Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

September 25, 2009


Boing Boing - British Airways has broken new exciting new ground in the race to make flying as awful as possible: they have announced a fee (ranging from L10-60 per passenger) for advance seat selection, explaining that this will be the only way that families and other groups traveling together can be assured that they'll be sitting next to each other. I wonder what happens if you don't pay it while flying with a two-year-old in her own seat; do they seat her at the other end of the plane from you and explain to the strangers on either side of her that they're responsible for her well-being for the duration? . . . BA is billing this as a way of improving the flight "experience" because you can now be certain you'll get the seat that you want.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, "World's most favorite airline" they said long time ago - forget it and fly Virgin or EasyJet

September 25, 2009 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Boffin said...

This is becoming routine on US airlines. The computer reservation systems are gimmicked so that only a handful of seats are open at any time, though more are released as they are purchased. So you end up having to pay $25-50 to get adjacent seats.

I suspect that all of these fees: luggage fees, seat fees, meal feels, and the like are an artifact of most tickets being bought on web search sites such as Orbitz and Travelocity. The flights are listed by price, and the cheapest are at the top, and presumably get the most reservations.

An airline shifting part of the fare to fees will show up with a lower "cost" on the reservation site, and a higher listing position.

September 25, 2009 6:19 PM  

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