What Happens If You Don’t Reserve Seats On A Flight?

Like any form of transport, there is always the option to reserve your seats to make sure you get on that exact flight that you need to.

What Happens If You Don't Reserve Seats On A Flight?

If you don’t reserve a seat on a train you might have to stand, depending on how busy it is. 

What are the benefits of pre-booking your seat reservations? This guide will help you understand why it can be easier to pre-book your seats and especially when you’re traveling as a family.

It might not be a benefit to everyone but for some people it could make their flight experience much smoother and comfortable. 

This guide will cover what will happen if you do not reserve a seat on a flight. It is slightly different to other types of transport because you have to be seated on a flight.

If all of the seats get reserved, what do you do without a reservation? 

What Happens If You Don’t Reserve A Seat? 

It all depends on the airline you go with because they are all different in how they sort their seat reservations.

Some airlines allow you to reserve specific seats that can be different prices.

However, if you do not reserve your seat, you can also be randomly assigned to a seat that is left. 

If you have not reserved a seat, you could be put in a position where your flight has been overbooked.

In this case, you might have to wait until the next available flight to get to where you need to go. This is a bit of a nightmare as you might have plans for that flight time.

However, if you do reserve your seats, you will not have this problem because you will be a priority passenger. 

Can You Reserve Seats For Free? 

On some airlines, it is free to reserve your seats depending on what is available at the time.

However, on other airlines, you have to pay different prices for different types of seats on certain aircrafts. 

There are more desirable seats that most people prefer. Most people prefer not to be sat next to the toilet or close to it.

Therefore, the front seats tend to be more expensive than the rear ones. 

You need to be managing your booking properly and making sure you have chosen your seats in preparation for the flight to avoid any kind of issues.

If you have any issues at the airport, you should try and find an official to help you find a solution. 

Why Should You Pre-Book? 

There are several reasons why you should pre-book before your flight which will benefit you as an individual or your whole family traveling together. 

  1. Airlines do not actually have to put families together on a flight. Therefore, it would benefit you and your family to pre-book to avoid this problem. This is especially important when you’re traveling with your children because you will want them with you. 
  2. You can also choose where you would like to be sat. For example, if you are a bit scared of flying, you can choose an aisle seat instead of the window seat. Or you can pick a window seat if you love to look out of the window. 
  3. You want to have a good experience if it is a longer flight. Therefore, it can be better to be surrounded by people you know and can talk to instead of strangers who could potentially be quite annoying. 
  4. This is also good if you’re wanting to reduce your stress levels when you are going through check-in. If you already have your seats then you will not have any issues with overcrowded planes and having to wait longer periods of time. 
  5. Holding up seats at check-in can be really frustrating when you haven’t pre-booked your seats. This is due to the airlines reserving their seats for emergencies or operational services. However, most airlines would not want to stress out their passengers and you’re likely to get the seat you chose. 
What Happens If You Don't Reserve Seats On A Flight?

What Type Of Price Are You Looking At? 

When you pre-book your desired seats, you will be looking at a small cost starting at $9 for some of the cheaper options.

They can get slightly more expensive for seats by either the aisle or window and the middle area of the plane tends to be a bit more expensive too. 

Is It Worth It For Seat Selection?

It all depends on how bothered you are with your seat.

You will only be wasting your money if you have no issues with flying or have any particular requests about sitting with your family etc. if you’re lucky, you might even get a randomly assigned seat which is exactly the one you wanted.

It all depends on the amount of money you’re willing to spend. 

Getting cheap airline tickets is a good thing, but it can also be a headache. You need to know what to do, and where to go, to get the cheapest tickets as well.

This will also include your seat reservations too and you can’t forget about them because you might not have to pay at all depending on your airline! 


Overall, if you’re looking to make sure your flight and seats are guaranteed, it is definitely recommended to pay the small fee to book them.

You will also get your most desirable seat if you book them straight away with the rest of your other bookings. 

If there is any confusion with your bookings you should get in contact with your airline or send them an email to confirm whether you are able to book seats or not to be sure.

Most airlines now do allow you to book your seats but just to be 100%. 

Hopefully this guide will help you understand why it is important to pre-book your seats on any plane.

You not only want a comfortable and relaxing flight, but you always want to be surrounded by the people you know.

Having your most desirable seat is what you need and with such a small fee that you have to pay, it will definitely be worth it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If You Don’t Choose An American Seat?

For most American Airlines, you should definitely double check on your booking setting before you fly to see if it becomes available to reserve a seat.

However, when you arrive, you will have a seat assigned to you when you have checked in. 

Do You Have To Reserve Seats On American Airlines?

You are definitely able to reserve your preferred seats on most airlines in the US.

However, there will be a slight fee for booking these and it will vary in price depending on what seats they are. 

How Much Does It Cost To Choose Your Seat On American Airlines?

To book your flight beforehand, you only have to pay a small fee to start and the price goes up depending on the desirability.

If you do not book this beforehand, you will not be able to choose one, you will be assigned a seat automatically by the airline. 

Jodie Price
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