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United Airlines Seat Selection: What You Need to Know

Carissa Rawson

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Table of Contents

United Airlines seat selection

United seat selection fees, united airlines seats for elite members, united airlines seat map, how to select a seat on united airlines, final thoughts on selecting united airlines seats.

When you take to the skies one of the most important things when it comes to preparing for your flight is knowing where you'll be seated on the airplane. Like most other airlines, United gives its guests assigned seating on its flights. The majority of customers can select from a variety of seats for free, but there are also options for preferred seating and even upgrades for those who are willing to pay. Here's a look at United Airlines seat selection and United Airlines seat assignment policies.

» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now

Most United Airlines flights will have at least two cabin classes: economy and first class. Depending on where you’re going, you may also find business class and premium economy seating.

No matter your fare class, you will be able to choose a seat from the available selection, though how much you’ll pay and the associated fees will differ according to your ticket and various other factors.

How much is seat selection on United Airlines? Charges vary, but generally speaking, the longer and more in-demand your flight, the more expensive it will be for your seat selection.

Basic economy (most restrictive)

Basic economy tickets don't provide complimentary seat selection in any cabin. In exchange for cheaper tickets, you can either opt to pay for a seat assignment or wait until check-in and be randomly assigned a seat.

united airlines seat selection price

Families and groups who book basic economy tickets won't be seated together; though again, they can pay to ensure that they’re near each other.

Standard economy

You may be wondering: “How do I choose my seat on United Airlines?” Happily, those booking a regular economy class ticket will have the ability to book a seat for free, although the available options may not be desirable. In this case, customers can also choose to pay for better seats while maintaining their economy class ticket.

If you’re traveling with young children you may want to know: “Does United seat families together?” Yes, it does. If you’re booking an economy ticket or above, United’s system will automatically attempt to seat children under 15 on the same reservation together with their parents.

» Learn more: Is United Airlines good?

united airlines seat selection price

Preferred seating

Preferred seating features seats with better locations than standard United economy flights. The seats are the same, but they tend to be closer to the front of the cabin. Costs for preferred seating vary depending on the flight, but these are the cheapest paid seat upgrades you can find on United flights.

Economy Plus

Economy Plus seats are within the standard economy cabin, though they’re located just behind first class seating. They provide more legroom than regular economy seats and also offer free alcoholic beverages on premium transcontinental routes. These seats are more expensive than preferred seats.

Premium Plus

Premium Plus is United’s premium economy offering and is available on select flights. This is better than economy class but not as good as United’s international business class, Premium Plus seats are all free for those who book this cabin.

United first and business class

Like Premium Plus, those who book either first or business class can choose any seat within the cabin for free.

» Learn more: How you’ll earn United Premier Qualifying Points on flights

Loyal members of United’s MileagePlus program receive additional benefits when booking flights, including better seats.

Silver elite members and above have complimentary access to preferred seating at booking.

Gold elite members and above can pick an Economy Plus seat for free when booking their ticket. Silver members, meanwhile, can choose from available Economy Plus seats upon check-in.

United elite members are also entitled to complimentary upgrades on select flights starting as early as 96 hours before departure.

Wondering what the seats on your flight will look like? United provides a seat map that you can find when booking your flight. Before selecting a flight, you can view the seat map by selecting “Seats” on the search result page.

united airlines seat selection price

This will open a live preview of the seats on your aircraft that shows you the layout of the seats as well as which seats are available to select. You’ll also see the seat map during booking, when you’re prompted to select your seats.

united airlines seat selection price

After booking, it’s possible to change your seats by going to "My Trips" and selecting "Manage Trips." Once on your specific flight page, you’ll be able to view your seat and select a new one if you desire.

» Learn more: Delta vs. United vs. American

During booking

You’ll automatically be prompted to select a seat when booking your ticket online. Once you’ve selected your flight, you’ll fill out your passenger information and any frequent flyer programs.

Depending on your flight, United may also offer the ability to purchase discounted bundles during checkout. These may save you money over choosing extras individually, though you’ll want to take a look at the costs.

united airlines seat selection price

After deciding whether to add a bundle, you’ll be taken to the seat map to choose your seat. A legend on the right will show you which seats are included and the costs of any upgrades.

united airlines seat selection price

Once you’ve selected a seat, complete the check-out process and pay for your ticket.

After booking

If you’ve already booked a ticket and would like to select a seat or change your existing seat, you can do so from the “Manage My Trips” tab under the “My Trips” option.

united airlines seat selection price

Then, you’ll select “Manage Trip” from your available trips. Here you’ll find your trip information, including the option to change your seat.

» Learn more: The pros and cons of MileagePlus

United Airlines’ seating policies can be confusing, especially when you’re booking an economy class ticket. The short of it is this: If you book at least a standard economy ticket, you’ll be able to choose a seat for free during the booking process as long as you're traveling on a United-operated flight (versus a flight operated by a partner). You can also pay to have better seats, though some United elite members will receive access to these better seats for free. Basic economy customers, meanwhile, will always need to pay to select a seat.

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On a similar note...

united airlines seat selection price

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United Airlines Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees, & More

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United Airlines Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees, & More

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

There’s no doubt you know United Airlines (and may have even flown with them before), but are you aware of their different fare types, the ins and outs of their baggage allowances, and all of their extra fees/add-ons? What about their seat specs and their consumer satisfaction ratings?

This helpful guide covers all you need to know about this large U.S. carrier so you hopefully won’t be caught unaware on your next flight.

