Air  Travel, Assigned Seating

Shop For Seat Assignments and Connection Times

Shop on the web well ahead of your travel day for the best price while keeping in mind the connection times.  Once you find a good flight call the airline and see if you can get a better deal and a good seat.  
Book on the web and choose the seat on the web if you are flying with an airline that is difficult to reach by phone.
If you do book online, call the airline and change your seat assignment to a seat as far forward as possible.  If you can do this the ride will be quieter and more comfortable and you will leave the airplane sooner to make your connecting flight.
Above all, try to get a seat assignment as early as possible.  You should have a choice of an aisle or window, back or forward and especially, if you are traveling with a companion or your family, seats together.
Another good reason for the assigned seat is that when airlines overbook, the people without seat assignments who arrive at the terminal late could go on standby.  

Air travel once came with assigned seats. 

This was important to your comfort and the reduction of anxiety, especially for families who wanted to travel together.
Air travel has changed as the airlines compete and look for ways to increase revenue: extra charges for luggage, extra charges for seating forward.

Confirm Your Flight

Confirm your flight and seat assignment well ahead of your flight and then again with a phone call (or web click) 24 hours before flight time. Let them check your seat assignment (a double check) and make sure the flight is still scheduled.  (not possible with some US airlines)

Shop For Airlines That Do Assign Seats

Look to get the best possible seat assignment for your needs.  All seats in coach are not the same. Some are smaller due to the shape of the plane, seats at the back row do not recline, and others are too close to the lavatory and will subject you to steady aisle traffic.
Seats at the exit rows will have more legroom but will not have storage in front of you for your carry-on luggage.

Air  Travel, Assigned Seating

Shop For Assigned Seating

Some airlines hold back assigning seats  until you arrive at the airport or until you pay an extra fee.  They want passengers who want to sit further forward in the plane to pay an additional cost.  
Some of the on-line sellers are also asking additional fees for assigned seats. This can add cost for families who would like to travel together and on the same plane.   
Most travelers are already feeling the stress of security preparations, transportation to the airport and flying itself.  If you arrive at the airport without an assigned seat anxiety increases.
You might be able to get an assigned seat by establishing a frequent flier account with your airline if it is one that holds back assigning seats.  Otherwise you might be required to pay an additional fee to secure an assigned seat. 
Shop well ahead with the airline websites and the on-line sellers that do assign seats

Air  Travel, Assigned Seating is difficult to find in US airliners as the carriers hold back the forward seat for passengers that will pay extra
Air  travel with assigned seating is important to your comfort and the reduction of anxiety, especially if you travel as a family.  
Get  an assigned seat before you arrive at the airport
by shopping for an airline that does assign seats
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