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When and how you can change seats, including those you have chosen and paid for.
Changing your seat
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 ba.com 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
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Paid Seating Terms and Conditions
- All paid seating is subject to availability and is only confirmed once paid for.
- Paid seating is available on British Airways mainline operated flights and on British Airways-operated flights marketed by other carriers.
- Paid seating may be offered by British Airways franchisee airlines. The seating Terms and Conditions of British Airways franchisee airlines may differ from those of British Airways mainline-operated flights, therefore we recommend that you refer to the franchisee airline’s relevant Terms and Conditions.
- Paid seating may be unavailable on some flights operated by codeshare partners.
- Paid seating for group customers (bookings containing more than 9 passengers) is only available where the reservation has been made directly with British Airways Group Sales. Group customers who have made their reservation through a travel agent or a tour operator cannot currently book paid seating. Payment with Avios is currently unavailable for group customers.
- All un-ticketed passengers, including those travelling on a cruise or package holiday who have not yet received confirmation of their ticket numbers, are unable to choose paid seating until they have received confirmation of their ticket numbers.
Changes to seats
- On British Airways marketed and operated flights, you may change your seat (subject to availability) at any time. If you change your seat to a lower-priced seat, we will not refund the difference in price. If you change your seat to a higher-priced seat, you must pay the difference in price.
- You cannot make changes to paid seating on British Airways-operated flights marketed by other carriers.
- Paid seating is not guaranteed, as seating may need to be changed for operational, safety or security reasons, even after boarding the aircraft.
- If we change your seat, we will attempt to find you a suitable alternative. If you are unsatisfied with your new seat, you can apply for a refund of the paid seating.
- Paid seating is not transferable to any other passenger.
Exit row seats
- Exit row seats are situated either next to or immediately behind the exit door.
- If you choose an exit seat, in the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation you will be expected to assist us in opening the emergency door. For this reason, you must: be over the age of 12 years old (except for Comair operated flights where you must be over the age of 16 years old), not be pregnant, not have accessibility needs or be substantially blind or deaf, be fit enough to operate an emergency exit door, be able to understand printed or verbal instructions given in English, and be willing, as well as able, to assist in the case of an emergency evacuation. When requesting an exit row seat, you will be asked to verify your eligibility.
- British Airways has the sole discretion to determine whether you meet the requirements to sit in an exit row seat. If you do not meet the requirements, you will be assigned an alternative seat. The additional amount paid for an exit row seat will be forfeited and will not be refunded.
- If, after the date of requesting an exit row seat, you become unable to fulfil the requirements to sit in an exit row seat, please contact us at least 48 hours before your flight in order to claim a refund.
Using Avios as payment for seat selection
- Executive Club Members can use their Avios to pay in full or in part for paid seating on British Airways operated flights in ‘Manage My Booking’ on ba.com or by calling a British Airways Contact Centre.
- Paid seating purchased with this payment option will be subject to these Paid Seating Terms and Conditions.
- All seats selected must be eligible for full or part Avios payment in order for Avios to be applied to the booking.
- The Avios payment rates are defined in a fixed set of currencies. If more than one Avios payment option is available, it is not possible to change the price option chosen once a booking has been made.
- The Avios payable will depend on the cabin class, route selected and the number of people on the booking. This will be displayed on the booking page.
- British Airways reserves the right to alter the applicable Avios payment rates at any time in its sole and absolute discretion, but this will not apply to bookings already made.
- When an Executive Club Member pays for seating using Avios, the Avios will be debited from the Member’s Executive Club account for each passenger on the booking.
- When Avios has been used as full or part payment for seating, those Avios will be refundable only in accordance with the rules detailed in these Paid Seating Terms and Conditions.
- When a seat selection is made using Avios as full or part payment for a member who is either on the Household Account or the Family and Friends List, the Avios will be taken from each Member’s Avios points balance in proportion to the size of each Household Account Member’s Avios points balance. Members of a Household Account can make full or part Avios payment for paid seating for people outside of the Household Account.
- Avios payment may not be used in conjunction with any other promotional offers, unless expressly stated otherwise.
- Members do not earn Avios and Tier Points on paid seating.
- It is not possible to use Avios for paid seating on bookings made through Concur or on group bookings.