In this post you’ll find a general company overview, ticketing/fare options, extra fees/add-ons (including baggage allowances ), cabin class amenities, seat specs, and more.

Airline: United Airlines

Alliance:  Star Alliance

Category:  Legacy domestic and international airline

Frequent Flyer Program: MileagePlus

Tag Line:  “Fly the Friendly Skies”

About/Mission Statement: “We are committed to providing a level of service to our customers that makes us a leader in the airline industry. We understand that to do this we need to have a product we are proud of and employees who like coming to work every day….” (source)

Daily Flights:  4,700

Main Hub:  Chicago-O’Hare International Airport ( ORD )

Destinations:  356 (including 125 international)

United Ticketing Options

United’s fare types are pretty standard for a large U.S. carrier. But with stiff competition from lots of low-cost airlines, United recently introduced a Basic Economy fare — which pretty much just gets you a seat on the plane.

Handy for those traveling light, this reduced and restricted fare does not include any standard carry-on or checked luggage.

And for anyone part of United’s frequent flyer program (covered later on in this article), you won’t be eligible for premier qualifying miles that go toward your elite status when flying in this class.

Below are the additional differences in fare types and cabin classes, with inflight amenities covered later on in this article:

Basic Economy (most restrictive fare): 

  • Pre-assigned seat before boarding
  • Family or group seating not possible
  • First checked bag costs an additional $120 (round-trip)
  • Upgrades not available
  • Changes or refunds not permitted

Economy (standard): 

  • Seat selection at time of booking (if available)
  • Customize your booking with other options

Economy (flexible):

  • Refundable ticket (subject to cancellation fees)

Premium Plus:

  • Spacious, larger seating with extra legroom
  • Complimentary food and beverage
  • Enhanced dining with complimentary food and beverage

The availability of certain cabin classes is dependent on the route and plane type. We’ve also covered how you can upgrade to business or first class on United Airlines .

Economy Plus

If you’re looking for a little extra legroom, you can upgrade your booking to Economy Plus. This will also seat you closer to the front of the aircraft so you can disembark quicker.

You can upgrade as a one-off, or subscribe to yearly upgrades when booking a regular economy ticket (where Economy Plus is available).

United Frequent Flyer Program

MileagePlus is United’s frequent flyer loyalty program where you can earn miles to redeem against reward flights and work your way up membership tiers to gain elite benefits, such as priority check-in and additional luggage.

These reward miles can also be used against flights with other Star Alliance members. You can earn miles through flying, shopping, dining out, and spending on certain credit cards.

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our article on United’s MileagePlus frequent flyer program .

United Airlines Baggage Fees & Other Fees/Add-Ons

Baggage fees.

United Airlines Carry-On Allowance:

1 personal item: FREE 1 standard carry-on bag: FREE (including Basic Economy Transatlantic flights but excluding all other routes for basic economy)

United  Airlines Checked Allowance:

Max weight: 50lb (23kg) for all economy and premium plus fares and 70lbs (32kg) for business and first class fares.

Max size: 62 inches (158cm) linear

United recommends that passengers check their official baggage fee calculator tool to view baggage costs associated with their specific fare type.

We ran some basic route searches, and the fees appeared as the following (do a check on your specific fare before booking to confirm):

Domestic U.S. & Canada

  • Economy (Basic, plus and standard): 1st bag $30, 2nd bag $40, 3rd+ bag $150
  • Business and first: 1st and 2nd bags free, 3rd+ bag $150

U.S. to/from Mexico

  • Economy (Basic, plus and standard): 1st bag $30, 2nd bag $55, 3rd+ bag $180
  • Business and first: 1st and 2nd bags free, 3rd+ bag $180

U.S. to/from Europe

  • Economy: 1st bag $0 (£60 for Basic Economy), 2nd bag $100, 3rd+ bag $200
  • Premium Plus: 1st and 2nd bags free, 3rd+ bag $200
  • Business: 1st and 2nd bags free, 3rd+ bag $200
  • First: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bags free; 4th+ bag $200

Additional and Excess Baggage Fees:

Oversized Fee: $200 per bag (up to 115in/292cm)

Overweight Fee (route dependent):

  • Bags 51-70lb: $100-$200 per bag
  • Bags 71-100lb: $200-$400 per bag

MileagePlus Status weight allowance:

  • Silver, Gold, Platinum, 1K: 70lb
  • Star Alliance Gold (traveling in first, business or  United Polaris Business ): 70lb

Hot Tip: See our post on United Airlines baggage policy  which details specific baggage allowances for all types of cabin class, status and personnel such as the military. 

United’s Other Fees & Add-Ons

Service Fees

All reservations on can be made without incurring a service fee. For other methods of booking made within the U.S. or Canada, the service fees are as follows:

By Phone: $25

City Ticket Office:  $30

At the Airport: $50

Reservations Made Outside of the U.S.: Fees vary according to country

Cancellation and Change Fees: (Cash Tickets)

  • Domestic Cancellation Fee: $200
  • International Cancellation Fee: Up to $400
  • Waived for Gold, Platinum, and 1k members
  • Cancellation : If you cancel a non-refundable ticket, no refund will be issued – but you can use the cost of the flight against a new ticket within 12 months.
  • If your departure or arrival time changes by more than 30 minutes (due to a schedule change), you can change your flight at no extra cost or request a refund.

We’ve also gone into detail on United’s  award flight change & cancellation fees .

Seat Selection Fees

There is no charge to select a seat with United (where available), but you can opt for “Preferred seating” (closer to the front of the economy section) from $9 each way.

