Paying for a seat on a low cost airline is one of my biggest bugbears, but thanks to a really smart Wizz Air and Ryanair seat hack, I haven’t had to pay for the best seats on the plane for a long time now.
In fact, the last few times I’ve used it I’ve not only got an extra legroom seat, but I’ve also been sat by the person I’m travelling with.
Here’s how to get the best flight seats without shelling out any money.
How Much Do Ryanair and Wizz Air Charge for Seats?
When booking with Ryanair and Wizz Air you’ll be charged an extra fee to choose where you sit and select your own seat. Ryanair seat selection starts £2 whilst Wizz Air seat selection starts at £4. However, good luck finding them that cheap! The price changes based on what flight you book, when you book and also what type of seat you’re after. Wizz Air actually states that seat reservations can cost as much as £60!
Do You Always Have to Pay for a Seat Reservation on Ryanair and Wizz Air?
No, you don’t. You can choose to skip seat selection but the problem is they often allocate you a less desirable seat. This could be a middle seat or if you’re travelling with others, a seat at completely different ends of the plane.
However, this leads us perfectly onto this Wizz Air and Ryanair seat hack.
How Do You Get Free Extra Legroom or Upfront Seat on Ryanair and Wizz Air?
Airlines like to allocate passengers the ‘bad’ seats first. Why? Well, they’re hoping you’ll be a little disgruntled with what you’re given and opt to pay for another seat – perhaps an aisle or a window, a seat up front, or a seat next to someone you’re travelling with.
Yet, it’s exactly this business practice that reveals a little loophole that we like to call the Wizz Air and Ryanair seat hack.
If the airline is assigning the worst seats on a plane as people check in, as you get closer to the check in deadline, what’s going to be left?
The best seats.
And so this hack hinges on the very simple concept of you waiting as long as you can to check in.
What Are the Best Flight Seats on Ryanair and Wizz Air?
Of course, the ‘best seat’ is different for every person but you only need to look at how the prices jump for certain seats to know which ones are the most desirable.
In order, these tend to be up front seats (allowing for a quick and easy exit off the plane), extra legroom seats (for obvious reasons) and finally seats together if you’re booking for more than one person.
In general, the least desirable seats are middle seats, and seats located in the middle to the back of the plane due to the possibility of you getting off the plane last.
When Should I Check In to Get the Best Flight Seats on Ryanair and Wizz Air?
Check in opens 24 hours before for both Ryanair and Wizz Air. It’s here where you’re given the final chance to pay for a seat, or skip that part and let the airline overlords decide where you’re going to sit.
Essentially, the name of the game here is to wait until most people have checked in before you do so.
The Wizz Air and Ryanair seat hack is essentially a game of check in chicken.
But overall, the most important thing is that you remember to check in. Ryanair check in closes 2 hours before departure and Wizz Air check in closes 3 hours before.
What if the Flight Is Overbooked?
Airlines do sometimes overbook flights – it’s to do with the fact that on average, 5% of passengers do not show up for flights. Therefore, there is a small risk that if you’re one of the last people to check in, you could discover that there’s no seat waiting for you.
This doesn’t happen often but it is worth knowing all the possibilities. If this does happen, the airline would have to find you a new flight and give you compensation.
However, I have a much better strategy.
The great thing about both of these airlines is that you’re able to check on the seat plan throughout the day, meaning you can monitor the situation as the time ticks down to your flight.
What I often find is that with around 8 hours to go, most people have checked in and there’s often only the ‘good’ seats left. That’s when I’ll check in so that I can feel reassured it’s all sorted.
What Seats Have You Got for Free in the Past?
This hack has worked quite a few times for me now – in fact, I think it would pain me a lot to actually pay for my seats on a low cost airline!
Are You Guaranteed the Best Seats on the Plane?
Absolutely not. You’re also not necessarily going to be sat with the person you’re checking in with when you use this Wizz Air and Ryanair seat hack, though it has worked out that way for me a couple of times.
However, if you’re not going to pay for seats anyway it is a case of ‘what do you have to lose?’. And remember, in most cases you will still get the option to change your seat after you’ve been assigned one. So if you’re not happy with your result, you can always opt to pay.
Does the Ryanair Seat Hack Work on easyJet and British Airways?
The core reason why this seat hack works so well on Ryanair and Wizz Air is because they actively split individuals travelling together up, placing them in middle seats in the hope they’ll pay to move.
As easyJet and British Airways don’t tend to split groups up, this hack doesn’t have the same impact. Actually, I’m more likely to check in early for those airlines to know that we’ll be sat together.
It’s not to say it couldn’t work for the ‘better’ seats, but I’d be more likely to test that out when travelling alone.