United Airlines Seat Selection

A Comprehensive Guide to Navigating United Airlines Seat Selection

When booking flights with United Airlines, selecting the right seat can significantly enhance passenger comfort during travel. Understanding the policies, procedures, and associated costs related to United Airlines seat selection ensures that passengers make informed decisions while reserving seats. This article offers a detailed overview of the United Airlines seat selection policy, associated fees, and step-by-step instructions on how to select a preferred seat when flying with United Airlines.

Understanding United Airlines Seat Selection Policy

To ensure smooth sailing throughout the flight, United Airlines allows passengers to reserve specific seats according to availability. However, certain factors may affect seat assignments, including aircraft type, route, ticket fare class, and frequent flyer status. Passengers should familiarize themselves with the following key aspects of the United Airlines seat selection policy before proceeding with the reservation process.

  • Basic Economy Fare Class: For passengers traveling under basic economy fares, seat selection is available only after check-in or upon airport arrival, subject to availability. No additional fee applies if no preference is given; otherwise, standard seat assignment charges apply.
  • Standard Economy Fare Class: Passengers purchasing standard economy tickets enjoy complimentary seat selection starting from the moment they book their flight until check-in opens, typically 24 hours prior to departure.
  • Premium Cabins (Business & First): Complimentary seat selection is included in the price of these tickets, offering more flexibility and convenience compared to economy cabins.

united airlines change seats

Frequent Flyer Benefits

Members holding MileagePlus Premier Silver, Gold, Platinum, or 1K status receive free seat upgrades depending on availability and other conditions stipulated by United Airlines. Moreover, Star Alliance members also benefit for preferential seating arrangements when traveling with United Airlines or its alliance partners.

United Seat Selection Fees

The cost of selecting a seat on United Airlines depends on several factors, such as fare class, destination, distance flown, and membership tier level. Here are some general guidelines regarding United seat selection fees:

  • Basic Economy: Free seat selection at check-in or airport desk, $10-$150+ for pre-selected seats (varies per flight)
  • Economy: Typically ranges between $10-$50 per segment, although long-haul international flights might charge higher fees
  • Business / First: Usually complimentary but could vary for special requests such as bulkhead or exit row seats

How to Select a Seat on United Airlines?

Passengers can follow these steps to choose their desired seats on United Airlines:

  1. Visit and enter your login credentials or continue as a guest. Proceed to search for flights based on your preferences.
  2. After choosing a suitable flight option, click ‘Continue’ to move forward with the booking process. On the subsequent page, review the selected flight details and pricing information.
  3. If eligible, select your preferred seat(s) directly beneath the flight summary section. Available seats will be highlighted in green, whereas grey indicates occupied seats. Click on any vacant seat to view additional details about it, such as legroom measurements and proximity to lavatories or galleys.
  4. Once satisfied with the seat choices made, complete the remaining sections required for payment, contact information, passport data, etc., then confirm the purchase. Upon completion, an email confirmation containing e-ticket receipts along with boarding passes should arrive shortly afterward.


Selecting the perfect seat for your journey with United Airlines not only adds a touch of personalization to your trip but also contributes towards enhanced comfort levels during transit. Armed with an understanding of United Airlines seat selection policies, fees, and procedures. Passengers can now confidently navigate the reservation system and lock down their ideal spot aboard the plane. Remember to consider individual circumstances, budget constraints, loyalty program affiliations, and other pertinent factors while finalizing seat selections. Happy travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I select my seat on United Airlines?

There are several ways to select your seat on United Airlines. You can do it while booking your flight tickets online, through the United Airlines app, or by visiting the airline’s website and selecting the ‘manage reservations’ option. You can also call the United Airlines customer service team at 1-800-864-8331 or 1-860-845-0471 to assist you with the seat selection process.

Can I change my seat selection after booking my flight?

Yes, you can change your seat selection after booking your flight on United Airlines. However, you may have to pay a fee for changing your seat, depending on the type of ticket you have purchased. It is advisable to make any changes as early as possible to avoid paying additional fees.

Can I select seats for my whole family or group at once?

Yes, United Airlines allows passengers to select seats for their whole family or group at once. This feature is particularly useful for families traveling with small children or groups of friends who want to sit together on the flight. However, it is advisable to book your seats in advance, as there is a limit to the number of seats that can be selected at one time.

Can I upgrade my seat selection on United Airlines?

United Airlines offers various options for seat upgrades, such as Economy Plus, which provides extra legroom. And also United Premium Plus, which offers a premium economy experience. You can upgrade your seat selection by purchasing an upgrade or by using your frequent flyer miles, depending on your eligibility.

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