its policies.

When it comes to choosing seats on a United Airlines flight, there are a few different options available. Some flights allow guests to select their own seats when they book their ticket online or by phone. Other flights offer the ability to upgrade at check-in or airport kiosks, while some airlines may offer customers the option of upgrading their seats with miles or through airline credit cards. Additionally, there are times when United Airlines unlocks additional seat selection options for loyalty members and cardholders.

With so many possible ways of selecting a seat on a United Airlines flight, it can be difficult to keep track of all the different rules and regulations regarding seat selection. Knowing what’s available and how to take advantage of these options will ensure a smooth flight experience for all passengers traveling with United Airlines.

United Airlines: Unlocking the Door to Seat Selection

The modern traveler has a lot of options when it comes to booking United Airlines flights. In addition to the cabin classes (economy, business, and premium economy), you can choose your seat depending on the fare class for which you book. Generally speaking, you'll pay more for a higher class ticket and that means you'll find business class and premium economy seating more expensive than economy.

UK flag on creased paper

One of the things that United Airlines charges vary for is their seat selection. If you want to upgrade your seat or select a particular part of the plane, you will have to pay extra fees in addition to your ticket cost. However, if you are willing to take the risk of being assigned a seat at random once its time to board the plane, then you could save money with no seat selection.

Overall, when it comes to flying United Airlines, it's important to consider all of your options in order to get the best deal possible. Seat selection fees may be worth paying if it means getting a better experience on board but if not then its worth looking into how much extra youll pay for the privilege. With some careful thought and planning, it's easy to unlock the door to great deals on seat selection with United Airlines.

1. Basic economy (most restrictive)

Are you wanting to fly United Airlines but don’t want to pay the extra fees for seat selection? Basic Economy tickets are the way to go! These cheaper tickets provide travelers with all the same amenities as other economy flights, but at a much lower cost.

Unfortunately, when booking basic economy tickets, complimentary seat selection is not provided – which means that the airline reserves the right to randomly assign your seat. However, if you’re looking for a great deal on travel and don’t mind where you sit, then book basic economy tickets and save!

2. Standard economy

United Airlines happily offers regular economy class tickets for travelers, and their seat selection system is designed to accommodate families with young children. When you're booking a United economy ticket, their system will automatically attempt to seat children in the same row as their parents. United's good news for families doesn't end there, as their preferred seating features also offer free alcoholic beverages on many premium transcontinental routes. The costs of these preferred seats vary depending on what type of economy class seating you're interested in, and they can be cheaper than paid seat upgrades on some United flights.

The standard United Economy cabin also gives customers the option of standard regular economy seats, which are typically located near the back of the plane - however they don't offer any of the additional benefits that come with preferred seating. You'll typically find that these seats don't offer free alcoholic beverages on flights, but they still provide a comfortable experience while flying with United Airlines.

3. United first and business class

If you're considering flying United, the airline offers the comfort and convenience of both First Class and Business Class seating options for all flights. Business class provides added perks such as more legroom and instant access to Wi-Fi. What’s more, when you choose business class, you'll earn United Premier Qualifying Points that can be used towards upgrades or free flights in the future. With a range of amenities and bonus points on offer, it's no wonder why so many travelers are opting for United's business class seats!

A Safari Through the Skies on Delta Air Lines

Traveling with Delta Air Lines can be a safari through the skies if you've got the right fare type that allows you to include advance seat selection. With a few simple steps, you can make your booking process easier and faster by allowing you to book children and confirm seat selections made.

YouTube video about A Safari Through the Skies on Delta Air Lines

When booking with Delta, it is important to speak to a Delta Reservations Agent or obtain seats directly from the family contact at Delta in order to get the best seating options for your family. Additionally, if after speaking with a Delta Gate Agent you are unable to seat family members together, you may request that Flight Attendants switch seats during boarding or after takeoff while in the Main Economy Cabin so they can accommodate larger groups.

Delta Air Lines offers different fare types including Steer Clear and Main Cabin tickets which allow travelers to include advance seat selection when booking their flight. This makes it easy for travelers to confirm their seating arrangements before their departure date and helps them obtain better seating options when traveling with groups of people or families.

Discover the Finest Seats on United Airlines

White and Black Ship Steering Wheel

Discovering the Finest Seats on United Airlines starts with understanding their seating policies. When you're booking, the type of economy class ticket you'll get depends on if you're a United Elite member or a free basic economy customer. For standard economy ticket holders, United Elite members will receive access to the best seats available. With this level of status, customers can also take advantage of other benefits such as early boarding and priority check-in.

How to maximize your rewards

Maximizing your rewards when selecting a seat on United Airlines can be a great way to capitalize on your travel plans. Utilizing a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you, such as points transfers, bonus travel rewards and luxury perks, can be extremely beneficial. American Express offers the Venture Rewards Credit Card with an annual fee bank and flat-rate travel rewards for purchases made through 2023 including capital one venture rewards credit card which offers bonus miles for purchases and additional flexibility. By taking advantage of these offers, customers are able to maximize their rewards when selecting a seat on United Airlines.

