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A nice option.....

Quantas will soon be offering a "Neighbour Free" seat option, which allows passengers to buy the seat next to them for a small extra charge so they have more room.....

I'm sure this will be a popular option and hopefully other airlines will also adopt it.

Posted by
9206 posts

Sounds really good, but how can the airline afford this i wonder?

Posted by
14150 posts

Read the fine print....

--only offered on some domestic flights

--if available you will be emailed between 48 hours and one hour before the flight.

--it can still be taken away from you if the seat is needed (you will gat a refund).

--it must stay empty. No excess baggage.

Posted by
2064 posts

I'm sure this will be a popular option and hopefully other airlines will also adopt it

DOUBTFUL ... this isn't the same as booking Preferred Seats on Air Canada Domestic flights that gets you the much needed legroom - better to spend your money on legroom than elbow room.

Posted by
8203 posts

So, if the flight is not full, they want to charge you for the seat that would have been empty anyway? That sounds like gambling to me. And another point of contention between passengers - the window seat person pays for the empty middle, but the aisle person benefits too. Or a whole new fight to have when people are asking you to give up your seat(s).

But maybe they're thinking this would be good for the overly large passengers who need 1 1/2 seats.

Posted by
18942 posts

Question: how can the airline afford this ... ?

Answer: because it's not going to cost them anything.

It's not that they won't sell the seat if someone wants it; it's just that if there are any "unsold" seats on the aircraft, they will sell one to you (for $20). So, if there are unsold seats on the aircraft, and you don't pay them, they will make sure the open seat is more likely not next to you.

It's kind of like the way the Mafia used to sell people insurance (you paid the Mafia to insure that the Mafia wouldn't kill you).

Airlines are getting briliantly creative at selling you things that don't cost them any money.

A few years ago, Robin, my partner, and I flew from Oakland to Denver on a Frontier flight. When we purchased the tickets, they would have charged us something, I don't remember how much, to select seats. So we opted out; it was only a 2½ hr flight. and we felt we could be separated for that long. My seat assignment was about 29 rows behind her.

When we boarded the aircraft, and the flight crew discovered that Robin uses supplemental oxygen, and that they might have to assist her if she was sitting by herself, they miraculously discouvered that the middle seat next to her was empty, and moved be into it, so I could assist her with the oxygen.

Posted by
9206 posts

Lee, does not surprise me.

But airline employees can be generous as well. We flew Heathrow to SF a few days ago and were given two upgraded seats for no apparent reason. They were offered by the guy checking us in and gratefully accepted by us. He also offered to check our two 21”carry-on rollers for no extra charge (normally £100 each).

Posted by
4358 posts

I did buy an empty seat on Air New Zealand in Jan 2019. The offer was NZ$99 from Auckland to Chicago, 15 hours, and I thought it would be worthwhile for the extra room, we were the aisle seats in the central 3 seat section of a 3-3-3 seat arrangement. It was great because the person who needed to nap could take the empty center seat and not worry about getting constantly banged as always happens when in an aisle seat.

As an aside, the wait at the airport was over an hour to get to the customer service counter, the guy took pity on me and gave me the spare seat at no charge.

Arguably an empty seat adjacent is preferable to a "comfort" seat with more legroom but the same narrow seat. I can point my knees at at angle toward the empty seat just fine.

Posted by
9206 posts

I would choose an empty seat next to me over more leg room any day.