British Airways Adds Seat-Selection Fee

With baggage fees, $3 ramen noodles and even fees to let you cut the line, we thought the airline industry had gone about as far as it could to separate passengers from their money while preserving the illusion of selling cheap tickets. But British Airways has one-upped the yanks with a new fee that gives passengers the privilege of selecting their seats more than 24 hours in advance, for a mere £10 to £60.

The BBC reports that, until now, BA passengers couldn’t reserve seats more than 24 hours in advance. As of October, though, the airline will retire its last biplane and do what just about every other airline in the world has done for years: let passengers book their seats in advance. However, on BA, the privilege — and yes, the airline does seem to treat it as such — of choosing your own seats, will cost you anywhere from £10 to £60.

A BA spokeswoman said: “Customers frequently request specific seats, but in the past we’ve only been able to confirm them 24 hours in advance or on the day. “We know people want to secure them in advance and have real control over their flying experience. This will allow them to do that.”

BA will still let the skinflints reserve their seats for free at the 24-hour mark. But consumer watchdog Which? warns of the perils facing those unwilling to ante up the extra pounds: “If you aren’t quick enough off the mark, you could find yourself sitting on the other side of the plane from your family or partner. It’s no way to start a holiday.”

British Airways sets seat charges [BBC via Boing Boing]

(Photo: daspaddy)