I plan on going to a travel agent if I can’t figure this out on my own as I would like to keep the flights on the cheaper side and have always booked flight on my own. But anyways, for context, my boyfriend and I are going From Brisbane Aus to Nebraska USA, he needs a round trip ticket and I need a one way, but want to sit together on the flights going to Nebraska. I have seen in another question that this would be easy peazey going straight to the airlines website and booking there but since this is an international flight with (with all the times I’ve flown large distances) other airlines mixed in, it isn’t as easy to organize these flights just threw one airline.

If anyone has any personal experience with using a travel agent to book flights (I’m mostly nervous they’ll go for more expensive options just to get more money) I would love to hear about it. Also if anyone’s knows what to do for this situation.

Thank you!

  • 1
    Experiences with travel agents differ. Question is too broad. – user 56513 Mar 7 '19 at 7:55
  • @Laura You can guard against being sold the more expensive options by doing some research on flight costs yourself before you speak to the travel agent. You could also try calling the airline direct – Traveller Mar 7 '19 at 8:35
  • My experience is that my travel agent found me cheaper options than the ones I could find myself. But after that shop closed I have not found a good new one. – Willeke Mar 7 '19 at 11:17

Seat selection has become unfortunately very complicated and in some cases also quite expensive. It also varies from airline to airline, so you need to consider this as well.

Because you need to book two different itineraries, you have to make two separate bookings. You can ask the airline to link the two bookings, but this may not be possible and it's also unlikely to help much.

If you want to reserve your seats up front, you can do this right at booking or (in most cases) anytime after booking online at the airline's website. Keep in mind that

  1. Some airlines only allow you to do this if you book the ticket directly from the airline (which is in general a good idea anyway)
  2. Some low-price tickets (Basic Economy, Economy Light) do NOT allow reserving a seat
  3. Even on a regular economy ticket, you may have to pay a substantial fee. For example Swiss charges a whopping 85$ (one way) to reserve a plain vanilla economy seat for something like ZRH->HKG.

If you and your boyfriend sit side by side during the seat reservation, it's typically not difficult to get something together.

The other option is chance it and wait until check-in. At check-in, you can typically select a seat for free, and if you both check in at the same time, you may be able to find something together. The trick here is to check in as early as possible. Most airlines officially open check in 23 or 24 hours before departure, but in many cases it actually opens 25 or 26 hours, so trying early is really useful. I did this last week and had no problem to get my son, my wife and myself together, since we were the first ones checking in.

Again, you'd have to check in at the same time, ideally sitting side by side.

Other good tactics are to choose for example an aisle and a window seat in an empty 3 seat row. If you are lucky you end up with an empty seat between you, and if not, you can simply trade. Everyone wants to get out of a middle seat!

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