Charging for better seats latest airline money-making scheme
Would you pay more for a seat by a window?
By TravelMole on 19 August 2007 in News
Carriers in recent years have been trying to formulate seat assignments as another way to generate some extra revenue
Atlanta-based AirTran in June began charging customers for advance seat reservations on discounted fares -- something Northwest Airlines started last year.
United offers "economy plus" seating, with extra legroom , at no charge -- but only to their frequent fliers.
"Airlines are realizing people prefer certain seats and they are charging extra for them," said Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.com. "Airlines are finding all sorts of creative ways to charge for extras, and my opinion is this will happen more and more."
Charging for seat assignments was an obvious next step after airlines experimented with fees for checked baggage and snacks.
AirTran now charges $15 each way to reserve an exit row seat and $5 for a window or aisle seat, allowing coach passengers to avoid the middle seat. The fee only applies to discounted fare holders, said spokesman David Hirschman, who previously could not get advance seat assignments.
Southwest built its reputation on its "all fliers are equal policy," eliminating first-class cabins and seat reservations.
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