I am flying out of Toronto to London & then London to Delhi this weekend & I am wondering if it would make sense to pay for the reservation of the seats instead of selecting them on online check-in?

Also how can I select best possible seat so that I can travel comfortably? I am travelling economy (World Traveller btw)

  • 4
    That depends. How do you feel about the middle seat? Oct 11, 2016 at 21:12
  • 1
    In my opinion it IS NOT WORTH PAYING - just forget the issue. (1) " that I can travel comfortably..." every single seat in economy is absolutely crap. the fact that they assert there are "better" ones is just silly, one of the great lies of today (2) don't forget that TOTALLY FOR FREE, you can almost always, anyway, choose the type of seat you want -ie, just at the last minute online or at the desk. the whole thing is a scam (3) EVEN IF you pay for a "better" hah seat, it's totally likely you get some chump sitting by you that ruins the trip anyway, and finally ...
    – Fattie
    Oct 11, 2016 at 21:43
  • 1
    ... you're young and happy, right? Honestly just don't worry about your seat that much. If, horrifically, you are stuck in a middle seat - so what. Just suck it up. You'll be in the living hell of economy seating anyway; you won't sleep a wink; you won't be comfortable, you'll be counting the minutes. Just "go with it" you know!
    – Fattie
    Oct 11, 2016 at 21:46
  • 4
    I do specifically choose my seats so I am comfortable. If I'm crammed in I end up with a sore back and feel terrible, so I go for ones with extra legroom, aisle seats, or bulkhead seats. Or on long haul I go for business class, as it makes an amazing amount of difference. And you can get a really relaxing trip, and a nice sleep, even on a trip to Delhi, Joe. (user3777390, don't listen to Joe - he must have had a bad experience)
    – Rory Alsop
    Oct 11, 2016 at 22:31
  • 1
    If you choose not to reserve a seat, check in exactly 24 hours before your first flight. You'll get first dibs on whatever seats are left, on both flights. You'd be very unlucky not to be able to get an aisle seat of some sort at this stage.
    – EdC
    Oct 12, 2016 at 1:56

3 Answers 3


SeatGuru is the best place for information on seating options. You can also find a lot of information YouTube by searching on the aircraft type.

Whether or not it's worth it depends on how much having a specific seat or type of seat means to you. Personally, I prefer to select my seat and would pay to do so. For some, it really doesn't matter.

One option you have is to call BA and ask how full the flights are and make a decision then. But, be warned, the flight can show 50% today, and be full by the weekend. Finally, seat maps are not an indication of actual bookings since, like you, many passengers do not have assigned seats.

  • So basically it's not idiotic to pay for the seats. Oct 11, 2016 at 21:22
  • 1
    Idiotic? No, not if you really want an aisle or window. Might you feel a bit silly having paid, then board a half full aircraft, well, that's life.
    – Johns-305
    Oct 11, 2016 at 21:34

For BA seatmaps, seatguru is notoriously incorrect and useless. The definitive source for anything BA is TheBASource.

There are certain seats that some people may find worthwhile booking such as twin seats or even single seats (the "throne seat"), depending on aircraft configuration or class of service.

If you have a preference for aisle or window, then you may find the cost of reserving a seat worthwhile. The most preferable seats such as those in the exit row are usually reserved for higher status passengers until or even after check-in opens. Also, BA has recently introduced a theoretical seating policy which favours blocking seats next to high status passengers. These will be blocked until they are needed, so in some cases it may be worthwhile delaying choosing your seat.

Certain seats in certain aircraft configurations have other disadvantages such as IFE boxes taking up half the area available for your feet, so it may be useful to be able to find these and select your seat to avoid them, either by paying or immediately at OLCI.

Other criteria to determine whether paying for a seat is worthwhile, include your height/leg length, girth, preponderance to go to the toilet, etc.

Personally, I wouldn't pay and would be online 24 hours before check-in opens. But I haven't had to pay for seating for a few years anyway.


I once had that same situation in a domestic flight. I had booked my tickets, but either had to pay for a seat, or leave it as is. Since this flight was a return flight, I decided to "wing" it and didn't pay for a seat, or select one. Turns out, it was a good decision, because I got a seat way in the front, which I remembered was a seat I would have had to pay for. Guess no one wanted to pay for seats and I ended up with this one. I think having booked a flight, airlines really can't deny you a seat, and if they do, they're bound to put you on a flight that has one. So, in all, I'd say, don't pay, and wait.

  • 1
    Indeed. be aware that, quite simply, they often/generally don't sell the (laughable) 'better' seats anyway. keep your money, young man! err, young person!
    – Fattie
    Oct 11, 2016 at 21:49

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.