Economy Plus Upgrade: $16-$169 each way

Unaccompanied Minor Fee: $150 each way

Pet in Cabin Fee: $125 each way

Fare Holding Fees

If you’re not ready to book at the time of searching, then you can pay to reserve your fare using “Farelock.”

The fee varies by destination, but ranges from $5-$20 with the ability to hold a fare for either 3 or 7 days.

United Airlines Annual Subscription Fees

Economy Plus: From $499

Benefit from additional leg room and being closer to the front of the plane for quicker exiting when you reach your destination.

United Bundle Options

Bundles are offered during the reservation process combining different options, such as an Economy Plus upgrade and United Club trip pass. Prices vary per route, but United states that savings can be had by buying these bundles.

Wi-Fi: From $49

United Club Membership: From $550

Get access to all of the  United Club locations and select partner lounges.

Onboard Refreshments

For flights over 3 hours (within the U.S. and to/from Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America) customers can order from the “Bistro on Board” menu serving items such as a chorizo breakfast sandwich, pepperoni deep dish pizza, or a mezze sampler with prices ranging from $6.99-$9.99 . Menu choices depend on the flight route.

On flights over 1.5 hours (within North America, including select Latin American destinations and the Caribbean, in addition to Singapore , Australia , and New Zealand ) customers can order from the “Snack Shop” serving sweet and savory nibbles and snack boxes. Prices range from $3.99-$9.59 .

Beer and wine are $8, while premium spirits range from $8-$9 and specialty cocktails will run you $10.

Onboard entertainment

Available on select Boeing 737 and 757-300 aircraft, customers can purchase access to DIRECTV with more than 100 TV channels plus movies.

This is complimentary for United first passengers, and $5.99 for United economy passengers on flights less than 2 hours ($7.99 for flights more than 2 hours).

How to Avoid Paying Excess Fees & Travel Expenses

Many travel rewards cards come with an annual airline credit and can be used to offset fees such as baggage fees, such as The Platinum Card ® from American Express.

Cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve ® Card  come with an annual $300 travel credit that can be used to offset almost  any  travel expense.

The cards below allow you to redeem Capital One miles for 1 cent each as a statement credit for previous travel purchases (within 90 days):

In addition, if you have the United Explorer℠ Card  you can get 1 free checked bag for you and a companion on your itinerary.

United Seat Specs & Inflight Amenities

United Airlines has 14 different types of aircraft with varying cabin classes and seat specs.

United Express operates a further 5 aircraft through its partner airlines. You can view the aircraft and seat specs here .

United Inflight Amenities

United Business & First

  • Premium leather seat with extra space and comfort, featuring a headrest that adjusts 6 ways
  • Storage space for personal items
  • Universal AC power plug
  • Mobile device holder
  • United Wi-Fi (fee applies)
  • Complimentary inflight beverages including beer, wine, spirits, and illy coffee
  • DIRECTV with more than 100 TV channels plus movies
  • Dining options in partnership with The Trotter Project

Polaris Business & First

  • Saks Fifth Avenue bedding
  • Sleep-inspired amenities (cotton pajamas on flights over 10 hours)
  • Soho House’s Cowshed Spa skincare items
  • Lie-flat beds
  • 16″ HD monitor

Premium Plus

  • Larger seat with more legroom, leg and footrests
  • Complimentary beverages
  • 13″ monitor
  • Power and USB sockets
  • Noise-reducing headphones
  • Extra legroom
  • Situated nearer the front of the plane for quicker disembarkation
  • Eligible to earn Premier qualifying dollars
  • All standard economy benefits

Economy (Basic and Standard)

  • On domestic flights and to/from the Caribbean and Latin America, customers receive complimentary soft drinks (including illy coffee) and can purchase snacks/meals and alcohol.
  • On international flights, customers receive complimentary food and beverages including house beer and wine
  • Entertainment varies by aircraft (details can be found on the Inflight Amenities tab on United’s Flight Status page )

Hot Tip: Check out our post on United Airlines’ boarding policy so you’ll know what to expect from the boarding process as almost all airlines have a different procedure!

United Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a real mixed bag with United Airlines. Their social media channels and Tripadvisor reviews seem to attract many compliments from loyal customers, which is unusual as these outlets are often utilized to rant and rave about poor service!

Additionally, their PR team is pretty genius, sponsoring a number of great causes and shouting about their good deeds on social media — so even if the service was only mediocre for a customer, their philanthropic ways may improve consumer brand impression.

Lost baggage is a real gripe for United customers, being one of the most prominent issues on review sites. Also, inconsistencies of aircraft age can lead to disappointment in inflight amenities.

One customer complaint we found said they had experienced a seat-back entertainment system on once international flight and not on another. That’s going to disappoint any traveler.

United prides itself on their personal device entertainment, but this does rely on the customer having a smartphone/tablet at their disposal.

Most Common Complaints

United Airlines had 1,169 complaints lodged against them from January-September 2018 according to the  September 2018 Air Travel Consumer Report . The chart below represents the complaints by category.

  • Flight problems (cancellation, delay, or misconnection): 292
  • Baggage: 185
  • Customer service: 174
  • Reservation, ticketing, boarding: 110
  • Disability : 86
  • Refunds: 45
  • Oversales: 34
  • Discrimination: 8
  • Advertising: 5

Consumer Rankings, Ratings, Etc. 

There are a number of different review websites out there when it comes to airline ratings. Here are a few of the most popular so you can see the general consumer opinion for United Airlines.

