Earlier this week, I was looking into booking an international flight on American Airlines.  I was quite dismayed when I got to the seat selection process.  Why?

Because the seat availability option looks like this:



Do You See A Problem?

The problem isn’t that there aren’t any seats. The problem is that the only seats I can potentially pick are all middle seats.  Any aisle or window seats will cost more.

You could make a case that Main Cabin Extra seats should cost more because those seats at least offer a tangible difference.  Those come with “extra legroom, preferred boarding, and free alcohol on flights with full drink service.”

That is not to say I’ve never paid add-on fees.  I’ve paid for seat selection before on Delta (at a reasonable $9) to get upgraded to Delta Comfort with extra legroom.   But these “preferred seats” that cost $71 – $84 more?  Those fees are a real sham.

Why?  Because those are just “standard” seats.

“Favorable location” is just another way of saying those are aisle or window seats.  Every plane has them. Why should those seats be charged a premium? If friends and family wants to travel together, they will either all have to sit in the middle seats or shell out more for “preferred” (standard) seats.

I think that’s an sham fee that really should be eliminated.