Last updated on January 31st, 2024 at 11:30 am

Whenever flyers travel with United Airlines or any other airline for the first time, one of the most common questions that comes to their mind while selecting a seat is – How much does United Airlines Charge for Seat Selection?

Generally, the flyers select their flight either at the time of their reservation or right after booking a seat. Moreover, the airline also offers upgrades to those travelers who are willing to pay additional charges or fees to the airline. So, if you want to know how much fee you are required to pay for the seat selection on United Airlines, then read the guide till the end.

United Airlines provides various seat selection options for travelers, depending on their fare class and MileagePlus status. Here are the key aspects of the seat selection policy of United Airlines:

  • According to the United Airlines seat selection rule, travelers can select the seats at the time of flight reservation, after the booking, and at the check-in time.
  • However, United Airlines does not permit the flyers to select their seats after the check-in.
  • In addition, the seat selection facility on United Airlines depends on the fare type of the traveler.
  • Also, all unaccompanied minors and senior citizens are advised to select their seats at the check-in counter of the airport.
  • Moreover, the seat selection fee on United Airlines depends on several factors. These factors include:
  • Seat availability
  • Date of travel
  • Date of ticket purchase
  • Flight origin and destination.

How Much is the United Seat Selection Fee?

One of the basic queries every flyer has while picking a seat on United Airlines is how much United charges for seat selection. Well, United Airlines allows seat selection to passengers based on their seat type. Also, the fee for seat selection on United Airlines changes as per the type of seats. So, here are all the seat types United Airlines offers to its travelers.

United-Airlines-Seats- Se;ection

Basic Economy

The Basic Economy tickets are the most restrictive fare type. These tickets don’t offer a complimentary seat selection facility. Moreover, if travelers don’t want to spend their money on seat selection, then no issues. They can either opt for a seat assignment or wait until check-in and be randomly assigned a seat.

However, groups and families who reserve seats in the Basic Economy cabin won’t be seated together, but they can pay an extra amount to ensure that they are sitting near each other.

Standard Economy

If the traveler has reserved a seat in the Standard Economy class, then  United Airlines permits seat selection to such passengers by paying an extra amount. Also, if the flyers travel with their children under 15 on the same booking, they can sit with their children. 

Preferred Seating

Preferred seating offers seats with better seat locations than the United Airlines Standard Economy flights.  The preferred seats tend to be closer to the front of the cabin. Any flyer can select the preferred seating if they are taking a United or United Express flight. However, the seat selection fee on United Airlines is based on the route selected by the travelers. 

Furthermore, passengers can make the seat selection process either through the official website of United Airlines or via the official mobile app.

Economy Plus

The Economy Plus seats are within the Standard Economy cabin, but they are located just behind the first-class seatings. Moreover, these seats are more expensive than the preferred seats. 

Additionally, all the MileagePlus, Premier members can book the available Economy Plus seats for free, However, if you are not a member, then you can join the MileagePlus program through the United Airlines official website to start earning the way to flight benefits.

Premium Plus

United Airlines Premium economy class is Premium Plus cabin. In addition, the Premium Plus seats are available on the selected flights. Travelers can select their Premium Economy seat at the time of booking, via the manage reservation page, or check-in online, through the mobile app, or at an airport kiosk. 

However, the Premium Plus seat selection fee on United is based on multiple factors. These factors can be premier status, seat availability, date of travel, date of ticket purchase, and flight origin and destination.

United Airlines Business and First Class

Business and First Class on United Airlines are the most premium cabin classes. The passengers of these classes get exclusive offers and benefits. Therefore, there is no seat selection fee on United Airlines of the Business as well as First Class flyers.

Related: United Airlines Fights Cancellation Policy

United Airlines Seat Selection Facility As Per Fare Type

United Airlines offers the seat selection facility as per the fare type of the flyer. So, the passenger must be aware that they are eligible for the United seat selection or not.

  • Basic Economy: As per the United Airlines seat selection policy, seats are automatically assigned to all Basic Economy travelers before boarding and they cannot change their seats.
  • Standard Economy: If the flyer has purchased standard economy class tickets, then they can select their seats for free during the reservation process or online up to 24 hours before the departure of their flight.
  • Economy Plus:  Economy Plus travelers can purchase their seats on United Airlines for an additional fee during the booking process or online up to 24 hours before their flight departs.
  • Premium Cabin: For passengers who have Premium Cabin tickets, their seats are already included in the fare prices and can be selected by travelers during the reservation process.

United Seat Selection Service For MileagePlus Members

United Airlines offers the advantage of seat selection service for all the members of the MileagePlus program. This bonus advantage permits all the members to choose their preferred seats while reserving their flights. It also ensures that their traveling experience is more relaxing and hassle-free.

Additionally, if the MileagePlus members want extra legroom space, window or aisle seat or prefer sitting right next to their loved ones. They can easily pick the seat of their choice in advance. Hence, all the MileagePlus flyers can select the preferred seats to make their journey more enjoyable.

Choose Best Seat on United Airlines as per your Requirements

United Airlines offers different types of seats to its passengers. However, every seat type has different facilities. Therefore, passengers must select a seat that matches their needs or requirements. So, here is a snapshot of all the seat types United Airlines offers to its travelers along with their features.