Skytrax Ranking: 3 Star Airline (out of 5)

Skytrax Customer Rating:  3/10 (average from 2,594 reviews)

TripAdvisor Airline Review Rating:  3/5 (average from 36,791 reviews)

Kayak Customer Rating: 7/10 (average from 61,414 reviews) Overall Rating: 7.59/10 (departure/arrival performance, service, and satisfaction of claims processing)

Safety and Performance Safety Rating :  7/7 (takes into consideration whether the airline has an IATA Operational Safety Audit Certification, government and crash records, plus information from the World’s Aviation Governing Body).

Charity Partnership

United Airlines supports numerous charities across their main hub locations and across the globe. It strives to be a more sustainable airline supporting environmental charities and operations such as Clean the World and Conservation International.

United also supports many youth projects, including Youth Guidance with the goal of inspiring future leaders.

Final Thoughts

Overall, customer satisfaction seems to be somewhere in the middle for United — and as with other legacy U.S. carriers, there will always be a place for the airline with reasonable fares and route availability.

United will never have the sass and style of Virgin Atlantic or the service and luxury of the Middle Eastern airlines, but it serves its purpose and does have a loyal customer base (although this may be dwindling slightly, with many referencing the “good old days” when United was great).

Their current focus seems to be on revamping their premium cabins, with their Polaris offering in business and first — but we’re hoping they don’t neglect economy for too much longer either.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card ® from American Express, click here .

Frequently Asked Questions

United is apart of Star Alliance partnership.

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About Erin Miller

An experienced points hacker, Erin is Alex’s partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points with in-depth guides and relationship management. Erin’s work has been cited in multiple major publications.


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Dimitrios papanikolaou.

June 19, 2019

The captain (William Timmons) was excellent in our emergency situation, he even push the cart for my disabled mother in order to get us to our connection flight, besides making sure the connection flight waited for us. It is refreshing in this day that people get out of their roles and help others that are in need. Big thank you to the crew and the captain for their help

Catherine Luther

June 20, 2019

Hi Dimitrios, great to hear about your positive experience with United! Thanks for sharing with the readers at

July 04, 2019

Just got our tickets and checked a bag, it cost me $100 for being one pound over their weight limit which is 50 pounds with United. I used Delta on the way there and their charge was $30, which they waived since I was retired military. I flew United going back since all the Delta flights were booked. Thanks for nothing, United.

July 21, 2019

By far the worst travel experience I have ever had. I have flown with United before and everything went fine but that’s because all my flights were on time and I didn’t have to deal with customer service. Yesterday 7/16/19 I was flying from SAN to OKC with a layover in DEN. Due to my flight leaving SAN late and then our plane having to “do S shapes in the sky to let other planes land ahead of us” I missed my connecting flight. I get it, things happen but the way United handled it was absolutely ridiculous. They canceled the second leg of my flight and refunded me $178 (I paid $450 for my flight including bags) without my consent. Then I was told since they did that the history of my ticket was out of their system so the ONLY way for me to be able to fly out of Denver was to buy another ticket. That would have been fine if there were tickets that would get me to OKC for $178 the same amount they refunded me for but of course there wasn’t, they wanted me to pay $620 for a ticket not including bags which I had two that needed checked. After standing in line for an hour and then arguing with them for TWO HOURS telling them that the logic literally makes no sense at all, they booked me a flight to leave today for $318. Still had to pay for it which I will be fighting it once I get to OKC. After being at customer service for 3 hours everything was closed, they did not offer a food voucher or even simply a bottle of water. I had to sleep on the floor of the DEN airport. On top of that only one out of the three employees that “helped” me was actually helpful (the fact that it took two hours for her to do anything aside). Other employees were useless and completely rude- threw his hands up and walked away in the middle of my sentence because I was questioning how their logic makes any sense at all. Needless to say I WILL NEVER FLY THIS AIRLINE AGAIN. If I could give them no stars I would.

July 22, 2019

Hi Meagan, sorry to hear about your disappointing experience with United. Thanks for sharing with our readers.

Patricia Lawson

March 16, 2022

I am scheduled to fly with you in a few months. I hope my fight goes smoothly. If it doesnt it seems as you dont even care your response is very insensitive.

Jarrod West

Hi Patricia,

We are not United Airlines. We are Upgraded Points, a website that publishes helpful information and guides for travelers. If you’re looking to contact United you’ll want to do so on the United website .

Himalee Seneviratne

August 04, 2019

I truly want to thank the United crew of UA459 of Friday Aug 2nd 2019, for finding my left behind carry-on luggage. And most of all the wonderful ladies at LAX United – Baggage Claim center for most efficiently finding my bag which had a lot of valuables both in memories and value within 24 hrs, with very little information to go on. Mostly I am grateful for the courteous service that was provided. Thank you so much once again.

August 05, 2019

Hi Himalee,

It’s great to hear of your positive experience with United – thanks for sharing with readers. We want to make you aware that we are not affiliated with United Airlines in any way, so you may want to send your feedback directly to the airline.

Aleksey Ponomarev

October 29, 2019

After 28 hours of flying you decided to take me off already delayed flight. I’m tired af, my relatives are waiting #onlyinamerica

October 30, 2019

Hi Aleksey,

Sorry to hear of your issues but please be aware that we are not United Airlines, we are We advise you forward your feedback to the airline directly.

