Booking a flight for a group of people can be stressful business. If you find a good deal but you need to wait to confirm your time off from work or make sure your family is free to join, then you may not be able to book right away.
Additionally, flights can sell out quickly, and if you're buying your flight ticket before other people in your group, you'd want to know that there are still enough seats left for them on the plane. There are many ways to find out how many seats are left on any flight, which can be very useful to a person that's not entirely ready to lock in travel plans.
Check on the Airline's Booking Page
If you book a flight through the airline directly or through a third party, you can usually see how many seats are left on the flight. That's because when you go through the steps to put in your information, add baggage and select your seat, you're usually provided with a map that indicates which seats on the plane are still available.
When booking through a third party, such as Expedia or Travelocity, you can check the number of seats available on the plane too.
- On Expedia, look for the link that says "Preview Seat Availability," which will appear under each flight that shows up in your search.
- On Travelocity, click the "View Seats" link after you've chosen your flight.
Other Ways to Check
Unless you are booking a flight yourself and the website gives you the option to see the seat map or the number of seats remaining, there's really no way to just check. This is for security reasons. But, if it's really important that you know how many seats are available and you can't visualize that information from the website you're using to book, there is another way.
When searching for the flight you want, change the number of passengers from "1" to the number of passengers that you plan to fly with. If those number of seats are still available, then it will show you the ticket price for all the passengers combined. If there are not enough seats left to cover your party, it will tell you that the flight is not available (or it just won't show up).
Of course, if you are just curious and you want to know whether many seats are left on the flight, you can change the number of passengers to however many the platform allows you to input. For instance, Skyscanner lets you input up to 8 adult passengers. From there, you can determine if there are at least 8 seats left on the flight.
Tips for Getting All the Seats You Need
If you're concerned about not being able to book all the seats you would need on a flight, then it's recommended that you book all the tickets on one reservation. If you're traveling with family or friends, have one person book all the tickets on one credit card, and have the others send the cash. If you book on separate reservations with separate payment methods, there's always a chance that someone else may grab the seat that you need in the meantime.
Another way to ensure enough seats are left for your group is by booking group reservations. In most cases, to do this, you would need to call the airline and tell them that you want to make a group reservation. There are actually many perks to doing so because you will often get discounts, extra tickets and have the option to set up a payment plan. Best of all, though, you'll have peace of mind knowing a seat is available for everyone in your group.