Are you an airline passenger who hates being stuck with a poor seat assignment? Do you want to pick the perfect seat for your next flight without paying extra fees?

We’ve got great news – several major airlines still provide free seat selection if you know where to look and book strategically.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Southwest Airlines, Jet Blue, and Allegiant Air generally allow free seat selection for non-business class tickets purchased directly from them.

Southwest Airlines

Lets you choose any open seat for free when checking in

Southwest Airlines is known for its unique seating policy that allows passengers to choose any open seat for free when they check-in for their flight.

This means that you have the freedom to sit wherever you like, whether it’s by the window, in the aisle, or even in the emergency exit row if it is available.

This flexibility gives passengers the opportunity to find a seat that suits their preferences and needs.

No assigned seats – first come, first served

Unlike many other airlines, Southwest Airlines does not have assigned seats. Instead, it operates on a first come, first served basis.

This means that the earlier you check in, the better chance you have of getting a seat of your choice.

Passengers are assigned a boarding group and a number within that group, which determines the order in which they can board the plane. Once onboard, you are free to choose any open seat that you prefer.

Can pay to board earlier and get better seat selection

If you want to secure a better seat selection on Southwest Airlines, you have the option to pay for EarlyBird Check-In or purchase a Business Select ticket.

EarlyBird Check-In allows you to board the plane before the general boarding group, giving you a better chance of finding a preferred seat.

Business Select tickets also come with priority boarding privileges, ensuring that you have access to a wider range of available seats.


When it comes to choosing your seat for free, JetBlue is one of the airlines that offers this perk to its passengers.

Regardless of the ticket class you book, JetBlue allows you to select your seat without any additional cost (if you do so within the first 24 hours).

This is great news for travelers who value the ability to choose where they sit during their flight.

Free seat selection available for all ticket classes

Whether you’re flying economy or splurging on a first-class ticket, JetBlue provides free seat selection for all ticket classes.

This means that no matter your budget or travel preferences, you can rest assured knowing that you have the freedom to select the seat that suits you best.

This is a feature that sets JetBlue apart from other airlines, as some carriers may only offer free seat selection for certain ticket classes.

Even the cheapest basic seats get free selection

JetBlue goes above and beyond by offering free seat selection even for passengers who book the cheapest basic seats.

This is a significant advantage for budget-conscious travelers who want to have control over their seating arrangements without having to pay extra fees.

With JetBlue, you don’t have to compromise on comfort or convenience, even if you opt for the most affordable ticket option.

Some limits on exit rows and extra legroom seats

While JetBlue does offer free seat selection, it’s important to note that there may be some limitations when it comes to choosing exit row seats or seats with extra legroom.

These premium seats often come with additional benefits and are in high demand, so JetBlue may have specific policies in place for seat assignment in these areas.

However, the majority of seats on JetBlue flights are available for passengers to choose without any extra charges.

Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air is one of the airlines that offer passengers the option to choose their seats for free in 2023.

This is a great benefit for travelers who prefer a specific seat or want to sit together with their travel companions.

Free seat assignment when checking in online

When flying with Allegiant Air, passengers have the opportunity to select their seats without any additional cost during the online check-in process.

This allows travelers to secure their preferred seat in advance, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience.

Whether you prefer a window seat to enjoy the view or an aisle seat for easy access to the restroom, Allegiant Air gives you the freedom to choose.

Upgraded seat fees apply for exit rows, extra legroom

While Allegiant Air offers free seat assignments, it is important to note that certain seating options may come with an additional fee.

For example, if you are looking for extra legroom or prefer to sit in an exit row, there may be an upgraded seat fee.

However, these upgraded seating options are optional, and passengers can still choose a standard seat assignment at no extra cost.

Free changes to selection allowed until flight check-in closes

Another advantage of flying with Allegiant Air is the flexibility to make changes to your seat selection. Passengers can modify their seat choices for free until the flight check-in closes.

This is particularly helpful if your travel plans change or if you simply change your mind about your seat preference.

With Allegiant Air, you have the freedom to adjust your seat selection without incurring any fees.

When the Airlines Charge Seat Fees

When booking flights, it’s important to keep in mind that not all airlines offer the option to choose your seat for free. Here are a few scenarios in which seat fees may apply:

Booked through third-party sites like Expedia, fees may apply

If you book your flight through third-party websites like Expedia, it’s common for seat selection fees to apply.

These fees are typically charged by the airline as a way to generate additional revenue.

While third-party sites provide convenience and often great deals, it’s important to read the fine print to avoid any surprises when it comes to seat selection fees.

Basic economy tickets often have seat selection charges

When you purchase a basic economy ticket, it’s important to note that seat selection charges may apply.

Basic economy fares are typically the cheapest option offered by airlines, but they often come with certain restrictions, such as limited or no seat selection.

If having the ability to choose your seat is important to you, it may be worth considering upgrading to a higher fare class.

International flights frequently have fees, varies by airline

For international flights, seat selection fees are quite common and can vary depending on the airline.

Some airlines may offer complimentary seat selection for certain fare classes or frequent flyer status, while others may charge a fee regardless of the fare class.

It’s always a good idea to check the specific policies of the airline you’re flying with to determine if seat selection fees apply.

It’s worth noting that seat selection fees can vary significantly depending on the airline and the specific route.

Some airlines may offer bundled services or premium seats that include seat selection as part of the fare, while others may charge a separate fee for each leg of the journey.

It’s always a good idea to compare prices and options when booking your flight to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.


While seat selection fees have become more common, you still have options to pick your seat for free on many domestic flights, especially with low-cost carriers like Southwest.

Be sure to buy tickets directly from the airline, and read all policies carefully to avoid surprise fees.

With the right airline and ticket, you can still choose your perfect seat at no extra cost.

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