Continental Airlines newest money making scheme: paid exit row seating

The accountants at Continental airlines just announced their latest diabolical plan to squeeze more money out of us – paid exit row seating.

On March 17th, passengers in coach can add 7 inches of legroom by purchasing an exit row seat up to 24 hours before their flight. Elite program members and passengers traveling with them will get access to the seats for free.

Prices for a little extra legroom are pretty steep – USA Today quotes a $59 fee for a flight from Newark to Houston. A little math shows that Continental could be banking as much as $750,000 per day in “legroom fees”.

Of course, as with any airline, Continental spins the fee around, claiming “Our customers want more choices”. Brilliant.

Continental is not the first (nor will it be the last) to introduce these fees – JetBlue, Airtran, US Airways and Virgin America all have some form of seat upgrade program in place. British Airways even went so far as to announce a fee just for being able to select a seat.

Now the airlines have discovered how easy it is to grab a little extra cash, expect even more “innovations” in the fee department.