WASHINGTON – Travelers flying within the continental United States can expect to pay more this summer for some ‘perks’ that seem obviously a part of flying.
NDJ World | Published: May 22 2012 Travel
Since 2011 summer, U.S. airlines have already begun charging extra for families that want to sit next to each other on domestic flights. In other words, airlines are fee jacking travelers for asking for ‘specific’ seats.
Those travelers wanting to sit by the isle or by a window can now expect to pay more as well. Once again airline companies claim the fee hike is justified because travelers are asking for ‘specific’ seating when requesting those seats.
Of course everyone knows there isn’t a plane in the sky that has enough middle seats to accommodate everyone and if you get assigned an isle or window seat by the airline – without specifically asking for it – then the fee is waved as well.
AP news agency brought this story to light when one of its journalists had to dock down an additional $US114 because he wanted to sit with his wife and four year old daughter on a flight from Forth Worth, Texas to Orlando, Florida.
Most domestic carriers in the United States now charge $US25 extra per person wanting to sit in an isle or by a window.
Airline companies say isle seats and window seats are usually given to their ‘frequent flyers’ customers at no additional charge. “Consider it a perk when you fly a lot,” said one airline spokesperson who didn’t want to be identified.
Eduardo Marcos, American Airlines’ manager of merchandising strategy, was not afraid to be identified and said about the fee hikes:
“Our frequent flyers often end up sitting in the middle seat even though many times they pay two to three times more for a ticket because of last minute flying arrangements they have to make.”
“We want to give our loyal customers a better flying experience,” said Marcos.
Interestingly enough, that explanation doesn’t seem to be completely true. AP discovered that travelers booking domestic flights months in advance can have an isle or window seat without the extra fee.
American, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines and United Airlines sharply increased the total seats travelers are charged extra for when requesting them. JetBlue Airways charges more for seats that offer more leg room.
An “unwritten” rule has also been adopted by several airlines that will no longer allow passengers to ‘switch’ seats to be able to sit together with family or friends.
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