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New Service - Empty Side Seat
Updated on 20 Mar 2024

TAP Air Portugal offers the Empty Side Seat auxiliary service. This service is available to all passengers with a confirmed Economy Class ticket on TAP and TAP Express-operated flights.  This service allows passengers to buy a seat adjacent to their own or an entire row on the flight they are travelling on.


1. Verify at online check-in


If this service is available for the passenger's booking, it will appear as an option in the online check-in flow.

2. Select the seats to lock


Choose the empty seat(s) next to the passenger you want to book in Economy Class.

3. Make the payment


Pay for the selected empty seat(s). After successful payment, the passenger will receive a confirmation e-mail.


Service conditions

This auxiliary service has been trialled since October on just a few routes. We have now extended the novelty to the entire TAP operation.

The Empty Side Seat is available from 36 hours before departure until 2 hours before the flight.

The service is only available via online check-in for Economy Class bookings and on flights operated by TAP or on its behalf and by TAP Express.

The service will only appear in the online check-in flow if all availability conditions are met. Also for operational, safety or security reasons, there may be changes in the service, even after you board the aircraft.

This service is not endorsable or transferable.

Prices vary depending on the route and the number of seats booked.


Who can benefit

All passengers with a confirmed TAP Air Portugal Economy Class ticket (047) on flights operated by TAP or operated on its behalf and by TAP Express can take advantage of this service.

The system automatically allocates the passenger's seat and the adjacent seat or row. Passengers can also access the seat map and change the seat allocation to another seat, however, once the purchase has been made, passengers cannot change seats again or they will lose the service.

The Empty Side Seat can only be blocked in the same row adjacent to the seat originally booked. It is not possible to purchase the Empty Side Seat for the Emergency Row seat type.



The Free Side Seat service does not apply to medical cases or the accommodation of special cabin luggage.  

A passenger travelling in Economy Class who, for medical reasons, requires, for example, leg support seats. In this case, a medical assessment must be presented and TAP must be contacted in advance and the passenger's ticket must be updated with the applicable fare. See our page about Medical Cases and Extra Seat Booking for more details and the necessary forms. 

If the passenger wishes to bring cabin baggage or bulky items into the cabin, they must contact TAP directly, and in advance, as the number of extra seats made available by the airline depends on the volume/weight of the baggage and is subject to the issue of a ticket associated with that extra seat. See the page on Special Cabin Baggage.


How to book

The Empty Side Seat is only available online, via web check-in.

Depending on the equipment, if a passenger is on a single booking, they can block 1 to 3 adjacent seats.

The maximum number of passengers who can benefit from this service also varies depending on the unit, as it depends on the number of seats per row. 

Example: for a facility with a row of 4 seats, the maximum number of passengers allowed on a single PNR will be 3.
The PNR can be split to match the maximum number of passengers allowed, and the passenger must request this from the agency or TAP before checking in online. 

Please note that they may be allocated to different seats/rows, as they will be two different PNRs.

Confirmation and payment

The passenger will receive a confirmation e-mail with the flight information, the number of seats purchased, the seats allocated and the total amount charged.

The amount is charged immediately after confirmation of the Empty Side Seat.

When Boarding

The Empty Side Seat guarantee will be reconfirmed during boarding. 

Blocked seats will not be indicated on the boarding pass. This seat will be blocked in our system and other passengers will not be able to select the seat already booked.

The cabin crew will help optimise the empty side seat experience on board and this information will be available internally.

Cancellation and Refund

If the Empty Side Seat allocated to the passenger is not available, a full refund will be made in the same form of payment.

Due to special conditions, operational or otherwise, which prevent passengers from taking advantage of the Empty Side Seat service during the flight, an email will be sent confirming the cancellation of the Empty Side Seat reservation and a refund will be made.


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