MoneySavingExpert reveals how you can sit with friends & family for free on flights – saving up to £240 in seat charges

NEXT time you go to book your seats with your family on a flight, think again and you could save hundreds of pounds.

MoneySavingExpert has revealed how can still sit with your kids or your mates without having to pay a penny.

Budget airlines including Ryanair and easyJet charge passengers for seat reservations when booking a flight as an additional extra.

However, this can cost families as much as £240 if trying to book a group of seats together.

Thankfully, you may not need to book them at all, according to experts.

MoneySavingExpert explained: "Airlines rely on the fear factor to convince you to cough up for allocated seating – passengers worry if they don't pay up, they'll be split up."

They added: “With most airlines, if you DON'T pay and just check in online as early as you can, you WILL get to sit with the rest of your group – as long as seats are still available.”

"So check in as soon as you're able to and you should get to sit together, as long as there are seats available next to each other that haven't been snapped up by folk who paid to reserve."

This means keen travellers who check in as soon as it opens are likely to find themselves sat together anyway – if you're willing to take the risk.

However, they said this was not the case for some airlines such as Ryanair, who are known for allocating seats randomly.

Here is the full list of when airlines open the check in process:

  • EasyJet – 30 days before
  • British Airways – 24 hours before
  • Jet2 – 14 days before
  • TUI – 48 hours before
  • Virgin – 24 hours before

If you're a single traveller, you also don't need to book a seat beforehand – and could even end up in an extra leg-room seat without paying, depending on availability.

Of course, it is worth remembering it is all a gamble – and if you want a specific seat, it is worth booking ahead to avoid missing out.

We've revealed which are the best and worst seats on each airline, depending on leg room, best window view and proximity to the toilets.

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