Economy Plus: The plus will cost you extra

Tracy Stewart, February 04, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I ran across an entry in your "travel Q & A" section

    titled "Avoiding the Coach Crunch". Considering your site is I think
    intended to provide expert information on travel I was surprised to
    read; "Currently, the only major airline that sells economy seats with
    some extra leg room at no extra cost is JetBlue, which spaces the
    seats at the back of the plane with a few extra inches" Being a travel expert and knowing that AA removed their extra room I assume you can't have missed the heavily advertised Economy Plus seating provided by United. They provide 36" of seat pitch in the forward 1/3rd of the economy cabin which is on average 3-4" more than other carriers economy. It is a huge difference to me for anything over 2 hours and is the trump card that has kept me loyal through their other troubles.
    Did you really miss it or does Jet Blue somehow compensate you in a
    way other airlines like United don't?

    A. You're right, except that you have to be an upper tier frequent flyer
    or you have to pay extra for Economy Plus. They have an annual program
    for something like $300 a year where you get Economy Plus if no one else higher
    on the pecking order has already bought seats (it's not guaranteed).

    JetBlue doesn't charge for the extra room, and it's in all Airbus
    planes. They actually did it, by the way, because they figured out
    that they could eliminate one flight attendant by reducing the number
    of seats. It wasn't primarily to give people more room.

    And, for the record, United gives us a $6 commission for every flight booked through our affiliate link. JetBlue pays us $0. I find your implication a bit insulting.