New 60,000 points offer. Terms apply.

60,000 points

80,000 points

50,000 bonus miles

JJ AAAmerican Airlines Seating Tip
I just learned a little trick on American Airlines’ website (I’m not sure if it works for other airlines). When I was checking my dad in online for our flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, the seating chart was only showing seats available for purchase, and none for free. Like a fool, I guess, I hadn’t assigned him a seat when I originally booked his ticket, and since he now needed a seat, it seemed we would have to pay.

But instead of plopping down my credit card for a $28 seat next to me in the exit row (which I get for free since I have elite status), on an hour-long flight, I pressed our luck. Sure enough, by simply not choosing a seat and boarding without a seat, he was assigned one of the available seats in the premium section for no extra charge. 



Want more travel tips? Subscribe to the Daily Travel Tip newsletter! All you have to do is sign up for the weekly newsletter by filling in your email address and checking the Daily Travel Tip box in the top-right corner of the homepage.

If you already subscribe to the newsletter, fill in your email and check the Daily Travel Tip box in the same top-right corner of the homepage and you’ll receive an email with a link to update your Hundredbacklinks.com preferences. On that page, just click the Daily Travel Tip box and Update Profile and you’ll have Johnny’s best tips, straight to your inbox each day. And don’t worry—it’s easier than it sounds!


The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Rate this post

10 Comments On "Travel Tip of the Day: American Airlines Seating Tip"
  1. Susi|

    Am I missing something? When did AA assign your Dad the seat? On line when you checked in and then it assigned you a seat upon completion of the check in? Or at the Airport at the Gate?

    1. Hundredbacklinks

      When I checked him in online. I just skipped the seat selection part

    2. Churchill W|

      I think Johnny did miss something in his description. I think he just didn’t choose a seat and they got lucky, unless there was an “our luck” button.

  2. Anonymous|

    So you skip seat selection during reservation purchase and then during online checking you skip it again and hope for the best?

  3. Betty Austin-Ware|

    When my daughters, who are elite, travel on USAIR or United usually, their companions always get upgraded with them.

  4. Anonymous|

    From my experience you would not have been given the seat when you purchased the ticket. But, 24 hours before the flight, AA frees up all the seats and you can make a selection then.

  5. Anonymous|

    uncomprehensible ! who is travelling? you or your Dad ?

    1. Churchill W|

      They were both traveling, but he was checking his dad in.

  6. RobRob|

    American is really crappy here. I often find that – when I purchase my ticket – the only available seats shown are the “upgrade” seats – though sometimes seats open up close to day of flight. You can choose one or, as JJ did, try your luck. I did pay for the upgraded seats so my family of three would be sure to sit together. Sure enough, at the gate, the agent offered those same upgraded seats free to anyone who wanted to move so that families could sit together. When I asked – several times – they refused to refund what I paid for that privilege. Tried again, trusting to luck when flying with my dad. We got random seats when we checked in, but the gate agent was happy to arrange seats so he could sit next to me, no upgrade needed. To clarify, though, did your dad BOARD without a seat, or was he assigned one when he checked in at the airport?

    1. Hundredbacklinks

      He was assigned one when I checked in online — I just didn’t choose “select a seat”