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What to do - pay or skip?
Many budget airlines are increasingly introducing the opportunity of  allowing passengers to pre-book their seats in advance for a fee.... which varies depending on which airline you are flying. Up until today, Easyjet were one of those with  NO allocated seating, meaning a stampede at the boarding gate to try and nab the best seats - but they too have joined the rest.

Most airlines "suggest" that in order to be seated together you should pre-book your seats... obviously at a cost. Many passengers, especially those travelling with children are fearful of being sat separately and so pay the extra. But a word of warning ..... even if you do pay in advance for your seats there is still no absolute guarantee that you will be seated together!

Have you ever read through the terms and conditions when booking your tickets? Probably not, like most of us we just tick the box-  as its such a long arduous text, with page after page of sections and sub sections, I can't believe that anyone ever does - you need a law degree to understand most of it. Well, I decided to have a look at the clause with reference to seat selection terms & conditions. Guess what - they virtually all say the same! Here is a summary of the charges and T&C's of the main "Low Cost" airlines that serve Alicante.

Monarch - £5.99 standard seat / £9.99 extra leg room seat.
T&C's - "Seat requests will be honoured wherever possible, however they cannot be guaranteed. We also reserve the right to re-allocate any seat numbers should passengers fail to check in within 90 minutes of departure"

Jet2 - £3.99 standard seat / £7.99 extra leg room seat.
T&C's -  Fromtime to time, for operational, safety or security reasons we may need to assign or re-assign seats, even after boarding the aircraft. Therefore we cannot always guarantee your seat selection.

Ryanair - £10 to select row 1/2/16 or 17 or £5 for priority boarding.
T&C's - We reserve the right to assign or reassign seats at any time, even after boarding.

BMI Baby - from £5.50 standard seat / £11 extra leg room seat.
T&C's - In some circumstances it may not be possible to guarantee seat assignments.

Easyjet - £12 extra leg room Row 1 /  £8 "up front" Row 2-5 / £3 any other row.
What I did find peculiar with Easyjet was that they appear to charge different prices for speedy boarding depending on where you are flying from. An example is that they charge £9.50 from Manchester but £10.50 from London Gatwick? This was on the same departure date of 29th April  - do they think that Southerners can afford to pay more?
T&C's - We reserve the right to re-allocate seats for safety or operational reasons.

So having read through what the various airlines charge is it worth paying the extra?Only you can decide that - but it certainly adds a lot of extra cost for a family travelling on holiday. Remember, the above are one way prices only. Put it this way, I have never been on a flight, and I've taken many over the years to find a family scattered randomly throughout the plane with a child sat on its own - unless its at one of the parents request!

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