Many airlines charge a seating fee for anyone wanting to choose where they sit. This ranges from a nominal amount on a short flight to some really eye watering numbers on long journeys.

I never usually have to pay for seat selection, as I get it free as part of my frequent flyer status. I’m taking a long-haul flight with Aer Lingus in the future and the pricing is surprising.

Aer Lingus Seating Fees

Economy class tickets for Dublin to Chicago and return for 11 to 18 January 2023 come in at €352.93. Want to add seats to that? Well, you’re gonna pay and pay a lot, as you can see below. Seating fees start at €24.99 each way, so you’ll add €49.98 to that total, which is an additional 14% on your total ticket price.


However, if you want to sit up front for a speedy getaway after landing, it becomes much more. A front seat is €64.99 each way (37% extra), while a preferred seat is €79.99 each way (45% extra). God help you if you’re tall, that’ll set you back €99.99 each way for extra legroom, 57% more on top of your ticket price.

British Airways Seating Fees

World Traveller tickets at British Airways for the same dates come in at £379.16 return. It’s a similar story there, with the cheapest coming out at £26 each way (also 14% extra like Aer Lingus).


Exit row seating on the oneworld alliance airline is £82 each way, which is 43% extra on the ticket. Not quite as high as their counterparts across the Irish Sea, but still not insignificant. These are the most you’ll pay by the way, percentage wise, as I’ve used airline tickets without baggage for the examples, just so you know.

Overall Thoughts

As you can see, seating fees can be quite hefty. They are easy to avoid, you just don’t select one and play seat roulette at check-in, hoping to get that window or aisle and not be stuck in the middle.

You might think those prices are bad, but people travelling in premium classes pay more. At British Airways, the prices start at what you find on the highest economy class tickets, so it’s at least £80. All that to sit somewhere you want to sit, but that’s the nature of the airline business today.

What do you think of these fees being charged? Are you someone who pays them or do you take your chances at check-in? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image via Aer Lingus.