Lillian Bryan

December 14, 2019

I’m booked to arrive on flight 4299 around 2:30 pm on Wednesday, December 18th. How do I get to 38 Carson Road, Budget auto rental?

Christine Krzyszton

Hi Lillian. Please understand that we are not United Airlines, we are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in credit card and travel resources. You can use to find options for reaching your destination.

Sheri smith

May 26, 2021

I’ve purchased a ticket a few months ago and in the meantime, my girlfriend’s husband got relocated to Japan and they have to leave. So now I have no place to stay. I bought a ticket with insurance in case an emergency came up but I still have not had it posted to my account. That’s what insurance is for and I paid 40 extra dollars for it. Please get back to me as I would like to know how to get my money back. I have gone through your whole system and still, it has not been refunded.

May 27, 2021

Hi Sheri. Sorry for your experience. Please be advised, however, that we are not United Airlines. We are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in credit card rewards and travel resources. You should contact United to have them help you resolve this issue. 1-800-864-8331

June 17, 2021

On two last bookings with United, we have had been charged under Taxes and Fees a Senior(65+) fee of 87.01/person. I cannot find this explained on any United site. What is this, it’s additive not a discount.

Karen A Owens

June 24, 2021

Basic Economy turns out to be a money grab. Carryons have to be checked…at a cost. Pay for luggage, pay to be seated together, pay extra for the basics. Our tickets were purchased way in advance. Our initial flight out of Denver was delayed so long that we barely made it to our connector…thus an entire travel day with no food. Even though we booked early, the two of us, both 75 years old, were not seated together. Really? Would you not assume that a couple needs to be together? Will use other airlines for our upcoming trip.

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Frequently asked questions about our seating options

For all fare classes except Basic Economy, you’ll be able to pick your seat or change your seat assignment. If you have a Basic Economy ticket, you’re able to purchase a seat assignment during booking and up until check-in opens. Learn more about Basic Economy restrictions.

You can choose a seat or change your seat assignment for most United- and United Express®-operated flights on , on the United app or through your travel agent. If no seat assignments are available, you can check back closer to departure to see whether seats have become available. Learn more about seating options .

Seat assignments, no matter the fare class you purchase, aren’t guaranteed and could change without notice because of schedule changes, equipment swaps or other unforeseen circumstances.

We’ll always try to assign you the same or similar seat type and location and keep you with your traveling companions when you’re booked in the same reservation, unless you’ve purchased a Basic Economy ticket without purchasing advance seat assignments. We know that your seat assignment is important, so we’ll do our best to keep your original seat preference.

We may briefly hold some seats for operational reasons, and don’t allow seat selection or changes for Basic Economy tickets. If you’re unable to choose a seat, we’ll assign you one at check-in or at the departure gate.

All customers with Basic Economy tickets, including United MileagePlus® Premier® members, are eligible to purchase Economy Plus seating at check-in only.

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united seat selection fee

United Airlines Seat Selection

Many passengers take their randomly assigned seats and are not able to make the decision by themselves for choosing the seat in the plane. United Airlines seat selection policy is one of the best policies for passengers.

Before boarding, you should always select your favorite spot to ensure comfort and more space when you fly. With the United Airlines manage booking’ facility you can easily book your preferred seat.

Here is a detailed guide about United airlines seat selection that will help you regarding the reservation of the best-preferred seat with United Airlines.

How to reserve a seat on a United Airlines flight?

  • Visit the official portal of United Airlines
  • Login and enter all credentials, click ‘search’ when you fill in all your details.
  • Once the next page loads, select the preferred departure flight.
  • Confirm your flight selection on the next screen and click on the ‘continue to travelers information’ tab
  • Now you are required to attach the passport and select the seat whether the passenger prefers an aisle or window seat.
  • Click on the ‘continue to select seat’ tab
  • Wait till the seat maps load, now you will see the plane layout with different colors of seats, each color donates a different meaning.

GRAY: These seats are already booked.

ORANGE & BLUE: These seats have some extra charges for reservation.

WHITE: These seats have no additional cost.

united airlines seats

If you take the cursor over any preferred seat, you will see the box come up to show you the associated additional cost and seat number for that seat now, choose the final seat you wish to fly on. After the selection of seats click on the ‘continue’ tab.

  • Cross-check all the flight details and then make the payment.

How much does it charge to select a seat on United Airlines?

  • There will be no fee for seat selection if seats are available.
  • If you want to buy the preferred seat on the United aircraft you have to pay $9 for one way.
  • For unaccompanied minors, each way is charged $150.
  • For pets, in the cabin (cats/dogs) each way fees are $125.
  • $16-$169 fees are charged for economy plus upgrade.

Upgrading flight seats in United Airlines

Apart from choosing the flight seat, you can even upgrade your flight seat from lower class to fly with all luxury and comfort.

To upgrade the flight seat there are two ways:

Upgrade with miles online: 

If you have enough miles in your mileage plus account, you can redeem those miles and use them to upgrade your flight seat.

united airlines seat selection

  • For upgrading the miles first you need to log in to the mileage account 
  • Enter all the details such as name, destination from/To, departure date, and return date
  • Now you select your flight fare preference and pay through miles.

Upgrade at the United airport:

Sometimes passengers plan to upgrade their flight seat right before the flight departure. In that case, you can visit the airline counter at the airport and try to find if any seat is vacant for upgradation.

Which United seat is right for you while traveling?

Frequently asked questions, what if i want to switch my united flight even though i purchased preferred seating.

If you decide to change the flight your preferred seating purchase will be automatically refunded.

