Welcome Aboard…Please Take Your Seats!

Think Your Airline Seats are Guaranteed? Think Again!

Consider this scenario: You’ve booked your flights…well in advance. You got the exact itinerary and even picked your favorite airline seats. Perfect. Now you can relax and plan the rest of your trip. Now, fast forward…You check in online to print your boarding passes and find that your seat assignments have changed! What????

Yes, this happened to me and it was on international flights…I was not only baffled but chagrined. OK, I was very upset! I knew I had chosen seats and (I thought) had my confirmed seat assignments. Ah, wrong! When I contacted the airline directly, I was informed that when you choose your seats online, you are not guaranteeing but merely requesting your preferred seats!

Eventually, I was able to actually get confirmed seats but I was advised to check the status frequently, especially 5 days before my departure date and to check again with the reservations agent at the airport. What a hassle!

Bottom line: If your airline seat assignment is important to you, check and double check to make sure your preferred seat is your guaranteed seat.  

Now, consider this scenario: On another international trip, I checked in, had everything in order, boarding pass, etc. Great! Then the agent calls my name and tells me that, in order to accommodate a family, they have changed my seat assignment without first asking my permission! Was I put out? You bet!

Sure, I still had an aisle seat, but in front of  the bulkhead by the restrooms! I expressed my displeasure and told them I wanted a seat similar to the one I had picked months prior but was told they were very sorry, but it was a full flight….blah blah blah… Not only was my seat heavily trafficked but I was unable to move my seat on an 11-hour flight. I decided not to let it sour my much anticipated vacation, but I also decided “never again!”

Bottom line: When I check in, I tell the agent that I am not to have my seat changed without my permission. I suggest you do the same.

airport internal signAnother reason to check your airline seats several times before your departure: If they change the plane and therefore the seat configurations change, it could dramatically affect your seat assignment(s). You could even check in and find that your seat “doesn’t exist” and they may have to re-assign you to a less desirable location. (I had friends who lost a  business class seat for exactly this reason!)

Bottom line: Be sure you are on the same type of aircraft and have the seats that are on your reservation, no matter what class of travel you booked.


 Now, welcome aboard, sit back and really enjoy the flight!

Some helpful sites and APPS:




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Have you ever had a snafu regarding your airline seat? Will this advice help you in the future? Thanks for sharing!

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About PostcardZ from Victoria

Wish you were here! I love sharing my passion for travel and insights I've learned along the way. Enjoy my travel tips and inspiration with a lighthearted twist! Join me as we create a forum for sharing experiences and information! Enjoy my newly updated & edited book, "Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style!" with MORE great TipZ and then, let's go to Italy together!
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