Photo: Suzie Dundas

This Free Airline App Will Automatically Move You to Your Favorite Seat

Airports + Flying
by Matador Creators Mar 22, 2024

United Airlines has been in the media quite a bit lately, mostly for issued related to airline safety: an engine caught on fire in the air on a flight to Florida, and a Mexico-bound United flight had to make an emergency landing after a system failure in early March.

But there’s one piece of good news for travelers who often fly with United. The airline announced an update to the United app that now allows users to — hopefully — get their favorite seat, even if it isn’t available while booking.

The feature is available to any traveler using the United app, regardless of status with the airline (thought it may take a few months for it to fully roll out). When choosing your seat, you may get a pop-up message asking if you’d prefer to sit somewhere better. If you click yes, you can select a seat preference, like a certain row or an aisle seat. If one of those becomes available, United will automatically move you to that seat and send a notification directly to your phone. According to reporting by The Points Guy, it’ll be available from booking all the way up to 12 hours before take off.

united app and desktop

Photo: Postmodern Studio/Shutterstock

There’s no cost to use the service, though you’ll still need to manually change your seats if you try to make a day-of swap. And many seats on United flights, including exit row seats and those close to the front of the plane, are considered “Economy Plus,” which comes with an extra charge. But as long as you have the mostt updated version of the app, the feature should be available to you in the coming months.

The announcement comes on the heels of yet another change United customers might like: the ability to share frequent flyer points (formerly miles) with groups of up to five people.

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