Where can I purchase a preferred United seat?

You can buy pre-pre-selected seats via an online website, by mobile application, by calling the customer care center, or at the airport.

Can I take my United seat or change my seat allocation for all classes?

You will pick or change the seat for all fare classes except the basic economy.

Can we sit together on the same reservation with United, if I am traveling with someone? 

No, you aren’t seated together, you can change your seats on the ‘manage reservation’ page. If a customer is holding a ticket for the basic economy and is flying in a group, they won’t be able to sit together unless advance seats are purchased or seats are available.

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United Airlines seat selection policy & fees:

Your travel experience depends on many factors, from the cost to pay to in-flight food and entertainment services. But despite selecting the best option in regards to these services, if there's one thing that can enhance or nullify the enjoyment of all these facilities, it is the seat you fly in. 

Seat selection is a very integral part of your flight. One simple decision can impact your whole experience. This is why, like many other airlines, the United Airlines seat selection process exists to make sure you have an opportunity to make the right call.

People have many questions when it comes to this service. And this is a very normal thing because not everyone flies frequently, and not everyone can keep up with the changing trends. So, this article has combined some of the most burning questions related to United Airlines seat selection.

How do I pick my seat on United Airlines? 

This is the perfect query to start the article, as this is the first step towards the process, and people are usually not familiar with this process. The United seat selection process begins after you have booked your ticket. You can avail this service through the official website, the official app, or with the help of United Airlines customer service. 

Steps to choose the seat on United Airlines:

  • First, open or download the United Airlines app.
  • Log in to the United Airlines website or the app.
  • Locate the 'My Trip' option. Enter the flight confirmation number and your last name. The app will automatically show you all the details.
  • To book the preferred seat on a United flight, hit the seat selection option next to your flight details. 
  • A virtual seat map will open that will show you all the available seats in your class. Select the seat and complete the payment if required.

You can also select your seat during the check-in process at the airport counter. The staff will give the option to choose from a list of available flight seats.

What is United Airlines seat selection policy?

The option to select your desired seat is available on all united airlines. The United seat selection policies exist to ensure that the travel goes smoothly and everyone gets the opportunity to get the seat they deserve.

  • As per the United Airlines seat selection policy, passengers need to select their seat during booking, after the booking, or before boarding the flight through the website, app, or check-in counter. 
  • If you fail to book a seat, the team will assign you a random seat based on your availability.
  • The United seat selection fees are different for different ticket types. 
  • United Airlines seat selection is not mandatory. Passengers have their own free will to reject the seat selection process.
  • Membership will yield a better seat selection opportunity. Premier members will get a complimentary Economy Plus seat, and they can upgrade it for free to MileagePlus Premier Silver or Gold seats.
  • The United Airlines seat selection policy allows passengers to change their seats anytime before departure. 

Does United allow free seat selection? 

If you are not a loyal member, then a free seat selection might not be possible. In most cases, the higher the status of your membership is, the better the facilities become. The same goes for seat selection. While MileagePlus Premier members get a complimentary seat in the Economy Plus class, the basic Economy class doesn't even have a seat selection option. Memberships allow you to upgrade your seat to premium cabin seats for free or by paying a small amount. Hence, you will need a membership to get a United Airlines free seat. 

How do I get a free seat on United?

Although United seat selection is fee-based, you are not required to select a seat. You can skip the seat selection process, and the staff will assign you a seat during boarding for free. This might not be your choice, but it will be free.    How much does it cost to choose seats on United Airlines? 

  • In general, seat reservation costs are $5- $20 for both directions. This price can go higher or lower based on flight duration, route, ticket class, etc.
  • The price range is between $16 to $169 for an Economy Plus seat upgrade. 
  • The cost to choose seats on United Airlines for an unaccompanied minor is $150 for both directions.

Can you choose seats on United Basic Economy? 

Yes, you can choose seats in Basic Economy while traveling with United Airlines if you are choosing in advance. But with Basic Economy, you'll automatically be assigned a seat before boarding, and you won't be able to change once it's assigned.

What is the preferred seat on United?

In general, passengers ask these questions when they are unsure if they want to pay for the extra luxury and seat selection services. There is nothing wrong with being confused. For most passengers, the Basic Economy seats are the best selection. There is no seat selection service in the economy, so you don't get confused if you should pay a little extra to get precisely what other passengers will get for free. 

The seats are comfortable enough to fly easily. The boarding and check-in staff will choose seats in the United Basic Economy class for you. You need to tell them your preference, and they will assign you the seats based on availability.  

For further clarification and options, you can ask  United Airlines customer service at 1 (800) 864-8331 about the seat selection and they will guide you. 

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Air Ticket Policy

United Airlines Seat Selection

United Airlines Seat Selection – Selecting the preferred seat on the plane is great to make the journey comfortable and joyful. While flying with United Airlines, passengers enjoy the right to pick their favorite seat or change it later as per choices. This blog pays emphasis on various rules and regulations falling under the United Airlines seat selection policy. More insights can also be captured by calling us on the provided number .

United Airlines Seat Selection

It is a magnificent facility when visitors have the liberty to choose a seat on the flight. Customers enjoy this fascinating and popular service with USA-based United Airlines. It brings a flexible procedure of United Airlines seat selection to let passengers fly on their favorite seat. It is an awesome effort by the airline to add to the excitement and joy of the trip.

About the Airline Itself

Before we proceed with the main concern, the founding member of the world’s largest airline alliance the Star Alliance, United Airlines was constituted in 1926. It has head office at Willis Tower, Chicago, Illinois, USA. While measured by the number of routes and fleet size, the US carrier is the 3rd largest service provider globally.

