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Purchasing Priority: When You May Want To Pay For Priority Seating

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Priority seating is almost always useless... except when it isn't. There are some times when you might want to pay for priority access or priority seating to ensure that you get to where you're going with the things you need.

  • Do you have luggage that you absolutely need to keep with you? When the plane's overhead compartments are filled, people will be asked to check their luggage -- and who knows if it will get to their destination. If you have priority seating, you're absolutely certain to get a place for your luggage... as long as it actually fits in the overhead bins, of course!
  • Do you have a particularly tight transfer? Priority seating is usually placed towards the front of the plane, and you can select an aisle seat as desired. The plane's doors aren't going to open any faster for those who are in priority seating, but you will be able to get off much faster because you won't need to worry about people in front of you or around you.
  • Do you require additional legroom? Bulkhead seats are usually considered priority seating. While they don't let you place any items in front of the seat under you (because there is no seat under you), they do give you room to stretch.
  • Do you need an aisle seat? If you anticipate needing to get up often (such as if you need to stretch or use the bathroom), you might want to get priority seating -- especially if the flight is almost completely booked up. Aisle seats go quickly and many of them will be marked as a priority or preferred seat.
  • Do you have a long layover? Priority seating often comes with temporary access to the lounge. This lounge will give you a comfortable place to relax between your flights, to recharge your items and to get work done. Of course, you can also usually purchase a one-time pass to a lounge if necessary.

Apart from the above situations, however, there usually isn't much of a reason to get priority seating. In general, you'll still get on and off the plane around the same time and you'll still get to your destination exactly the same.

Posted on Nov 20 2014

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