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My 12 year old daughter and I want to a fly to a friends house and spend the week. I will then turn around and fly back home but my daughter will be traveling on by car with my sister to another location.

So I need a round-trip ticket for me and a one-way ticket for her but I want us to be able to sit together obviously. Not sure how to go about doing this.

I'm thinking purchase the tickets online separately but make sure it's the same flight and then choose seats when we check in?

  • Can you specify which airline (and possibly which flight) you are considering? Policies vary from airline to airline in terms of seat assignments. Some for instance do automatic check-in and seat assignments 24 hours or so before departure. Some allow very early seat selection, others don’t, etc. – jcaron May 1 '18 at 12:36
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You can absolutely do this. However, choosing seats at check-in really makes it quite unlikely that you'll get to sit together.

The way to play it safe is to pay for seat reservations at the time of booking and book seats side-by-side so that you are together. Availability should be good if you do this when you book the ticket.

You can certainly do it the way you've outlined, but there's a high probability you won't get to sit together, and while the airline can ask people to move, because your daughter is not that young, passengers will be under no obligation to move for her. (In fact, if they paid for their own seat reservation, they might resent being asked.)

Pay for seats at booking, and your problem is solved.

One other option: you can book this as two one-way flights. Book a one-way flight to the destination, with both of you as passengers, and then a one-way flight home for just her. You still run into some risk of not getting seated together if you don't pay the seat fee, but the risk is smaller since you'll be physically checking in simultaneously. (It will still be based on availability of course. If all that are left are middle seats, you're both going to be in middle seats, and not together.)

  • I guess it depends on several things, but my experience is that if I check in within an hour of check-in opening I have plenty of seats to choose from, also plenty of seats next to each other. If the OP can do the seat selections from two devices in parallel it should be possible to get two seats next to each other. But it is a risk that can be (most likely) mitigated by paying to select seats right after booking. – Henrik Apr 30 '18 at 22:20
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    @Henrik It very much depends on the airline, and even the route. – Jim MacKenzie Apr 30 '18 at 22:39
  • On some routes round trips tickets are as cheap as one way tickets or even cheaper. If so, you might want to buy two round trips for the same dates, and not use her return trip. This is not completely legal but often done. Canceling the return can result in a higher price for the first leg. – Willeke May 1 '18 at 21:03
  • @Willeke It's been years since I've seen round-trip domestic US flights priced differently than the sum of the two one-way legs, and the question asker is flying intra-US. – Jim MacKenzie May 1 '18 at 21:17

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