Not a fan of mob scenes at the gate? Then you're probably not all that fond of the long wait to deplane either. Sure, a seat in Business Class would remedy both, but...meh...too much money. American Airlines now offers a compromise by way of their new Express Seats option, allowing passengers to purchase seats in the first few rows of Coach, including bulkhead. Passengers booked in Express Seats are also boarded in Group 1 of general boarding, meaning less time spent waiting in a crowded gate, less time spent waiting to deplane.

Express Seats are available exclusively for sale at the self-service kiosks upon check-in at the airport, anytime from 24 hours to 50 minutes prior to departure, only for domestic travel.

Pricing will vary by destination and length of flight, though lists the following "introductory" examples:

$19 for St. Louis to Chicago O'Hare
$29 for San Francisco to Dallas/Fort Worth
$29 for Boston to Chicago O'Hare
$39 for New York JFK to Los Angeles
$39 for Chicago O'Hare to Honolulu

Not entirely unreasonable we suppose. What do you think? Would you fork up $78 for a round-trip flight for the privilege of sitting in "upper" Coach?

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