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Struggling to Choose Seats for Your Award Flight? Learn This


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You discovered the award house (or bought the Thrifty Traveler Premium alert), transferred your factors or miles, and booked a flight. Congrats! Now, it is time to iron out the remainder of these flight particulars: Most significantly, selecting your seat. 

Generally that is simpler stated than executed. Easy award tickets utilizing an airline’s personal miles for one in all its flights – reserving Delta along with your SkyMiles, as an illustration – space cinch: Simply decide a seat when you ebook. However if you happen to’re reserving a companion award ticket utilizing miles from one other service, it will possibly get sophisticated. 

In the event you took our recommendation and booked a Delta flight by way of its companion Virgin Atlantic (and saved a ton of factors), as an illustration, you possibly can simply choose your seat in the course of the on-line reserving course of. Different artful workarounds aren’t so fortunate: Whether or not you are redeeming American miles to ebook Qatar Qsuites or bank card factors you transferred to a overseas airline mileage program, it typically takes a bit extra legwork. In some excessive instances, you may even have to (cowl your ears, Millennials and Gen Zers) decide up the telephone and name the airline. 

Regardless of which airline you are flying, do not get caught in a random seat. These are the overall steps you need to observe to decide on your seat after reserving along with your factors and miles.

 

 

1. Attempt Selecting Seats When You E-book 

The best to decide on your seats on an award flight is if you’re reserving your flight. 

To be clear, this would possibly not be potential with each airline – removed from it. However it’s price checking to see when you’ve got that choice in the course of the checkout course of.

Due to Delta and Virgin Atlantic’s shut partnership, you can decide your seat even when reserving with Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership factors, like I did with this quick Delta flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Madison (MSN).

 

Virgin Delta award flight seat

 

Virgin Delta award flight seat selection

 

The identical goes for reserving Delta flights by way of its different airline companions, Air France or KLM, utilizing their Flying Blue miles. Others aren’t so fortunate.

For instance, this is what you will see when making an attempt to ebook a United Airways flight utilizing Air Canada Aeroplan factors. 

 

air canada aeroplan seat selection

 

If you do not have the choice to assign seats throughout checkout – or it would not work – you will want to attend till after your flight is formally booked. 

 

2. Enter Your Affirmation Code with the Airline You are Flying 

As soon as you have booked your award flight, you will get a affirmation code you should utilize to search for your reserving … with the airline you booked by way of and, if you happen to’re fortunate, with the service you will truly be flying.

In the event you struck out choosing seats at reserving, the subsequent step is taking that six-digit affirmation code over to the airline you will be boarding to see if you happen to can choose seats. 

For this ITA Airways enterprise class flight earlier this 12 months booked by way of Virgin Atlantic, each the reserving reference quantity and the 13-digit digital ticket quantity labored to search for my reserving on ITA’s web site to decide on my seats. 

 

Virgin Atlantic ITA Airways biz class booking confirmation

 

All I wanted to do to pick out a seat for my flight to Rome was head over to ITA-Airways.com, choose the choice to handle a reserving, and enter my affirmation code. From there, I might simply pull up ITA’s seat map and decide seat 4A.

 

ita manage flight

 

Regardless of which airline you are flying, they’ve all the time bought a helpful choice to handle your journey the place seat choice is on the market. However it’s a 50-50 likelihood whether or not the affirmation code from the airline you booked with works or not.

Many (however not all) Star Alliance airways share the identical affirmation code, as do most SkyTeam carriers. Different companion award bookings – together with most Oneworld airways like American Airways, Japan Airways, and Qatar – don’t.

For instance, I could not decide seats on this Aer Lingus award ticket after reserving with British Airways Avios. 

 

Aer Lingus biz class award flight booking

Aer Lingus biz class award flight seat selection

 

If it would not be just right for you, both, you are not out of luck. Transfer onto step 3.

 

3. Get a Completely different Affirmation Code & Attempt That

Some companion award tickets truly generate two totally different affirmation codes:

  • The affirmation code from the airline you booked with
  • And a special affirmation code for the airline you will be flying

It is the second you may want to select your seats. Happily, many airways make that straightforward: Some will embody it within the preliminary affirmation code. In any other case, you possibly can typically discover it when trying up your reservation on-line with the airline you booked by way of.

This is what that appears like with this Lufthansa enterprise class flight booked utilizing Air Canada Aeroplan factors. 

 

Air Canada Aeroplan Lufthansa biz class award flight

 

The identical is true for just about each companion award ticket you ebook utilizing American AAdvantage – whether or not you ebook Japan Airways financial system or enterprise class to Tokyo, Qatar Qsuites, and extra. Pull up your reservation at AA.com and search for the separate affirmation code.

Both method, take that second affirmation code and head to the web site of the airline you are truly flying to see if you happen to can choose your seats on-line. It is best to see an choice to handle your reserving or search for your reservation the place you possibly can enter that airline-specific code to tug up your flights. 

 

Lufthansa manage bookings scaled
 

From the subsequent display screen, you need to have the ability to see if it lets you select your seats. For instance, after getting into the reserving code offered by Air Canada for my Lufthansa flight, I can simply decide seats on-line totally free. Finished. Cross that one off the to-do record.

 

Lufthansa biz class award flight choose seats

 

Lufthansa award flight seat selection

 

In some instances, discovering the airline affirmation code you want is not as straightforward as checking your e mail or pulling it up on-line. Don’t be concerned: You need not decide up the telephone simply but. 

In that case, you possibly can merely begin an internet chat (or ship a direct message on social media!) with the airline you booked by way of. Give them the affirmation code you have already got and ask for the companion affirmation quantity, as our editor Kyle did with this Avianca LifeMiles reserving just a few years in the past. 

 

twitter screenshot

 

4. Lastly, Contact the Airline

In the event you aren’t ready to decide on your seats in the course of the reserving course of or on-line by way of the working airline’s web site, you will should name the airline you are flying to pick out your seats – or, higher but, use an internet chat characteristic. 

I booked these Aer Lingus enterprise class flights utilizing British Airways Avios, which implies that I can choose my seats totally free … I simply have I’ve to name Aer Lingus to do. First, I needed to name British Airways to get the Aer Lingus reserving code – the one offered in my e mail receipt from BA was for British Airways. This was easy: I simply requested the agent to supply the Aer Lingus reserving reference quantity for my flight. 

 

BA Aer Lingus award flight booking

 

Right affirmation code in hand, I known as Aer Lingus, adopted the prompts, and was ultimately linked to an agent who helped me choose my seats. A couple of minutes later, my assigned seats appeared in my Aer Lingus reserving on-line. 

 

Aer Lingus seats

 

Backside Line

Reserving flights with factors and miles is an effective way to fly totally free (or practically free) everywhere in the world. However if you ebook an award flight by way of a companion airline, it might take additional legwork to decide on your seat. 

Observe this information to be sure you get the seat you need in your flight – particularly if you happen to’re flying up entrance! 

 



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