British Airways gives passengers different options when it comes to picking their seats. In some cases, you’ll need to pay for it, while other fares include it in the base price. Here’s what you need to know about how British Airways charges for seat selection.

Basic Economy

The cheapest fares do not include seat selection, so you will need to pay for it as an add-on during booking or after the fact on your reservation. You will automatically be assigned a seat 24 hours in advance of your flight, and if there are seats available, you can pay to change yours.

You will always have to pay to choose a seat when you use basic economy.

Executive Club Members and First Class Travellers

Passengers can choose their seats for free based on their frequent flyer tier. Gold and oneworld Emerald can choose for free during the booking process, including all you are travelling with, even if they’re not on the same booking. Silver and oneworld Saphhire can pick their seats for free during booking, but only for those on the same reservation. Bronze and oneworld Ruby can choose seats for free seven days prior to departure.

There are exceptions. For example, exit row seats may not be available until 24 hours prior to departure. Make sure to check during booking what you can select for free. Seat selection for first-class passengers will always be free and included in the ticket fare.


You may need to pay for seat selection based on your type of fare, your loyalty status, and the duration of your flight. First-class passengers are always an exception.


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