It’s remarkable how much airlines can get away with when they charge for seat selection. This ancillary cost has really come into its own, providing quite a revenue bump to compensate for cheap ticket prices.
With my frequent flyer status, I get free seat selection, which means I rarely see seating fees. When I do, I am happy to pay anything up to €10 with the upper teens being my limit. Anything with two at the start is not going to happen.
British Airways EuroTraveller Prices
A friend of mine recently booked flights in economy class on British Airways from Dublin to London and back. He has no status and so I got his booking reference to have a bit of a peek at the pricing.
Imagine my astonishment when I scrolled down the seat map and saw €42 for the exit row seats! €42! For a flight with around an hour in the air, that is some fee!
Right down the back of the plane, the seats are still a high €16. That’s what I pay for a seat up the front on Aer Lingus, so it’s a lot of money. Considering it’s an Embraer 190 and all the seats are the same (well… aren’t they all!), it’s surprising.
That was on a flight with BA CityFlyer to London City, so perhaps people pay the premium. On a flight from London Heathrow to Dublin, the cheapest seats are €10, perhaps reflecting both the market and the fact there are more seats to fill. That’s more reasonable!
Airlines will always charge for seat selection, so that is pretty much here to stay. I think €42 for an exit row is steep though. For tall people, I suppose there is little option but to fork out and pay it. I’d hope that was on a dirt cheap fare though!
Business class is not immune to this either, with airlines realising that people will also pay to select seats in this cabin too. Of course, the prices are even higher to reflect the perceived spending power of people flying in that cabin.
Personally, I am not a fan of paying for seats, and it’s one reason I tend to try my best to maintain a decent frequent flyer status. Do seat fees make me fly more to get them free, or do I fly more knowing I get the perk of free seats? I’m sure someone has analysed THAT one!
What is the most you’ve paid for seat selection when flying? Are you someone who pays or do you just wait for check-in? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.