United Airlines is a significant element of the USA aviation domain that strives through a massive route network. It helps customers reach more than 300 destinations across Europe, South America, North America, Asia, and Oceania. The transport company also hosts codeshare agreements with 13 other service providers. The fleet of around 700 aircraft includes planes like Airbus, Boeing, ATR, Bombardier, and Embraer.

United Airlines Seat Reservations: FAQs

Is it possible to change seat selection united airlines.

Yes, visitors can opt for seat selection later after the reservation with United Airlines.

Can I change the seat online with United Airlines?

United Airlines allows passengers to change their seat assignments via the official website.

What is the fee to change the United Airlines seat assignment?

Usually, the USA airline asks for a fee of US$9 for preferred seating.

United Airlines: Providing Flexible Seat Selection Services

The aviation department comprises only a few airlines that embrace passengers with the provision of seat selection. Generally, air commuters come to entertain the same seat that they booked initially. Sometimes, it tends to be unpleasant and discomfort to deal with the situation.

With United Airlines, visitors are likely to grasp the provision of selecting the preferred seat at a later time. It finds itself in the list of carriers that allow passengers to change the seat assignment. As per seating options available with the airline, you get to deal with multiple ways where you can book a different seat. The policy also allows you to upgrade your ticket to a higher class. However, you’re not required to have a Basic Economy ticket.

Various Ticketing Options Available for Booking

When it comes to discussing various ticketing alternatives, United Airlinessuggests multiple ticketing options. Hence, United Airlines travelers have the liberty to book a favorite seat on the plane. Since drastic competition prevails in the market, the carrier brings up a Basic Economy fare to help flyers snatch the best seating selection. Below are various ticketing options with United Airlines:

Basic Economy

  • No possibility of group seating
  • Seat assignment before boarding
  • Changes/refunds not possible

Economy (Flexible)

  • Seat selection is possible (if available)
  • Refundable ticket
  • Customization

Economy (Standard)

Premium plus.

  • Spacious seating with extra legroom
  • Complimentary food/beverage
  • Complimentary food/beverage with enhanced dining

Economy Plus

  • Possibility of little extra legroom
  • Seating closer to the front of the aircraft is possible

NOTE: For more details regarding the ticketing system, one can approach officials at 1-877-563-0127 .

United Seat Selection Policy – Crucial Highlights and Facts

To generate an informed idea about the United Airlines seat selection services, make sure to analyze the following key pointers:

  • United Airlines customers are eligible to grab the provision of customized seat assignments. This facility applies to all fare types and cabin classes, except Basic Economy.
  • As per the law, United Airlines customers can change and pick their favorite seat anytime before the flight takes off. Passengers with the Basic Economy ticket can buy a seat assignment during the booking process.
  • Similarly, customers can catch the preferred seat during the reservation. You can do the same through ‘Manage Reservations’ and during check-in as well.
  • The USA carrier assigns flyers(Basic Economy) a seat automatically before boarding. However, no one can change the assigned seat.
  • No seat assignment is guaranteed, irrespective of ticket type. The airline has the right to change it due to uncertain events in the future.
  • Moreover, your seat assignment can get cancelled if you fail to check in within the deadline.
  • You will incorporate numerous methods to change the seat assignment. These can be exercised through the website, mobile app, or travel agent.
  • When there is no seat assignment available, United Airlines travelers can check back near the departure time for available seats.
  • Using the option of ‘Manage Reservations’, any person can trigger a seat change to apply for two seats together.

Various Methods for United Airlines seat selection

A number of platforms are suggested by the airline that one can follow to change the seat assignment. Have a look:

United Airlines Seat Selection Online

  • Visit
  • Now, get along with your account using account details.
  • The next page will disclose the list of bookings. Choose the flight you want to make the seat selection for.
  • Follow the on-screen guidelines and conclude the seat assignment process.
  • Eventually, United Airlines will notify you through the mail.

United Airlines Seat reservations Offline

Traditional seat selection procedures allow United visitors to change their seats by visiting the nearest airport ticket counter. Apart from these, people can also dial the Customer Support Number 1-877-563-0127 to catch more insights.

United Airlines Seat Selection Fee

As per the seat selection fee systems, there’s no service fee for changing the assigned seat. But when you move to opt for ‘Preferred Seating,’ US$9 is the fee each way. Furthermore, the latest united preferred seats cost details can be captured by speaking with officials.

Why Should You Prefer Air Ticket Policy?

Designing a pleasant travel plan is crucial to make the journey flexible and superior. The digital platform Air Ticket Policy is all set to assist you with the same purpose. It is quite a worthful choice to approach Air Ticket Policy. It promises to provide up-to-date knowledge & information regarding various airlines’ policies and procedures. Moreover, one can also find more thoughts on the United Airlines seat selection policy by calling us.

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United Airlines Seat Selection Policy, Seating Options & Fee

Yes, United Airlines lets you pick your seats. However, there are some seat selection policies that every passenger has to follow. These policies help the airlines to maintain a safe and smooth travel experience for all passengers.

Some of the most important policies are:

Passengers can select the seat in the same class where they have booked their ticket.

  • Passengers can choose the seat at the time of flight booking, after the booking, and at the check-in gate.
  • Senior citizens, and unaccompanied minors are advised to choose their seat at the airport check-in counter.
  • The airlines have all the right to change your seat at emergency exits if they find you unfit for the role.
  • Seat selection is not allowed after check-in.

