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Booking a Delta Air Lines flight and wondering about Delta’s seat selection? It’s no wonder — with differing benefits for elite members and strict restrictions on basic economy tickets, figuring out how and when to choose your Delta seat can quickly become overwhelming.
Here's a look at Delta seat assignments, how Delta Air Lines’ seating system works and the costs of choosing a seat.
How Delta seat selection works
Delta operates a variety of cabin classes on its aircraft, including economy, Premium Select, first class and Delta One seats.
Like most airlines, Delta will allow you to select your seat when booking, though the cost to do so and any upcharges will vary depending on the flight you’re taking. Those flying with families and wondering “does Delta seat families together?” are in luck. Delta does its best to seat families together, even after check-in.
» Learn more: Delta vs. United, which is best for you?
Delta seat selection fees
According to an analysis of airline fees by NerdWallet, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines charge the least for seat selection, while budget airlines Frontier and Spirit charge the most.
Delta sits in the middle, charging an average of $15-plus for each flight that you'd like to select a seat for. The cost will vary depending on the type of ticket you book with the airline — which we'll discuss next.
» Learn more: How to navigate costly airline seat selection fees
Ticket types and seat selection rules
How much is seat selection on Delta Air Lines? That will depend on the ticket type you’re purchasing, be it basic economy, main cabin, Premium Select (premium economy), first class or Delta One.
Basic economy tickets have the most restrictions of any Delta ticket, and this extends to seat selection. Those who book basic economy tickets won't be able to select seats; instead, a seat will be randomly assigned to each passenger after check-in. This includes families and groups who are traveling together — expect to be split up when booking a basic economy ticket.
If you reserve a basic economy ticket, it’s possible to purchase a specific seat starting seven days before departure. Pricing for this varies by trip and is priced by segment.
Main cabin seating, also known as regular economy, includes complimentary seat selection. As a main cabin customer, you also have the option to purchase an upgrade to preferred or Delta Comfort Plus seats while remaining an economy class passenger.
You can also book upgraded economy tickets with additional seat selection perks:
Main Cabin Preferred: Main Cabin Preferred seats are functionally the same as regular main cabin seats. The difference lies in the seat location; Main Cabin Preferred seats are typically window and aisle seats nearer to the front of the plane, plus exit rows. These are the least expensive upgrades from standard economy seating.
Comfort Plus: When available, a Delta Comfort Plus ticket can be purchased directly while booking and the price will include seat selection. The cost to upgrade is higher than for a preferred seat in main cabin. Comfort Plus features more legroom than main cabin and offers passengers dedicated overhead bins. In addition, Comfort Plus guests will receive complimentary beer and wine on all domestic and short-haul international flights.
Premium Select is Delta’s version of premium economy, with larger seats and better recline, two free checked bags, earlier boarding and premium extras. Those who book Premium Select can choose any seat within the cabin for no additional fee.
Delta One and first class
Both first class and Delta One ticket holders can choose any seat within their cabin for free. These spacious seats come with two free checked bags, premium snacks and meals, priority boarding, and a dedicated flight attendant.
Delta Air Lines seats for elite members
Main Cabin Preferred
When booking main cabin tickets, all four tiers of elite status members can select main cabin preferred seats for no additional charge.
» Learn more: The NerdWallet guide to earning Delta SkyMiles
Platinum and Diamond level elite members (the two highest tiers) can choose Comfort Plus seats shortly after ticketing for free. Mid-tier Gold members, meanwhile, will be able to select these seats starting 72 hours prior to departure, and low-level Silver members can pick from available Comfort Plus seats starting 24 hours before departure.
Delta Air Lines seat map
You can find Delta Air Lines seating without needing to book a flight. To do so, you’ll want to first search for your preferred route on Delta’s website. On the search results page, you’ll find a variety of flights from which to choose.
Each flight presents a seat map, which you can preview by selecting "Seats."
Once you’ve picked "Seats," you’ll be taken to a new page that shows a live preview of your aircraft’s seats.
You’ll also be able to view the seat map during the booking process. Once you’ve selected your flight, you’ll be taken to another page prompting you to pick a seat.
How to select a seat on Delta Air Lines
How do I choose my seat on Delta?
The process for reserving a Delta seat is fairly simple. As we mentioned above, you’ll be able to pick seats when booking your flights on the website; Delta will automatically prompt you to do so before checkout.
If you need to choose or alter your seat after you’ve booked your flight, go to "My Trips" on the Delta homepage.
If you’re logged in already, you’ll be able to view all the trips you have booked with Delta. You’ll find seat selection options by going down to the "Passenger Information" section.
» Learn more: 6 ways to save on Delta flights
If you want to select a seat on Delta Air Lines
Delta has a variety of ticketing options available for every type of passenger. This includes the highly restrictive basic economy class ticket as well as main cabin tickets for those who prefer certainty with their seats.
Upgrading to Main Cabin Preferred and Comfort Plus seats offers better benefits for those in economy. Loyal members of Delta’s SkyMiles program can also expect to receive complimentary access to these seats and upgrades to higher classes depending on their level of status.
Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines.
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