Some airlines (for example, American Airlines do this) offer a seat availability checker so you can see which seats are currently booked on a flight - there are limitations, since some seats might show as occupied but are actually reserved for priority customers - but it's still useful.

Is there any way of getting this kind of live seat booking data for British Airways before you have booked a flight? This would help me select which of several flights I might pick (for example, where I might be able to select a better seat, or where the plane is lightly loaded).

  • @pnuts are any of those travel agents web-accessible, or do they typically require you to be calling them/booking tickets through them? Jan 23, 2015 at 15:39
  • OK. In my case I am booking the flights through a corporate-stipulated online travel agent (without this data), so that doesn't help. But that's a good general tip, thanks. Jan 23, 2015 at 15:42
  • @pnuts, I'm sure they have it. But they certainly don't have a facility to show me the seat map online, or even availability. Their site is pretty basic (it's not open to the general public). Jan 23, 2015 at 16:25
  • Are you referring to the checkmytrip.com with the URL parameters? It looks good in principle, but I think it's long since dead... and the forum post is from 2003. Jan 23, 2015 at 16:27
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    No worries, it was a good thought :) Jan 23, 2015 at 16:30

4 Answers 4


Yes, but it's a bit fiddly.

If, when you are booking, you are either logged in with a BAEC Silver or Gold membership active (BAEC silver and gold get seat selection for free at the time of booking), or you are doing a (not logged in) search for a fully flexible ticket (full fare tickets get free seat selection at the time of booking), then almost at the end of the booking process before entering your credit card details, it lets you pick a seat:

BA seat picker

At that point, bring up the seat selection tool, and see how many seats are free on that flight. If not enough, go back and pick a different flight. If so, go back and pick the fare class you really wanted to book on. Expect to take a minute or two per flight you check, by the time you get to that bit of the booking!

Remember that this will only show if you're doing a search when logged in as a BAEC Silver or Gold (other BAEC tiers or other OneWorld status won't work during the booking process), or when doing a fully-flexible search when not logged in.

Otherwise, some travel agents can look it up, and they can also look up how busy the flight is in a general sense (how many tickets for sale in each cabin in each fare class). If you care, it might be easier to get a good travel agent, ring them up, have them look at the loadings then book you onto the flight with the loading / seats you're after.

  • Argh - this is a great answer, but I can't take advantage of it. I am Sapphire level (Gold equivalent), but not with BA. They don't let you associate your Oneworld card with a BA login directly - you can only add it once booked - so even though I'm eligible to select any seat I like, I can't "test" them this way. Good answer though. Jan 23, 2015 at 16:33
  • OK, I just spotted that you said "or fully flexible". That sounds great, and I just tried that with my regular BA.com login, but I don't see the seat selection screen you see on the "Passengers" screen. In fact, I was wrong, it does allow me to enter my FF number, but I still don't see an option to seat-select before booking is complete. Looks as if this option is only for BA FFs :( Jan 23, 2015 at 16:40
  • That screenshot was taken when not logged in, when searching for a fully-flexible economy ticket. It comes after the page that asks for your name, before the one asking for credit card details. Maybe try again without logging in?
    – Gagravarr
    Jan 23, 2015 at 16:52
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    @Gagravarr, you're quite right. It seems that this works, but I had to not be logged in, otherwise it follows a different process that doesn't allow seat selection. Great tip! Can I suggest you clarify your answer to recommend logging out if the option doesn't appear? Feb 1, 2015 at 13:52
  • @AndrewFerrier BA Gold is Emerald, not Sapphire. BA Silvers are Sapphire.
    – Calchas
    Feb 6, 2016 at 14:20

No, if you're looking for Premium Economy. Yes for Economy and Business Class. Do not log in and select Flexible Ticket (not Lowest Price). Select flights and click continue without logging in. Enter your name, date of birth etc. (real or fake) and you are allowed to see available seats prior to purchasing an Economy or Business ticket. Oddly, however, you cannot see available seats when you choose Premium Economy, even if you are booking a Flexible Ticket.


Yo do not need to have club status to check seat availability on BA. Just fill in the first screen with passenger info (real or fake info is OK). When you get to the next page, you will see a RED button that reads "Reserve seats now". Click on it and it will let you see what is available. I hope this is useful.

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    As already explained in Gagravarr's answer above, this is only true for full fare tickets. Feb 6, 2016 at 9:16

Yes. BA offer the option for you to pick which seat you can allocate yourself and/or party.

However from experience I do not believe you can do this prior to booking your flight. For BA this is only available after you have purchased your tickets.

  • 2
    Sorry, I should clarified - I specifically meant when you are not booking on a flight. I know I can edit my seat when I am booked. Jan 23, 2015 at 13:19

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