While booking the flight ticket usually we don’t care about taking an extra seat. If you have heavy luggage, extra seat or extra space is a must. The facility is available on the flight, but some flights require prebooking. Check the availability of extra seat while booking the flight ticket. Also, some airlines offer the extra seat at no extra cost, check the pricing before booking a flight. 

Many situations arise that necessitate a traveler to get an extra seat for them. But when you get into that situation, you may be doubtful about getting an extra seat. There are several questions arising like – “Am I the only one with the problem? Should I have to pay more for getting an extra seat? Haven’t airlines already have policies on giving an extra seat to passengers?”

The foremost thing you need to know is that this happens very often. Many passengers around the world regularly acquire extra seats for various different reasons. You will also find instances where some people also had bought entire rows for themselves! The first thing to do is to check flight seat availability. You can also get the airline seat maps.

Airlines also generally encourage this behavior unless they find something suspicious.

Not all situations are optional though, in some cases, passengers are required to get an extra seat if they fail to satisfy certain criteria set by the airlines.

The general conditions when the flights open up extra seats are:

1. Passenger is Obese

When a passenger is obese and is not able to sit in a single seat. Airlines require them to buy the next seat so that they themselves would have no problem and also prevent others from having the problem.

According to the United, the criteria for one person to be allowed to use a single flight seat are:

  1. They must be properly able to attach, buckle and wear seatbelts, with one extension if necessary.
  2. For the entirety of the flight, they must be able to remain seated with the armrest(s) down.
  3.  They must significantly consume the adjacent seating space.

If the above criteria are not met, passengers will be required to buy an additional seat for them.

2. Carrying extra baggage

Another common scenario when one needs an extra seat if you are carrying something important and want it to be with you and the do not have any empty seats on flights. Large musical instruments, cases with valuable documents and many other things fall into this area.

The criteria for them generally include a limit of the weight of the item, that it must not prevent from entering emergency exits, it must be properly secured by seat belts, must be reserved in advance and charges paid and must not contain any dangerous goods.

3. Carrying pets or other animals

Airlines will also give extra seats so that animals will travel comfortably. Those might be your loving pets or any other animals that are traveling with you. As falconry is a popular sport in the middle east, many airlines will allow a certain number of them in the cabin or in checked luggage. In one instance, a Saudi prince took 80 falcons with him on a flight!

Extra seats are also needed When someone has a physical disability or a bad injury and they require more space to travel fine.

While reserving an extra seat is an official business, many tips do exist to create “Empty” seats beside you so that you can fill in later. Illegal or cunning? It’s up to you what to call it.