Monday, 24 November 2008

Airline Economy Seat Prices Could Be Set To Change

If you have been paying attention when flying you will notice that some economy seats have extra or sometimes unlimited leg room just because they are at the front of an aisle near to the galley, or over the wing/emergency exit. If you have ever used a self service check in you may have noticed how customers are wise to this and that these seats get snapped up very quickly. However, this first come first served allocation system is quickly changing.

This month Singapore Airlines, which incidentally were voted the number one international airline in the Conde Nast Traveler Annual Readers' Choice Awards, have started to charge economy fliers for sitting in these roomier seats. Singapore Airlines charge £32 each way on all flights (except some short haul routes) for this privilege and could intend to add new categories to this pricing structure for economy seating. Air France have already introduced a £42 each way charge for the more spacious seats on flights to the USA.

This seems like a stunt the airlines have decided to pull during hard times to make extra money. If people are willing to pay for the extra room, who could blame Singapore Airlines for cashing in? I for one would not bother for a short flight but on a lengthier flight I may be persuaded. But what could this mean for you round the world ticket holders?

Well, if an introduction of extra seat categories in economy class is just around the corner, round the world ticket holders could be in for a rough ride. As these tickets offer such good value, you may get relegated to non aisle seats, on the back row where the seats may not recline, or worse still, next to the toilet. I had plenty of experience of this when I was flying on my ticket and did suspect that we were flagged up on check in and allocated less desirable seats.

So, would you be willing to spend that extra bit of cash for a better seat that you may have been appointed anyway under the current seat pricing structure? Or would you rather settle for saving the money and opt for something cheaper. Leave a comment to have your say.



At 25 November 2008 at 08:45 , Blogger Saadia said...

This kind of a price discrimination has been the norm of airlines for ages. All people may be sitting in the same economy, but there are those invisible distinctions. There are classes within economies and not everybody sitting has paid the same fare.

At 25 November 2008 at 08:53 , Blogger Saadia said...

By the way, Alex, you'll find a link to a survey on The World's Best Airports on my blog page, in the right column, where it says, Saadia's shared items. I thought that might be of interest to you.

At 26 November 2008 at 02:49 , Blogger eunice said...

Hi Alex,

Nice to be here. Where are you from? I am from Singapore, but I hardly take SQ cos I find it too costly as compared to other available flights. Thanks for your update, I just knew this piece of info from you.

At 26 November 2008 at 18:38 , Blogger Alex @ The Travel Blurb said...

Hello Eunice,

I am from the UK, London to be exact. I have flown with Singapore Airlines as part of a round the world ticket and are still the best I have flown with.

I also visited Singapore and it felt a bit like England but cleaner. You even had a Marks and Spencers! I would def go back.

I like looking at your travel pictures on your blog and well done on the award ! I will add your site to my top links

At 26 November 2008 at 18:44 , Blogger Saadia said...

Oh, Singapore is quite an Asian version of the city of London. The river, the wheel, the bridges, the has all got a very similar feel.

By the way, I flew there from Singapore Airlines too. Great service.

At 8 December 2008 at 16:35 , Blogger Saadia said...

Interesting: Canadian carriers cram to obey obesity ruling


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