Is It Really Worth Paying For Your Airline Seats?

Anybody who has ever flown on a plane will know that some seats are better than others. From additional legroom to better storage space, there are lots of perks that you can get depending on which seats you choose.

Selecting your own seats on a plane often costs money. This is money that many people do not want to spend, especially those who are traveling on a budget. Plane tickets alone are often expensive, let alone the cost of choosing your seats on top.

Is It Really Worth Paying For Your Airline Seats

This is why many people opt against choosing seats on a plane. 

In this guide, we’ll be weighing up the pros and cons of paying for your airline seats to decide if it is worth it. So if you want to find out more, keep on reading!

What Is Seat Selection?

Before we dive right in, let’s take a very brief look at what seat selection is. Well, as you have probably gathered, seat selection is something that you can do when it comes to flights.

Seat selection allows you to select the seats that you sit in while you are on a plane. 

So, by using seat selection, you can either select seats that guarantee that you and the rest of your party will sit together, or you can select seats that give you perks.

From additional legroom to window seats or seats with additional storage, there are lots of perks of seat selection. 

However, it does cost extra money which can be quite a big ask when you already consider the cost of flights. It is this cost that has a lot of people wondering if seat selection is actually worth it, or if seat selection is simply a waste of money.

So with no further ado, let’s dive right in and find out! 

Is it Worth Paying For Seat Selection?

In order to decide if it is worth paying for seat selection, we first need to emphasize that seat selection is not necessary. You do not have to pay for seat selection in order to get a seat because the airline will assign a seat for you.

So failure to pay for seat selection does not mean you won’t have a seat on the plane, instead it simply means that you will not have the ability to choose your own seats. 

Whether, or not seat selection is worth it for you depends on a number of factors. If you are traveling alone, then most people opt against seat selection because it simply isn’t worth it.

The only real reason why you may pay for seat selection when traveling alone is if you are very tall and require additional legroom. 

Most of the time, seat selection will only be worth it if you are traveling with others. When you are traveling with others, you may choose to select your seats to ensure that you are all sat together.

You may also choose to select seats closer to the toilets on the plane if you are traveling with young children, and so on. If any of these scenarios apply to you, then paying for seat selection may be worth it. 

However, outside these scenarios, we would say that seat selection isn’t worth it. A lot of the time, seat selection is a marketing ploy by airlines to get more money out of their customers.

This is especially true of airlines that try to tell you that you must pay for your seats upon booking your flights. But this isn’t true. In fact, in a lot of cases, you can book your selected seats right up until when you are in the airport. 

So, if you are traveling with young children or with people who you want to guarantee you will have seats next to, booking your airline seats is worth it. 

What Happens If You Don’t Pay For Your Seat?

Well, as we have said, there is no need to book your airline seat using the seat selection function upon checkout. While you can do this, there is nothing that says you must do it.

Seat selection is simply an add-on, and without paying for this, you will simply be assigned a seat by the airline. 

A lot of people, especially those who are avid travelers, see seat selection as a bit of a scam. Essentially seat selection allows airlines to label seats as “premium” and then charge additional fees for these seats.

These fees can often range from anywhere between $10 and $40, so seat selection isn’t cheap. Especially if you are selecting multiple seats.

Often, people are encouraged to select their own seats by airlines because it is implied that something bad will happen if you don’t pay to select your seats. However, this isn’t the case. 

In fact, you might end up in these “premium” seats without even paying for them. After all, if they don’t get assigned during the seat selection process, the airline will simply assign them to passengers who haven’t paid for this service.

So, you don’t have to pay for your seat when purchasing flights. 

Is It Really Worth Paying For Your Airline Seats

What is the Best Way to Get a Good Seat on a Plane?

However, if you want to guarantee yourself one of the best seats on the plane, the only way to do this is to pay for your airline seat. If you do not do this, then you will be randomly assigned a seat.

This could lead to you getting a good seat on a plane, but more often than not, it will end up with you having one of the less desirable seats. 

So, even though it does cost a considerable amount of money on top of the cost of your flights, if you want to guarantee yourself a good seat on your flight, seat selection is the best way to do this!

Pros and Cons


  • Less Stress – When you select your own seats, you know exactly where you will be sitting on the plane from the moment you book your flight. So, there is no need to worry about ending up with a bad seat, or being separated from your family.
  • Access to “Premium” Seats – Seat selection gives you access to “premium” seats, including window seats, seats with additional legroom, and seats with additional storage space too.
  • Plan in Advance – If you are somebody who likes to be organized, and plan in advance, seat selection is made for you. 


  • Extra Cost – Seat selection usually isn’t included in the cost of plane tickets, so you will have to pay extra money to choose your own seats.
  • Luck of the Draw – Seat selection is a little bit of a gamble. If those seats are not chosen during the seat selection process, they will be randomly assigned to passengers. So, you could end up sitting next to somebody in a “premium” seat who didn’t spend any additional money on those seats.


In short, most of the time, seat selection isn’t worth it. Paying for your airline seats is an additional cost that simply isn’t worth it for most travelers.

However, if you have young children, or are taller than average, then selecting seats with extra legroom could be worth the additional fee for your comfort. 

Thanks for reading! 

Jodie Price
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