American Airlines Seat Selection

American Airlines Seat Selection Policy

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American Airlines Seat Selection Policy: Welcome to the ultimate guide on selecting seats for your American Airlines flights. We understand the frustration of not getting your preferred seat or being charged extra fees.

In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll dive deep into the world of American Airlines seat selection, including fees, strategies to avoid them, and how to make the most of your experience. So, fasten your seatbelt, and let’s take off into the realm of comfortable flying!

American Airlines Seat Selection Fee

When booking your American Airlines flight, you may have noticed additional charges for seat selection. These fees can vary depending on the type of seat and the route you’re flying. Let’s break down the different types of seat selection fees:

  • Basic Seat: This is the standard seat that comes with your ticket at no extra cost.
  • Preferred Seat: These seats offer more legroom and are typically located near the front of the cabin. They come with an additional fee.
  • Main Cabin Extra: These seats provide even more legroom than preferred seats and are usually located in exit rows. They also come with an extra fee.
  • Upgrading to First or Business Class: If you want to enjoy the ultimate in comfort and luxury, you can choose to upgrade to first or business class. These upgrades come with significantly higher fees.

How Much Do American Airlines Seat Selection Fees Cost?

The cost of American Airlines seat selection fees varies depending on several factors, including:

  • Route: Popular routes and long-haul flights tend to have higher fees.
  • Type of Seat: As mentioned earlier, basic seats are free, while preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats come with additional charges.
  • Elite Status: If you have elite status with American Airlines, you may be eligible for complimentary seat selection.
  • Timing: Fees can also change based on when you choose your seat. Booking your seat at the time of ticket purchase might be cheaper than doing it later.

Strategies to Save on Seat Selection Fees

Nobody likes to pay extra fees, and you don’t have to if you plan strategically. Here are some tips to avoid or reduce American Airlines seat selection fees:

Join the AAdvantage Program

American Airlines’ loyalty program, AAdvantage, offers various benefits, including complimentary seat selection for elite members. By accumulating miles, you can achieve elite status and enjoy the perks that come with it.

Check-in Early

If you’re not too picky about your seat and don’t want to pay extra, check in for your flight as early as possible. American Airlines often assigns available seats to passengers during the check-in process. So, the sooner you check in, the better your chances of getting a decent seat at no extra cost.

Use a Co-Branded Credit Card

American Airlines offers co-branded credit cards that provide cardholders with perks such as free checked bags and priority boarding. Some of these cards also come with complimentary seat selection, which can save you money in the long run.

Travel Light

Consider traveling with just a carry-on bag to avoid checked luggage fees. This can free up some extra cash that you can allocate towards seat selection.

How to Select Seats on American Airlines Flights

Selecting your preferred seat on American Airlines is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Visit the American Airlines Website: Start by visiting the American Airlines website or using their mobile app. Ensure you have your booking reference or ticket number handy.
  • Log In or Retrieve Your Booking: If you have an American Airlines account, log in. If not, you can retrieve your booking using your booking reference and last name.
  • Access Seat Selection: Once you’re logged in or have retrieved your booking, navigate to the seat selection option. This is typically found in the “Manage Reservations” or “My Trips” section.
  • Choose Your Seat: Browse the available seats on the seating chart and select the one you prefer. You can usually see which seats come with extra legroom and which have additional fees.
  • Confirm Your Selection: After choosing your seat, review your selection and confirm. If there are any fees associated with your choice, you’ll be prompted to pay them at this stage.
  • Receive Your Boarding Pass: Once your seat selection is confirmed, you’ll receive your boarding pass, either electronically or by email. Make sure to keep it handy for your upcoming flight.

How to Avoid Paying American Airlines Seat Selection Fees

Now that you know how to select seats, let’s explore strategies for avoiding those pesky fees.

Preferred Seating

Preferred seats offer more legroom and a more comfortable flying experience. To secure these seats without extra fees, consider the following:

  • Elite Status: As mentioned earlier, elite members often enjoy complimentary preferred seating. Achieve elite status through the AAdvantage program to unlock this perk.
  • Travel Off-Peak: Flying during off-peak times, such as mid-week or during non-holiday seasons, may increase your chances of getting preferred seats at no extra cost.

