Some airlines have instituted charges for seats they believe to be premium (i.e., aisle, front of the cabin, larger seats, etc). Generally, the use of upgraded/preferred coach seating options is a traveler's personal choice and is at the traveler's personal expense.
Coach class seating upgrade programs are often referred to by airlines as “Coach Elite”, “Coach Plus”, “Preferred Coach” or by some other identifier. Under these airline programs a passenger may obtain, for a fee, a more desirable seat choice in the coach class cabin. These upgrades or preferred seat choices within the coach cabin are generally available either for an annual fee, at an airport kiosk or gate, or as a frequent flier benefit. These coach upgrade options are not considered a new or higher class of accommodation since the seating is still in the coach cabin.
An agency may authorize and reimburse the additional seat choice fee when it is determined that doing so is in the interest of the government. Travelers should verify their agencies’ current policies and procedures regarding reimbursement for seat choice options.
The importance of making reservations early, in order to obtain the best seat selection possible, cannot be overemphasized. Seat assignments are at the discretion of the carriers. Many airlines do not make seat selection available until very close to the flight's time and date.
Making reservations early to improve your seat selection is encouraged. While the booking of the contract fares (YCA) is guaranteed, as long as economy class seats are available, choice of a particular seat is not guaranteed. Therefore, we strongly suggest all travelers confirm seat assignments as early as allowed.
In addition, we recommend early arrival for check-in at the airport, or online check-in before arriving at the airport. Travelers run the risk of losing pre-reserved seats with late check-in times, because seat assignments may be released close to departure time and given to other passengers. It should also be noted that, at times, seat assignments may change when there is a change of equipment or a need to accommodate a family, group or disabled person.