Published On: Mon, Jul 15th, 2019

Martin Lewis: Money Saving Expert travel advice including free airline seat changes

Many airlines have a policy of making passengers pay to ensure they can sit with their friends and family.

Holidaymakers feel disgruntled at the idea of paying for this, especially when it comes to ensuring they are sat with their children.

Martin Lewis appeared on ITV today to offer a way to get around this extra charge.

Martin Lewis appeared on This Morning today to give his travel money tips.

The Money Saving Expert spoke to Ruth and Eamonn today about holidays.

He said: “The big summer get away is on. Nearly half the nation will be jetting off over the next few weeks – and some, have already gone.”

Martin revealed how family and friends can avoid paying to sit together on budget flights. He said: “Time it right and you can do it for free.”

It’s all down to when you book your seats by checking in.

“Gone are the days where you’re guaranteed to sit next to your friends and family when flying without paying,” Martin said.

“Instead airlines now 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.

“A family of four could easily pay up to £240 extra to guarantee they sit together on return flights.”

This can all be avoided, according to Martin, with clever timing. He said: “Most airlines (except Ryanair) have said that their seat allocation systems will always try to seat groups on the same booking together.

“So as long as you check in online as early as possible, you will get to sit with the rest of your group – as long as seats are still available.

“Of course there are no guarantees – for that, you’ll have to pay. So be ready to pounce on the first check in times…”

Best time to check in online

British Airways – 24 hours before

Easyjet – 30 days before

Emirates – 48 hours before

Flybe – 36 hours before

Jet 2 – 28 days before

Norwegian – 24 hours before

Thomas Cook – 24 hours before

Tui – 7 days before

Virgin – 24 hours before

Martin also revealed you can check if your hotel is cheaper now, and save money.

“Whether you’ve booked via a travel agent or direct with the hotel, check to see if your hotel room is now cheaper.

“If so, and you’ve free cancellation, cancel and rebook.”

The Amazon Prime sale is on now, and Martin revealed you can save 50 per cent. Martin said the annual Prime day sale will start next week and shoppers with a Prime account will be able to get some great deals.

He explained: “From 12.01am on Monday 15 July until 11.59pm on Tuesday 16 July, Amazon’s running it’s annual Prime day sale, which means it’ll be pumping out thousands of flash discounts for its Prime members only.

“Some deals will last for the whole two days, others for 24 hours, and some ‘Lightning Deals’ will be launched as often as every five minutes and last for a limited time.”

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