FacilitiesGood SeatsBetter SeatsBest Seats
United Airlines Seating optionsBasic Economy Economy Economy PlusPremium EconomyUnited First United Polaris
Legroom Standard legroom and spaceExtra legroom and spaceEven More legroom and space, fully reclining seat
Location on the planeBack to the plane (Basic Economy/Economy cabin), middle of the plane (Preferred seatings)Front of Economic cabinFront of the Plane
Seat Map colorWhite (Basic Economy/Economy), White with a black triangle (Preferred seatingBlue or PurpleDark Blue 
Earn Premier qualifying pointsPremier Seating onlyYesYes
In-seat powerNot AlwaysYesYes
Complimentary Alcoholic beveragesUnited Premium Plus(International flights only)Yes
Meal ServicesRefreshments, premium snacks, or full meal service
Premier ServicesPremier access to check-in and security lanes and priority boarding
Fully Reclining seatsUnited Polaris seats can be concerts to a flat 6-foot, 6-inch bed with direct aisle access

Related: United Airlines (UA) Baggage Policy

How to Select a Seat with United Airlines?

United Airlines offers various options to its flyers to select their seats. Here are the instructions on how to select a seat on a United Airlines flight.

United Airlines Seat Selection Process during the Reservation

If you want to select the seat of your choice, then you can choose it during the reservation process. Here are the easy steps for seat selection at the time of ticket booking:

  • Firstly, visit the United Airlines official website using your web browser. 
  • Next, enter the following details:
  • Departure city
  • Destination
  • Travel dates
  • Number of the passengers
  • Once you enter all the above details, tap on the ‘Search’ button.
  • After that browse through all the available flight options and select the flight that suits the best as per your schedule and preferences.
  • Now, during the reservation process, United Airlines will provide you with a seat map that lets you see the available seats and their locations on the flight.
  • So, select the seats of your choice, and continue with the booking procedure.
  • Next, provide all the details of the passengers including the contact details.
  • Lastly, make the payment to complete the reservation process.

Select your Seat on United Airlines after Booking

  • First, visit the United Airlines Official website, If you have already booked your flight with United Airlines and want to change or select the seats afterward.
  • Next, log into your ManagePlus account or enter your manage booking details on the ‘Manage Booking’ page.
  • Once you are logged into your Manage Booking account, find and select the booking for which you want to select the seats.
  • Now, look for the option to view or change the seat assignments. United Airlines displays a seat map with available seats for your flights.
  • Tap on the seat that you prefer on the seat map.
  • Once you select your seat, confirm your choices and follow any additional prompts to finalize the seat selection.

Note- You can follow all the given steps to select your seat via the United Airlines mobile app from the App Store or Google Play.

United Airlines Seat Selection at the Airport

  • United Airlines also offers a seat selection facility to its passengers at the airport.
  • So, if you prefer to select a seat at the airport, then you can choose the seat at the  United Airlines check-in airport counter.
  • A United Airlines executive will assist you in seat selection as per your needs or requirements.
  • However, you must pay the seat selection fee to the United Airlines representative to confirm the seat selection.

Note – As per the rules of United Airlines for seat selection, the specific options and features may be subject to change. Hence, the airline suggests checking the United Airlines official website or reaching out to the airline representative for the most up-to-date details on seat selection.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have to pay for seat selection with United?

Yes, if you are traveling with United Airlines, and want to select the seat of your choice. In such a case, you have to pay the seat selection fee to United Airlines. However, the Basic Economy cabin class travelers can not pick the seat as per their preference. 

How much does a preferred seat cost on United?

If you have booked your flight ticket with United Airlines, then you can choose the seat of your choice regardless of your fare type except the Basic Economy class. Moreover, if you have selected the Preferred seating, then you have to pay $9 as the seat selection fee each way to United Airlines. 

What happens if I don’t select the United Airlines seat in advance>

If you have reserved a seat on a United Airlines flight, then you get the option to select the seat as per your need or requirement. However, the seat selection depends on the availability of the seats. Furthermore, if you don’t select a seat on United Airlines, then the airline automatically assigns a seat to you before boarding for free.

How to get better seats on United?

If you want to get a better seat on a United Airlines flight, then you can upgrade your cabin class. United Airlines offers several ways to upgrade your seats including:

  • MileagePlus Upgrade: You can get a better seat on United Airlines by using the miles.  If you’re a United Airlines MileagePlus program member, then you can request the airline to upgrade your seat.
  • Paid Upgrades: If you don’t have enough miles to upgrade your seat, then no worries. You can purchase the upgrades to a higher class. However, the upgrade to a higher class depends on the availability of seats.

Does United Airlines seat families together?

Yes, United Airlines allows families to travel together. So, if you are traveling with children under the age of 12, then United Airlines permits you to sit right next to your children for free.

How much is seat selection on the United?

Passengers who are traveling with United Airlines, and want to choose the seat as per their choice can select their seat. However, United Airlines charges seat selection fees from such passengers. Moreover, the seat selection fee at United depends on various factors such as seat availability, flight destination and origin, premier status, date of travel, and date of ticket purchase.

Can you choose seats in the United Basic Economy Class?

No, you cannot choose the seat in the United Airlines Basic Economy class. However, all the remaining fare classes are permitted to select the seat as per their choice. Also, if the flyers forget to choose a seat, then United Airlines automatically assigns a seat to such travelers.

How do I choose my seat after booking a flight?

Once you complete the flight reservation, you can choose your seat. For this, you need to click on the view seat map option and make your pick. Moreover, if you have reserved tickets for your family and friends, then the airline will assign the seats nearby automatically.

What does blue mean on the United seat map?

While traveling with United Airlines, you can select the seat with the help of a seat map. On the seat map, the White are the Basic Economy/Economy seats. Also, white with a black triangle are the preferred seatings. Moreover, Blue or purple are the Economy Plus and Premium Economy class seats.

How do I get a better seat on United without paying?

You can get a better seat on United Airlines without paying with the help of Premier status. On United Airlines, MileagePlus members with Premier status can select their preferred seats without paying any additional fees. Moreover, the other members can earn the Premier qualifying points for purchasing the preferred seating.

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United Airlines (UA) Baggage Policy