Airline Trends: Fliers To Be Charged Extra For Window Seats

While you can usually purchase your flight ticket and then reserve any seat you’d like in your section, airlines are beginning to charge extra for window seats. Certain airlines, like Delta, American Airlines, US Airways, Frontier, Spirit and Allegiant, have already implemented the “preferred seating” fees, charging $29 each way on domestic flights in the U.S. and $59 on international flights in the front section of the plane.

Aside for having to spend extra money, doing this also creates a problem for passengers who want to sit with their family and friends. By setting aside these more desirable seats, the airlines are making it difficult for people traveling together to always be seated near one another. Not surprisingly, these fees are part of a bigger plan to make up for rising fuel charges by adding fees to things that passengers are used to having included, like pillows, blankets, movies and beverages.

Of course, this isn’t how the airlines are spinning it. Katie Hulme, a spokesperson for Delta, explained to CNN, “Offering preferred seats for sale to all Delta passengers means that we are offering different seat selection options to enable more passengers to travel in their seat of choice.”

What do you think of preferred seating charges?

[photo via VirtualErn]

Aisle seat people or window seat people – who would win in a fight?

So. In a fight — not an an airplane — who do you think would win: aisle seat people or window seat people?

We asked this question on Facebook and our readers have given us a variety of astute, well-thought-out responses:

“Window seat people — we’d be better rested for the fight,” said Liz.

“Window people because as you can see above, the aisle folks don’t comprehend things properly,” said Andre, another window-supporter.

“Aisle seat people!! We have more room to move so are warmed up for the fight!!! Window people are all balled up and sleepy,” said Linda, with an excellent point for the aisle-seaters.

Then things started to get personal.

“And what’s with all of this noise from the aisle introverts about beating us up and kicking us. You can’t stand properly because you’re legs have been hit umpteen times from the drinks cart,” Andre commented. “Window seat people, because we have something to back us up,” said Mike. “WHY ARE WE FIGHTING???? How terrible would it be if EVERYONE wanted the SAME,” said Susan, clearly the all-caps voice of reason.

Shari chimed in with some psychological profiles: “[Window seat people] plan in advance, know their objectives and have a definite winning attitude.” “[Aisle seat people] always want to talk, talk and open up the overhead and mess with getting items constantly beneath the seat. Also, they grumble when we give our cup over to them when the flight attendant is picking up the extras before we begin our descent.”

What do you think? Participate in the discussion here on Facebook.

[Photo by Hoysameg via Flickr.]

Aisle seat is healthier alternative

If you’re worried about blood clots, sit on the aisle. A recent study from Lahey Clinic Medical Center confirmed that getting bumped by the beverage cart can help keep deep-vein thrombosis away. The research team found that 75 percent of these cases occurred among non-aisle passengers, because they were not moving enough. Flights lasting between four and eight hours were worst.

It’s not just a matter of leg room. Window seats in business class led to the same results. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep yourself healthy. Put on compression stockings, and you’ll reduce the blood clot risk. If this is too cumbersome for you, try drinking plenty of water … and avoiding alcohol and caffeine (well, that might actually be harder).

Before you loosen your seatbelt and move freely throughout the cabin, just make sure the “fasten seatbelt” light is off and that you’re not blocking the meal service. Hungry, thirsty passengers can put your health at risk, too.


10 tips for smarter flying

Suffer through coach with dignity

In three hours, I’ll be boarding a plane for an eight-hour flight – assuming we don’t get held up on the runway. So, when I saw “How to make the most of flying coach” on, I hoped for some great advice. It would have been timely … if it was provided at all. Instead, Travel + Leisure’s Reid Bramblett only explained how much it sucks to pay for a non-alcoholic beverage and watch a shitty movie while wedged between two long-lost friends who have never met before.

“These days, it’s not easy being comfortable – and happy – in coach,” he says. Really? Since Bramblett was little help, let me give you a few tips you can use.

First, put your carry-on in the overhead bin, even though you’re encouraged to put it under the seat in front of you. Though it inconveniences the airline, you’ve now recaptured a bit of space for your feet. You may not be able to stretch your legs fully, but you won’t be as cramped. Be sure to take your book, magazine, bottle of water and iPod out of your bag first. There’s no need to disturb the lucky guy who got the aisle seat.

Bring enough to keep yourself distracted … but not too much. There’s nothing worse than running out of reading material when you’re on a long flight, but over-packing can be a burden as well. Do you really need all seven magazines? Even if you don’t read them, you’ll have to carry them.

Eat before you fly. It’s no secret that airline food blows, and it’s easier to say “no” on a full stomach. Bring a few snacks along (again, don’t go overboard) in case you need a quick fix. This should help you avoid unidentifiable airline grub.

Liquor gets mixed reviews. I know some people who love to have a few drinks to take the edge off (and maybe help them sleep). I tend not to imbibe when I fly. It dries me out and makes me a little lightheaded, worsening an already wearying the experience.

Finally, the best thing you can do is leave any expectations you have at the ticket counter. You’ll only be disappointed anyway. Instead, walk into the airport knowing that you only have to complete the experience; you don’t have to enjoy it. The destination is your reward for perseverance.


Want to feel safe while flying? Choose a front aisle seat

As a child I was always a fan of the window seat when flying. Then I grew taller and became a fan of the aisle seats where I could comfortably stretch out my legs as long as it wasn’t beverage service time. Even better would be if I lucked out with an aisle emergency exit seat. But it looks like those of us who prefer the aisle seat have yet another reason to do so: safety.

In a study commissioned by United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority, where 105 plane accidents and 2000 personal accounts were analyzed, emergency exit seats and the rows in front and behind them were found to be the safest. For the best chance of escaping from a burning aircrafts, the report said that passengers should choose aisle seats near the front of the aircraft and within five rows of the emergency exit.

What are the most dangerous seats? Anything six rows or more from the emergency exit. Here are the survival rates for escaping from a burning aircraft:

  • Front of the aircraft, 65%
  • Rear of the aircraft, 53%
  • Aisle seat, 64%
  • Non-aisle seat, 58%

Need help on just how to score an emergency exit seat? Read this.