Whenever I come across the price to select an airline seat, it always surprises me. That is because I usually don’t pay seat fees when flying, as my British Airways Executive Club status means seat selection is free.
Since I was going on about the cost in an article recently, I thought I would calculate how much I have saved by having status. Considering how much I fly, it should be a decent chunk of change.
Calculating Seat Fees
Checking my frequent flyer cards indicates my first Silver card expired in July 2013. That means I would have achieved status in 2012, which means I’ve had that or Gold status for 10 years now.
That is quite a long time to be fee free, which means I am going to have a lot of flights to look through. Luckily I’m a bit of a geek, so I have all my flights recorded online.
Calculating the cost should be easy if we take some baselines. At the moment, a Club Europe seat costs £20 to select on a short flight such as Dublin to London, a route I fly often. That’s an easy one, so we’ll say £20 per short haul business class flight.
On long haul flights, World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) seats cost £41, £45, £50, £65 and £92, so we will take it as £50. Club World (Business Class) start at £79 and heads up to £105. Window seats seem to be £97 and £89, so let’s say £95, as I always take a window.
How Much Have I Saved?
From January 2012 to the present, I have flown the following on British Airways. Within Europe, 26 times in EuroTraveller which is say £10 per seat, so £260 saved. Heading forward to Club Europe and I have about 90 flights there and at £20 a throw, that’s £1,800 saved.
Long haul, I took one flight down the back, so £40, nine flights in World Traveller Plus, another £450 and 11 in Club World, which is £1,045. That brings the grand total saved to £3,595 (US$4,123, €4,125, AU$6,155).
That saving on seat fees is a couple of months salary for many people. While it would have been paid in little bits here and there, you do save a substantial amount by not paying for seats and that is just on one of the oneworld airlines that I regularly fly.
When I am flying Alaska Airlines or American Airlines for example, I also receive seat selection for free. That would add even more to the savings, since I have used them many times.
Considering all the seats on the plane are going to the same place, you may elect not select a seat in advance to save money. More power to you, but in my case I always will because I do like my window on short flights and an aisle on long-haul – when I’m not in business class of course.
Do you keep your frequent flyer status for this tangible benefit or is something else more important to you? How much have you saved on seat fees? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.