Like most low-cost airlines, Jetstar does not give much away for free. This includes seat selection. Choosing your seat of choice on a Jetstar flight typically costs at least $5 for a regular seat or even more for an “extra legroom” or “up-front” seat. But there is a trick to get the seat you want for free.

If you purchase a Jetstar bundle, this will generally include free standard seat selection, meaning you can choose your seat at the time of booking. However the bundle itself does cost money and it isn’t always available. For example, if you book a “price beat” ticket, you won’t be able to purchase a bundle.

Previously, you would have been able to wait until check-in opened, then choose a seat for free. Check-in generally opens 48 hours before the flight. However, Jetstar recently began charging for a choice of seat even at check-in. So, if you wanted to choose a seat when you checked in, you’d need to pay or otherwise be allocated a seat randomly. Fortunately there is a loophole here. If you check in on Jetstar’s mobile site, you will still currently be able to allocate yourself a seat for free.

If you use the mobile site (you can do so on a desk-top computer if you need to) then you are allocated a seat when you start the check-in process. You can then change it free of charge just as it always was with both sites.

If you wish to print your boarding pass, don’t worry. You can always check-in on your phone, then go to the full website to print your boarding pass.

…when changing the seat via the mobile site, i find that the confirmation boarding pass is never sent to my email address, to overcome this just go back to the normal site and go to online check-in, type in your reference number and email address and it will say that you have already checked in and then just click re-print boarding pass.

A number of members have reported being allocated a dreaded middle seat when leaving it to chance. If you did have a seat randomly allocated to you online and were unhappy, you may still be able to change it. However the only way to do this would be to go to the check-in counter after arriving at the airport. Even then, Jetstar say you would need to pay to change your seat. If you have lounge access, some members have suggested asking in the lounge. This could work in airports like Melbourne, where Qantas Club staff have access to Jetstar’s systems.

There is one final trick for snagging exit row or extra legroom seats. If an exit row seat remains empty when you arrive at the airport, you can ask the check-in agent if the seat is available. In some cases, they will let you sit there for free if you ask nicely.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]