Pick a Seat, Pay a Fee

Tracy Stewart, July 13, 2010
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I went to purchase and select seats on Airtran recently and imagine my surprise when there was a $6 charge to get a specific seat assignment. I understand the premium for extra legroom or exit row seats but for a regular seat? With connecting flights for my wife and me, for a roundtrip that adds $48 for the two of us. I felt like calling them and saying "no thanks, I will just stand during the flight". Do other airlines charge for seat assignments?

    A. Fortunately, most airlines based in the U.S. do not. Southwest doesn’t offer seat assignments at all, paid or not; Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Airlines do charge to pick a seat (any seat). British Airways even charges business class customers to choose seats more than 24 hours ahead of departure.

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