Uncovering the Benefits of United Basic Economy

Travelers looking to fly on United Airlines with the least amount of money out-of-pocket should consider their Basic Economy fares. These worst basic economy fares are generally priced lower than their main cabin fares, and come with a few benefits that make them a good deal for certain travelers. Unlike Delta’s Basic Economy, United’s Basic Economy does allow passengers to bring a personal item and one carry-on bag for free. Seat selection is also not unavailable although it is done automatically assigned at check-in, usually in the last boarding group. This can be a saving grace as priority boarding boards first and final boarding group is often left with minimal overhead bin space.

Dollar banknote on white table

In addition to being able to bring more items with you, United Basic Economy allows flyers to benefit from earning redeemable United MileagePlus miles and status when flying on those tickets. Unlike other airlines’ basic economy fares, there are no restrictions on how many miles or status you’ll earn - Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) and Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs) still count towards complimentary upgrades and achieving/maintaining elite status. The only penalty for booking this fare type is that changes are not allowed within 24 hours of departure for domestic roundtrip tickets or any changes for international roundtrip tickets (although you may receive a voucher minus any change fees).

In 2021, expect some changes in force Flyers if they book United Basic Economy fares as the airline looks to make this its new huge cash cow - late 2021 will see longer earns of PQPs/PQFS on Blue Basic Fares dropped in lieu of what could be seen as a punitive policy by some flyers; however, these extra benefits may make up for it depending on your goals and destinations. Long-haul destinations may benefit more from being able to bring an additional carry-on bag as opposed to short haul flights where the extra legroom economy seats might be worth highlighting instead.

1. No Carry-Ons Allowed with United Basic Economy

Bad news for travelers flying United Basic Economy: United Airlines executives have just announced a new restrictive measure in its seat selection policy. Starting from January 2020, passengers traveling on basic economy fares to any long-haul international destination across the Atlantic Ocean won't be allowed to bring carry-on bags—only a small personal item will be accepted.

For many basic economy passengers this is not welcome news, as it limits the amount of belongings they can take with them on their journey. This change further highlights the differences between basic economy and regular economy tickets and the lack of flexibility associated with the latter.

2. No Online Check-In, Either

Are you planning on flying United Basic Economy but dreading the lack of seat selection when it comes to boarding the plane? If so, you'll also be disappointed to know that you won't be able to take advantage of online check-in either. That means you'll need to finalize your checking process at the airport and hope for the best when it comes to finding a spot for your carry-on bag onboard.

Flying United Basic Economy can be daunting, but there are some strategies that can help make it more bearable. Find out more about how to navigate this type of experience with our blog post!

3. Pay Up For Seats

United Airlines has recently started charging customers additional fees for seat selection with their basic economy tickets. These seat selection fees allow passengers the ability to choose their seat when booking, or before the seat selection opens 24 hours prior to departure.

At United, a basic economy ticket generally seats you in the middle section of the plane and does not include advanced seat assignment. But for those who want more control over the seating situation, they can pay up for the convenience of selecting a preferred seat prior to boarding.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if a family is not sitting together at the gate?

If a family is not sitting together at the gate, they could be separated on the plane and may need to make special arrangements with the airline. To find out more, contact your airline directly to discuss seating options.

How can I select a seat before my plane fills up?

To select a seat before your plane fills up, take advantage of online check-in or pre-flight selection options offered by most airlines. You can also upgrade to a higher cabin class for additional seating choices.

How do I get my family to sit together at the airport?

To get your family to sit together at the airport, you can use the Family Boarding program available at most airports. With this program, you can easily and quickly get all your family members seated together before the flight takes off!

How do I select a seat on United Airlines?

United Airlines makes it easy to select your seat. Visit the Manage Travel section of United's website and log in to your reservation to choose your seat from available options. To learn more, visit

Does United basic economy allow carry on?

Yes, United basic economy allows you to bring one carry-on bag in addition to a personal item. Learn more about the specific rules and exceptions for your flight.

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Gertrude Brogi

Writer at CGAA

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Gertrude Brogi is an experienced article author with over 10 years of writing experience. She has a knack for crafting captivating and thought-provoking pieces that leave readers enthralled. Gertrude is passionate about her work and always strives to offer unique perspectives on common topics.

She enjoys researching the latest trends and topics in order to provide her readers with the most up to date information. Her areas of expertise range from business, lifestyle and fashion to technology, health and wellness. Her articles have been featured in numerous online publications, and she is also an avid public speaker who loves sharing her knowledge with others.

As a woman, Gertrude strives to empower other women through her work by highlighting their successes and stories while inspiring them to reach new heights of success.

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