JetBlue To Charge For Extra Legroom

JetBlue announced yesterday that they’ll be reconfiguring their Airbus A320 fleet to include several rows of seating with 38″ of pitch. These “Even More Legroom” seats will be available to you—for a small fee.

Starting April 1, the airline will be charging between $10 and $20 for four more inches of legroom in rows 2-5. CEO David Barger says the new roomier seats don’t come at the expense of other passengers:

“Lots of Legroom, free TVs, generous snacks and friendly service are all part of the core JetBlue Experience, and these in-flight perks will always be provided at no extra cost to the customer,” said Dave Barger, CEO of JetBlue Airways. “Our new value-added legroom product gives customers the option to make their flight even more comfortable and enjoyable with Even More Legroom, but not at the expense of other customers.”

We wondered if JetBlue was able to violate the laws of physics so we asked them how it was possible to give more legroom to a few without taking it away from others.

Here’s the magic: Rows 1-11 used to have 36″ of pitch while the rest of the plane had 34″. (The industry average is a knee-torturing 31″.) Now rows 2-5 will have 38″ and the rest will have 34″.

We also asked what would happen if all the regular seats were sold out. Does JetBlue anticipate dealing with a lot of parents upset that they have to pay an extra $10 for legroom for an 8-year-old?

“If “Even More Legroom” seats are the only seats available, and the customers do not request or want an “Even More Legroom” seat, we will not require them to pay the fee,” said Alison from JetBlue.

JetBlue Airways Reveals an Option to Exercise Even More Legroom (Press Release) [JetBlue]
(Photo:meghannmarco)