How Much does British Airways Charge for Seat Selection

British Airways offers free or paid seat selection based on various circumstances and conditions. A free seat is automatically allotted after the check-in opens. Whereas, for preferred specific seats charges shall be applicable. The basic tickets are eligible for a fee. While the other few higher cabin classes can select and book seats for free.

The cost of British Airways seat selection is subject to flight type, travel class, and other special provisions for certain beneficiaries. To understand how much does British Airways charge for seat selection, let’s dig further and unveil the details for each fare type and other conditions. 

British Airways Seat Selection Fee for Fare Types 

British Airways Seat Selection Fee for Fare Types 

British Airways seat selection fee depends on the travel class, flight type, and total duration. There are special provisions for family and group seating options. The Executive members of the airline enjoy numerous benefits in terms of seat selection. 

The prices for British Airways seat selection differ on various factors and the exact value is visible during reservations. There are certain seats and rows that are reversed for some specific reasons and are not available for bookings for some other classes. Read the rules for each fare type and other conditions to learn about how much does British Airways charge for seat selection and the eligibility for free reservations of preferred seats. 

Terms and Conditions for Seat Selection on British Airways 

These are the following provisions for different fare types and requirements of passengers making it eligible for free or paid seat selection respectively. 

Basic Tickets 

The preferred seat can be selected anytime from the moment of booking till check-in. Charges apply on Basic seat selection. 

Once the check-in opens, the airline will automatically allot any seat of its choice. In case you are not happy with the respective seat, then pay an additional fee and change the seat. However, at this time, the choices are limited due to pre-reservations.

First Class 

First Class 

For first-class passengers, the feature of seat selection is absolutely free. You can book any unreserved seat after confirming the tickets. It is advised to choose the seat early as there are more chances of getting the preferred seat due to the higher availability of options. 

Flexible and Semi-Flexible Tickets 

These are the tickets with additional flexibility of free time and date changes along with complimentary preferred seat selection. The passengers can choose the amount of flexibility by adding specific features and buying the tickets. There are two options available, namely, flexible and semi-flexible. The passengers of any of the tickets are eligible for seat selection during the following times.

Flexible and Semi-Flexible Tickets 

The Flexible fare tickets can select the desired seat 48 hours before the scheduled departure. 

Whereas, the semi-flexible fares are allowed to select seats anytime within 24 hours before the flight departure. 

Executive Club Members 

These are one of the most privileged groups of passengers of the airline. Numerous benefits are assigned to them. This is because of the loyalty program rewards that the members of this group receive as frequent flyers of the airline

There are various levels of Executive Club membership in Oneworld. Based on tier, you are able to 

choose or select the desired seat at different intervals of time. Read the terms and conditions below.

Gold/oneworld Emerald: These ticket passengers are eligible for free seat selection on one complete booking (one or more reservations under the same account). Moreover, family or friends traveling with the oneworld Emerald member but with different bookings or tickets are also included for free desired seat selection. Given, they are in the same cabin and same flight. 

Silver/ Sapphire members: Executive club members of the silver tier are also allowed for free seat selection but under the following terms and conditions. 

The exit seats on long-haul flights are eligible for free selection only 24 hours prior to the departure. The rest of the other seats can be chosen and reserved at any time after purchasing the ticket. This feature is applicable to the complete itinerary or booking. 

Bronze/oneworld Ruby: British Airways seat selection is free for Bronze or Oneworld Ruby members. The window for this opens seven days before departure and does not include the exit row seats. Choosing a preferred seat in the exit row is allowed only 24 hours before departure. 

Bronze/oneworld Rub

Blue: The Blue tier of Executive Club members is eligible for free seat selection 24 hours before departure. It does not include or allow Basic Fare passengers. Also, the exit row is not available for selection for this category of members. 

Family Reservations 

Family Reservations 

If you are flying with your family and you are not part of the above-explained Executive club membership, then these are the provisions for seat selection. 

  1. Passengers with infants (below 2 years of age) are offered a free selection of desired seats. A family or group of less than 9 people is eligible for the same. Also, if the seat is not pre-booked, then one member can select a carrycot position seat to comfortably sit with the infant. 
  2. If you are a family of adults with no infants then you can choose to pay for the desired seats. The free selection is not eligible for such bookings. However, British Airways tries its best to offer the same row seats to family members so that they can sit together. Children below 12 will be allotted seats beside guardians or parents. But for others, it is not guaranteed and might be separated by an aisle seat or rows. 

Group Reservations 

Groups of 9 people or more might want to stay together during their journey. You can opt to pay for the desired seats in the cabin to sit close to each other for UK and Ireland flights only. While the airline tries to offer seats in the same row if there is the availability of the same and the tickets are reserved under one booking. 

Free British Airways seat Selection for Disability Specific Seat Requirements

The passengers who need a specific seat due to some disability are offered free seats. Select the desired seats by visiting the Manage My Bookings tab. It is suggested to add it before time to ensure the right seat for yourself. 

How to Add Preferred Seat and Pay on British Airways? 

Log in to the Manage My Bookings tab to add a seat to the scheduled reservations. A seat map will be visible on the screen, select the desired and confirm it by paying for the same if a fee applies. 

The prices or the total amount depends on the fare type, total distance, and a few other factors. It will be shown at the time of selection, pay accordingly. The payment can be made by cash, credit or Avios (award points). 

The passengers who have chosen seats under free provision can simply confirm their preference and enjoy the journey ahead. 


How much British Airways Charge for seat selection is variable to various terms and conditions including travel class and flight type. The Passengers who are interested in specific seats must select the seats early as it is subject to availability. 

Overview of British Airways seat selection

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does British Airways charge for seat selection? 

Yes, British Airways charges for seat selection depending if a seat eligible for the same is selected before check-in. 

What is the British Airways business class seat selection fee?

British Airways business class seat selection fee is variable to the time and flight. The current prices will be shown during the time of selection.

Can I select a seat on British Airways?

Yes, passengers of all travel class are allowed to select a seat on British Airways.
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