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A320 Economy cabin seats.

When and how you can change seats, including those you paid to reserve.

Changing your seat

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

  • If you paid to reserve 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 reserving 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 reserve 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 reserved seats, even after you have boarded the aircraft. Although we will do all possible 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 your reserved seat.

If we have to change your seat, we will do our best to offer 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 seats you paid to reserve, you can apply for a refund.

Full Terms and Conditions for paid seating


When you can claim a refund

You can claim a refund for seats you paid to reserve if it is within 30 days of the completion of the last flight, and:

  • there is an aircraft change, or your flight has been cancelled and we’re unable to move you to a suitable alternative seat that you’re happy with
  • you become unable to meet the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) safety requirements to sit in an exit row seat and you contact us at least 48 hours before your flight
  • you have paid for an upgrade and do not wish to pay the difference in order to reselect 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 reserved 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 not suitable to sit in the seat type you have selected (according to CAA safety regulations) e.g. an exit row seat.
  • If you choose to change your flight or we cancel your flight and you accept a voucher towards a future booking, 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 booked a British Airways operated flight through another airline, e.g. Iberia, and you change your flight, you will not receive a refund for the reserved seats and you will need to reserve and pay for seats again on the new flight.
  • If it is more than 30 days since the completion of the last flight.

How to apply for a refund

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.

Full Terms and Conditions on paid seating