How do I select a seat on United Airlines?

United Airlines seat selection process is easy and flexible. Passengers can select their seat anytime but before check-in. If you want to choose your seat on United Airlines, follow the mentioned process and get your favorite seat.

Select at the time of booking.

Passengers can select their seats at the time of booking their flight tickets. It is the best way to secure your seat with the airline and get your hands on your preferred seat. At the time of booking your flight, you will come across the add-ons section. There you can select your seat. In order to select your seat, go to Seat Selection and choose your seat. Then, click confirm and pay the seat selection and flight ticket fees.

United Airlines seat selection after booking.

Suppose you have booked your flight but need to select the seat. You can choose your seat even after you have booked your flight tickets. United Airlines seat selection is available till you check-in. 

The steps to follow to select the seat are:

  • Go to the official website of the airline.
  • Then, look for Manage My Trips, and choose My Trips. 
  • Fill in the confirmation number, last name and submit it.  
  • Select your flight, and then request seat selection.
  • Check the available seat and select your seat from the available options.
  • Pay the fee if there are any. Then, click on confirm. 
  • After some time, you will receive a confirmation mail regarding your successful seat booking. Cross-check the details and enjoy your trip.

Is there a fee to choose your seat on United?

Yes, there is a fee to choose your seat on United Airlines. Moreover, the charge for United Airlines seat selection is around $10. The charges for getting a seat on airlines rely on preferences, which is why the stated cost might also change. Furthermore, you could also claim a seat without any additional charges, but that provision is restricted to certain classes. 

How to get free seat selection on United? 

A seat on United Airlines can be bought in advance by paying an additional sum. But there are certain conditions available in the airline to seek a free seat. Further, you can refer to the information from the bottom points:-

  • A complimentary seat in the economy plus is levied to all premier member
  • Using a coupon code or redeeming a voucher
  • An upper-class fare can also choose a random seat.

What happens if you forget to select a seat on a flight after booking? 

United Airlines offers distinct seating options for a convenient and cozy traveling experience. Further, if you still need to pick a preferred seat by its closing window, then worry not because the airline could allot any random standard seats available in the cabin. However, when you are not comfortable with the assigned one, you can also request a change at the airport. 

Are United seat assignments refundable?

Yes, United Airlines seat assignments are refundable. But the flight ticket needs to be canceled before departure. Moreover, a refund request for a seat must be shared with airlines within 90 days of buying a seat. If you have bought a seat but didn't get to sit on it, you can obtain a refund after the departure of your flight. Although the request for a refund could be processed within seven days for a credit card holder, other forms can take 20 business days. 

Q1. What happens if I don't pick a seat on United? 

Suppose you still need to select your seat on a United Airlines flight. Then, the airline will assign free seats to you at the check-in counter.

Q2. Does United's basic economy allow seat selection?

United Airlines, basic economy class, allows you to select your seat. However, you should remember while choosing the seat that most seats are chargeable, and the charges vary.

Q3. How do I get free seat selection on United? 

There are a lot of free seats in an aircraft. At the time of booking your flight, you can view the seat map and select the seat, which is free of charge. Generally, the middle seats are free of cost. Also, you can ask the airline's staff at the check-in counter to allot you a free seat.

Q4. Why can't I pick or change a seat online for United Airlines Flights? 

You must have checked in if you need help to pick or change your seat on the United Airlines flight. Because once you check in and a boarding ticket gets assigned to you by the airline, you can't change your seat.                                                                                                           

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United Airlines Seat Selection cost


United Airlines Seat Selection

Many passengers occupy randomly assigned seats and cannot decide for themselves when to choose a seat on the plane. United Airlines' seat selection policy is one of the best policies for passengers.

Always select your preferred seat before boarding to ensure comfort and more space during the flight. United Airlines reservation management makes it easy to book your preferred seat. Here is a detailed United Airlines Seat Selection Guide to help you book your best and preferred United Airlines seat.

How to reserve a seat on a United Airlines flight?

  • Visit the United Airlines official website.
  • Log in and enter all your
  • Click "Search" when you have entered all of your
  • After the next page loads, select your preferred
  • Confirm your flight selection on the next screen and click on the Go to Trip Information
  • You must now attach your passport and select a seat, regardless of whether the passenger prefers an aisle seat or a window seat.
  • Click the Continue Seat Selection
  • Please wait while the seating plans

Now you see the layout of the plane with different seat colors, each color has a different meaning.GRAY: These seats are already booked.

ORANGE & BLUE:  These seats have some extra charges for reservation.

WHITE:  These seats have no additional cost.

How much does it Cost to first-class a seat on United Airlines?

  • There are no seat selection fees if seats are available.
  • To purchase Preferred Seat on a United flight, you must pay $9 one-way.
  • For unaccompanied minors, the one-way fare is US$150.
  • For pets in the cabin (dogs/cats), the one-way fare is USD 125.
  • There is a fee of $16 to $169 to upgrade to Economy Plus.

Upgrading flight seats in United Airlines

Not only can you choose your seat on the plane, but you can also upgrade to a lower class to enjoy all the luxury and comfort. There are two ways to upgrade an airline seat:

Upgrade with miles online: 

  • If you have enough miles in your Plus Miles account, you can redeem those miles and use them to upgrade your flight
  • To update your miles, you must first log into your mileage account
  • Enter all details such as name, destination, departure date and return date
  • Now select your preferred airline and pay with


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