Martin Lewis reveals how families can sit together for FREE on BA, Easyjet and Virgin flights this summer and save £250

MARTIN LEWIS’ MoneySavingExpert.com has revealed how families can avoid forking out an extra £250 to sit together on flights this summer.

The consumer champion’s website shared in its latest newsletter how you can save cash by not coughing up extra for allocated seating.

Martin Lewis' MSE has revealed how you can sit together as a family and not pay extra

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Martin Lewis’ MSE has revealed how you can sit together as a family and not pay extraCredit: PA

Airlines rely on families being worried about forking out more to be sat together, but in most cases you don’t have to pay for the privilege.

You can usually just buy your tickets, then check in online as early as possible and you will most likely be able to sit together, it revealed.

All of the major airlines, bar Ryanair, told MSE, that their seat allocation systems will always try and group people on the same booking together.

So if you check in as soon as possible, you should be able to sit with you and your children in the same area.

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Of course, you are not guaranteed seats together, particularly if you are on a flight where lots of people have paid to reserve them.

However, MSE explained: “If you’re willing to take a small risk to save some cash, this is a no-brainer.”

Once you’ve booked your flight away this summer, find out the exact date and time check-in opens.

Then set yourself a reminder to do it as soon as possible so you can move fast to snag seats together.

Bear in mind as well, while plenty of airlines charge you extra for allocated seating, this isn’t always the case.

Virgin Atlantic lets passengers select their own standard seat for free once check-in has opened.

I got £575 in free cash by following simple Martin Lewis trick

British Airways lets you select a seat for free at check-in if you have checked in a hold bag too.

MSE’s latest newsletter also revealed a way you can guarantee to be sat next to your children on a flight.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the regulator, says airlines should “aim to sit parents close to children”.

This may mean you are seated one row in front or behind or your child.

Options for holiday spending if you don’t want to exchange currency

THERE are several specialist cards that can give you a great exchange rate.

These cards include travel credit cards and pre-paid cards which can let you pay abroad without fees or at a set exchange rate.

Travel credit cards: Travel credit cards allow you to spend money abroad without being hit by any fees or hidden charges.

But, they may still charge you for taking cash out.

We recommend the Halifax’s Clarity Card as it won’t charge you for using it abroad, nor are there any fees for withdrawing cash.

But you will be charged interest if you don’t repay your balance in full at a rate of 19.9 per cent.

And you will be charged interest on cash withdrawals until your balance is paid off too, at a rate of between 19.9 and 27.95 per cent depending on your credit score.

In other words, just because you are using plastic abroad doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay these credit cards off like you normally would.

Always pay off your balance before the end of the month with these cards to make sure that any money you saved isn’t wiped away by paying interest.

For more on travel credit cards you can read our guide here.

Pre-paid cards: An alternative to carrying cash around is to get a pre-paid card.

These cards allow you to put a set amount of cash on the card at a fixed exchange rate.

So if the rate is good at the moment, you can put money on your card and it will stay that rate when you are on holiday.

Just keep in mind that these cards can sometimes have hidden costs and charges so be sure to read the small print.

The CAA also says you should not have to pay to avoid a situation where your child is staying in a different part of the aircraft.

These aren’t firm rules which means airlines don’t have to abide by them, but most airlines policies will guarantee children can sit next to at least one adult in your group.

How else to save money going abroad this summer

It’s not just being savvy with your seating that can save you money on your trip abroad this summer.

Here’s a few other tips to cut costs.

Book at the right time

Booking your holiday at the right time, depending on the destination, can save you thousands of pounds.

Skyscanner has a tool that lets you enter where you want to travel and it tells you the cheapest time to book.

The price comparison site also found the week commencing August 19 is usually the cheapest week to fly over the summer holidays.

Book on the right day

The Parent’s Social Francesca De Franco previously told The Sun searching for your flights as close to midnight on a Tuesday or Wednesday is the best time to get a bargain.

Skyscanner analysis also shows Tuesdays are the best day of the week to book, as many airlines release their sales late on Monday evening or early on Tuesday morning.

Buy online – but not through travel agents

Mystery shoppers for consumer champion Which? paid multiple visits to Co-Op Travel, Hays, Kuoni and Tui branches and found a couple could have saved, on average, £252 on a one-week holiday in Spain by booking the same holiday online themselves instead.

In the most extreme example, they found seven nights in Spain was £887 cheaper online compared to Kuoni’s quote.

Experts warn holidaymakers to be extra cautious of online travel agents slapping on extra fees.

Another piece of research from Which? found booking a flight through some online travel agents can be more than £100 more expensive than booking direct with airlines, once you add in the cost of luggage and seats.  

That’s because comparison sites and online agents have cheaper headline prices, but then charge more for the extras.

For instance, when Which? searched for a cheap flight to Orlando, eDreams quoted £556 for a return flight from London Gatwick with British Airways – but to book directly with BA, you’d pay £558 – £2 more. 

However, once Which? added in hold luggage and a seat, the price through eDreams shot up to £814. BA quoted £712 for the same flight with the same extras – £102 less.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing money-sm@news.co.uk.

Plus, you can join our Sun Money Chats and Tips Facebook group to share your tips and stories


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