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Guru Tips

For many families or couples, a vacation is the highlight of the year, and often the vacation involves flying. Yet when you can’t get a set of seats together on the plane, the flight adds a bit of stress to your vacation. Airlines know this, and often they charge a hefty fee to reserve seats together. If you want to avoid that fee but still want to travel together, here are some tips that might help.

1. Book Far Ahead

When you make your final decision about your trip, book your flight as early as possible. Not only will you find lower prices, but you have a better chance of being able to select seats together. As the flight fills, you will find it harder to find seats near one another.

2. Check in Ahead of Time

Most airlines now allow passengers to check in ahead of time through the airline's website or their app. If you have this option, use it, and then see if your seats are together. If not, research if the airline gives you the option to change your seats. If you don’t have the option to make a change, you will want to arrive at the airport early to talk to an airline representative.

3. Talk to a Gate Agent

If you know ahead of time that you don't have seats together, talk to a gate agent as quickly as possible once you arrive at your gate. They may be able to move some passengers around to give your family seats together. Be careful before agreeing to the seats and make sure you have the SeatGuru app open on your phone. You will want to see if your new seats are better than your previous ones. For example, seats that are in front of the lavatory or galley usually don’t recline, and seats over the wing may not have any window visibility.

4. Enlist the Help of the Flight Attendant

If the gate agent can’t help you, ask the flight attendant for help when you get on board. They will often help you find single passengers who would be willing to switch. Remember, most people are reasonable and understand the need for families to sit together. Also, most passengers don't want to be seated next to an unfamiliar child, so they will be happy to help you out so you can sit near your little ones.

5. Be Polite

Above all, be polite. Airlines will work with you if you use good manners. Being rude and demanding will not get encourage the staff or your fellow passengers from helping you. A smile goes a long way when you're asking for someone to switch seats for your family.

Sitting together on a flight is important, but at the end of the day your primary goal is to get to your destination and start enjoying your trip. If you have a seat on a flight, you will get there, so head out and enjoy your next trip without undue stress about your seating assignment.

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