Main Cabin Extra

If you’re seeking even more legroom, Main Cabin Extra seats are a great option. Here’s how to secure them without additional fees:

  • Elite Status: Elite members can often enjoy Main Cabin Extra seats without extra charges. Again, consider joining the AAdvantage program to achieve elite status.
  • Purchase a Higher Fare Class: Some fare classes include Main Cabin Extra seats as part of the ticket price. Explore your options and choose a fare that suits your needs.

Using AAdvantage Miles

If you’re a frequent American Airlines flyer and have accumulated AAdvantage miles, you can use them to book seats without paying extra fees. Here’s how:

  • Log In: Sign in to your AAdvantage account on the American Airlines website.
  • Search for Flights: Use your miles to search for eligible flights.
  • Select Seats: Once you’ve found a flight, you can choose your seats using your miles. This option can save you money and make your travel experience more enjoyable.

Upgrading to a Main Plus Ticket

For travelers who want a more premium experience without paying for seat selection separately, consider upgrading your ticket to a Main Plus fare. This fare class often includes perks such as:

  • Priority Boarding: You’ll be among the first to board, ensuring plenty of overhead bin space for your carry-on luggage.
  • Main Cabin Extra Seating: Main Plus fares typically come with Main Cabin Extra seats, giving you extra legroom.
  • Free Same-Day Flight Changes: Flexibility in your travel plans is a valuable benefit of Main Plus tickets.
  • Checked Bag Allowance: You’ll have a checked bag allowance, saving you on baggage fees.

When Can You Get a Refund of American Airlines Seat Selection Fees?

While American Airlines generally doesn’t offer refunds on seat selection fees, there are a few scenarios in which you might be eligible for a refund:

  • Flight Cancellation: If your flight is canceled by American Airlines, you should be eligible for a full refund, including seat selection fees.
  • Seat Availability Changes: If American Airlines changes your seat assignment due to aircraft changes or other reasons, and you are moved to a seat of lesser value, you may be eligible for a refund of the difference in seat selection fees.
  • Downgrading of Fare Class: If you originally purchased a higher fare class that included seat selection but were downgraded for any reason, you may be eligible for a refund of the seat selection fee.
  • Exceptional Circumstances: In rare cases of exceptional circumstances, such as a serious medical issue or bereavement, American Airlines may consider refunding seat selection fees as a gesture of goodwill.


Selecting the perfect seat for your American Airlines flight doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a bit of planning and some insider knowledge, you can avoid unnecessary fees and secure the seat that suits you best. Remember to leverage your AAdvantage miles, consider elite status, and explore fare options to enhance your flying experience. Now, go ahead and book that dream seat for your next adventure with American Airlines!


Q1: Can I change my seat selection after booking my American Airlines flight?

Yes, you can change your seat selection after booking, but it may come with additional fees. It’s advisable to choose your seat at the time of booking to avoid extra charges.

Q2: What’s the difference between Main Cabin Extra and Preferred Seating on American Airlines?

Main Cabin Extra seats typically offer more legroom and are often located in exit rows, whereas Preferred Seating provides a more comfortable experience but may have less legroom in comparison.

Q3: How do I check my AAdvantage miles balance?

You can check your AAdvantage miles balance by logging into your AAdvantage account on the American Airlines website or mobile app.

Q4: Are there any discounts for seat selection fees for children or infants?

American Airlines usually charges the same seat selection fees for children and infants as it does for adults. However, lap infants (under 2 years old) typically travel for free but do not have a dedicated seat.

Q5: Can I get a refund on seat selection fees if I have to cancel my flight?

American Airlines generally does not provide refunds on seat selection fees for flight cancellations. However, there are exceptions, such as flight cancellations initiated by the airline. It’s best to check the airline’s refund policy for specific details.

Related Article: Delta Airlines Seat Selection Policy | JetBlue Seat Selection Policy | Lufthansa Seat Selection Policy .

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