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Changes and refunds for reserved seats

When you pay to reserve your seat, you may want to change it before you fly, or know how and when you can apply for a refund.

Changing your seat

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You may change your seat at any time, up to and including at check-in. As seat prices vary, you may need to pay the difference if you move to a higher priced seat. If you change to a lower priced seat, we will be unable to refund you the difference.

If you change your flight after reserving a seat, you must contact us to reassign you a seat 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?

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.

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 are unable to offer you a suitable alternative, 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:

  • 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, 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.

How to apply for a refund

Please apply for your refund on as we cannot process refunds at the airport or on-board.

We will refund the credit card used to pay for the seat reservation, unless otherwise stated.

Full Terms and Conditions on paid seating

Apply for a refund