A seat request on a Delta flight (or on any other airline) basically means that you are requesting a seat that will be assigned to you at your boarding gate. In other words, your ticket is confirmed, but you dont have a seat assignment yet, so youre essentially toward the top of the standby passenger list. Its not a big deal and has happened to me on various occasions in the past.

Graphic with a Delta ticket in it - What Does Seat Request Mean on a Delta Ticket?

Reasons you may have a Delta “seat request” include:

  • When Delta changes the aircraft for a flight (resulting in a different seating configuration on the plane.
  • If a flight is overbooked. Youve probably heard airlines asking for volunteers to give up their seats in exchange for a voucher.
  • If you miss a connection and need to have a seat re-assigned to you for your connecting flight.
  • If you havent selected a seat for yourself by flight time, or booked your flight at the last minute.
  • If your seat was available when you booked your flight, but was assigned to another passenger before you completed the transaction.
  • If youre re-booked from another flight for any reason.
  • Delta is assigning your seat at the gate in order to leave certain seats open for passengers with certain disabilities.
  • It might be for weight and balance (W&B) reasons. To make sure the weight is distributed evenly throughout an aircraft, airlines sometimes have to reassign seats.
  • If Delta is saving seats for preferred passengers.
  • Delta might reassign you a seat if they are trying to accommodate a family that wants to sit together.

If you have an unassigned seat, its a good idea to keep checking the itinerary/schedule as the day of your flight approaches to make sure everythings still OK with seats and schedules.

Related: Is Delta Comfort Plus Worth It?

Can You Choose Your Seat on a Delta Flight?

In most cases, yes, you can when you purchase your ticket. There are circumstances within which you may have a confirmed ticket, without a seat assignment, so your seat will be assigned after you check in for your flight, at the gate. Instead of a seat number on your ticket, it will say Seat Request. There are various reasons you may have a ticket but no seat assignment yet, including that the flight was simply overbooked, or because you missed a connecting flight and have to travel on a different aircraft (and still need to have a seat assigned).

Related: What Size Luggage Can Hold 50 LBS

Why Does Delta Assign Some Seats at the Gate?

There are a number of reasons Delta (or another airline) might assign you a seat until youre checked in for the flight, and at the gate. Flights get overbooked sometimes, special needs passengers (or families) need to be accommodated, or perhaps you simply missed a connecting flight, but still need a seat assignment on a different flight. Its possible to have a confirmed ticket for a flight, but without an assigned seat yet.

It also allows for frequent flyers who book their flights at the last minute (or who are flying Same-Day Confirmed or Same Day Standby) to get a better selection from the remaining unassigned seats. If a flight is booked full or near full capacity, sometimes the only remaining seats are near the back, between two other passengers, so last-minute seat assignments help avoid this.

video #1 Travelonthefly.com

What Happens If I Don’t Reserve a Seat on a Delta Flight?

If you booked your flight at the last minute, or if a flight is overbooked, you might find yourself flying with a Seat Request status. This is like being at the top of the standby passenger list. You have a confirmed ticket for the flight, just no assigned seat. These types of seats are assigned at the gate at the discretion of the gate representative. This works out well for travelers who are traveling by themselves and is a sometimes necessary procedure for Delta (and other airlines). 

Is It Worth Paying For Seat Selection?

Its common for air travelers to book a flight, then have to select a seat. Many airlines now charge for in-demand seat assignments, like those near the front of the plane, aisle seats, or window seats. 

Should you pay for a seat selection? There are a variety of opinions on this, but basically, it just depends on how much its worth it to you to be comfortable. You might not want to get a leftover seat, sitting way in the back of the plane between two other passengers.

Why does my Delta ticket say “Seat at Gate”?

A Delta ticket that says Seat at Gate or Seat Request means just that. You have a confirmed ticket for your flight, but no assigned seat yet. It means youre essentially at the top, or near the top, of the standby passenger list. Delta and other airlines sometimes overbook flights and need to reassign some seats at the gate, or for some other reason, like if a passenger missed a connecting flight and needs to have a seat reassigned.

Is a Delta “Seat Request” the Same as on Standby?

Not exactly, but close. Delta Seat Request tickets mean that you have a confirmed ticket, but no seat assigned yet. There are a number of reasons for your being issued a Seat Request ticket that include a flight having been overbooked, if youve missed a connecting flight and have to have a seat reassigned to you on another flight, etc. Seat Request tickets are essentially at the top of the standby passenger list.

What Happens If You Don’t Have an Assigned Seat on Delta?

If youve purchased a ticket for a Delta flight, you may find yourself with a seat confirmed, but without a seat assignment yet. This means that youre essentially at the top of the standby passenger list and that your seat will be assigned at the gate. This could happen for a number of reasons, including an overbooked flight, a passenger missing a connecting flight and needing to be assigned a seat on another aircraft, or to accommodate a special needs passenger. Sometimes, it might just be so that Delta can accommodate a family that wants to sit together.

So: What Does “Seat Request” Mean on a Delta Ticket?

Remember, if your Delta flight ticket says seat request it basically means your ticket is confirmed, but you dont have a seat assignment yet, so you will be assigned one at the gate. Its like being at the top (or near the top) of the standby passenger list. 

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