Last updated on November 30th, 2023 at 10:50 am

When you do seat selection, you will not only get a better seat in Economy, but you will also get onboard service earlier for sure. Furthermore, suppose you are not traveling on a Basic Economy ticket; in that case, there are several options for purchasing a different seat or upgrading to a higher class of service when flying with United. For example, when making your reservation, you can purchase a ticket in a premium cabin such as United Polaris Business Class, United First, or United Business, or you can change to a different seat or class of service after you have completed your reservation. If you opt for “Preferred seating” with United, which is closer to the front of the economy section, then you will need to pay $9 each way. Please read the terms & conditions to know How Much United Charges For Seat Selection.

United Airlines Seat Selection Terms & Conditions

  1. Purchasing or selecting a preferred seat reserves a seat within the preferred seating area.
  2. Any changes to an itinerary requested by the customer will result in the loss of preferred seats for the modified segments.
  3. Passengers may purchase or select again if preferred seating is available for the revised portions of the itinerary.
  4. Seating preferences are subject to availability.
  5. Seat availability at the time of purchase or request determines the processing of a preferred seating purchase or request.
  6. Only valid on United and United Express flights.
  7. Preferential seating is not available on Star Alliance or marketed codeshare flights.
  8. A one-time purchase of preferred seating earns MileagePlus members Premier Qualifying Points (PQP).
  9. PQP from one-time purchases of preferred seating is credited to the member who travels in preferred seating.
  10. If a flight is canceled, a standard United Economy seat is used, or a premium cabin seating offer is purchased, refunds for preferred seating purchases will need to be processed automatically after the scheduled departure.
  11. Requesting a refund for a preferred seating purchase by mail or online at is possible. So, within two billing cycles after the scheduled flight departure those who qualify for a refund.
  12. When traveling on Basic Economy tickets, complimentary access is not available.
  13. Passengers who purchase Basic Economy tickets can purchase preferred seating.
  14. The offer is subject to change at any time without notice.
  15. To get your Seat Selection done, you can visit the United Airlines Manage Booking portal.

Take advantage of United Economy’s preferred seating

  • Preferred seating on United Economy is visible in the first few rows behind Economy Plus seats with standard legroom near the front of the aircraft.
  • In addition to getting a better seat in Economy when purchasing preferred seating, you’ll also benefit from earlier onboard service.
  • And also a quicker exit from the aircraft after landing.
  • The advantage is that in addition to earning Premier qualifying points during the trip.
  • All other MileagePlus members will also earn points after the trip is over. 
  • Preferred seating is only available to MileagePlus members with Premier status.
  • All United and United Express flights offer preferred seating, with prices varying according to the route.
  • Customers may purchase preferred seating using Basic Economy tickets to travel.

For more details on how much United charges for seat selection, get in touch with our reservations experts.


Who can purchase seat selection?

  • If offered, seat selection is available to all customers. 
  • MileagePlus Premier members will have no extra charge access to preferred seating when it becomes available.

What flights offer seat selection?

You can choose your seat on every flight, United & United Express.

Where can I buy a seat selection?

  • 24 hours before departure, you can reserve preferred seating online at the official website of United Airlines
  • , via the mobile app, or by calling our Customer Contact Center.
  • After that, at check-in, seat selection will be accessible without additional cost.

If I purchase a seat selection, can I select a different preferred seat before traveling?

  • Yes, there won’t be a refund or additional fees. 
  • If the cost of the new seat is the same as or less than the cost of the original seat.
  • The original purchase will be reimbursed, but the new seat must be paid in full.
  • If the new seat’s price is higher than the original one.

For all fare classes, is it possible for me to choose or change my assigned seat?

  • You can choose your seat or change your assigned seat for all fare classes except Basic Economy. 
  • If you are traveling in Basic Economy, you can purchase a seat assignment at the time of booking and up until check-in time.

More on United Airlines at Mytrippolicy:

United Airlines Fights Cancellation Policy

United Airlines (UA) Baggage Policy

United Airlines Unaccompanied Minor Policy