Skip to Navigation

Economy cabin seats.

When and how you can change seats, including those you have chosen and paid for.

Changing your seat

Business woman with laptop and mobile phone in a hotel room.

If you are flying British Airways, you may change your seat at any time before you fly, up to and including at check-in (subject to availability). You can do this online in Manage My Booking.

  • If you have paid to choose your seat, you may need to pay the difference if you move to a higher priced seat, as seat prices vary. If you change to a lower priced seat, we will be unable to refund the difference.
  • If you change your flight after choosing a seat, you'll need to choose your seats again on the new flight.

If your flight is operated by one of our partner airlines, you will need to contact them directly to change your seat. You may have to pay to choose a seat, depending on the Terms and Conditions of that particular airline.

You will be unable to change your seat on flights which are marketed by another airline and operated by British Airways.


What happens when we change your seat?

Sometimes we may need to change your seat, even after you have boarded the aircraft. Whilst we try to prevent this, it might be unavoidable for a number of reasons including a change of aircraft due to operational, safety or security reasons, so we cannot guarantee seating.

If we have to change your seat, we will attempt to find you a suitable alternative. We will try to seat your group together, then match your choice of window, middle or aisle seat, if possible. If you have paid for an exit row seat, we will try to offer you another exit row seat.

If we are unable to offer you a suitable alternative for seating you paid for, you can apply for a refund.

Paid Seating Terms and Conditions


When you can claim a refund

You can claim a refund for seats you paid for within 30 days of the completion of the last flight in your itinerary where:

  • we change your seat to an alternative seat and you are unsatisfied with the alternative seat;
  • we cancel your flight;
  • you become ineligible to sit in an exit row and you inform us at least 48 hours in advance of scheduled departure of your flight; or
  • you have paid for a cabin upgrade and do not wish to pay the difference to select your seat in the alternative cabin.

If your flight has been cancelled and already rebooked by British Airways within 48 hours of departure, there is no need to apply for a refund for your seat as this will be processed automatically. If you do not receive a refund within three weeks of your flight being cancelled, please fill in the ‘Refund for paid seating’ form.

When you cannot claim a refund

  • If you cancel your flight.
  • If you are upgraded by us.
  • If you are are considered unsuitable to sit in the seat type you have selected e.g. an exit row seat.
  • If you choose to change your flight you will be entitled to choose an equivalent seat on your new flight. If you change to a lower priced seat, we will be unable to refund you the difference.
  • If you accept a voucher towards a future booking that includes paid seating (see further the relevant voucher Terms and Conditions).
  • If you booked a British Airways operated flight marketed by another carrier and you choose to move to a different flight.

How to apply for a refund

You have 30 days after the last flight in your itinerary to apply for a refund of paid seating, where due. Please apply for your refund on as we cannot process refunds at the airport or on-board.

Unless otherwise stated, we will refund the credit card used to pay for the seat reservation, or if you paid using Avios, will credit the amount into your Executive Club account.

Paid Seating Terms and Conditions apply