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]

Send a holiday greeting from above the clouds

Procrastinated on sending Christmas cards this year? It’s not too late to send a holiday greeting to say “Happy New Year” (or Mutlu Yillar in Turkish) with a travel theme. Turkish Airlines has a fun website for generating a virtual holiday greeting with a view of the wing. On Above the Clouds, you can choose a cloud image like a snowflake, Christmas tree, or angel and add a brief message (limited to 40 characters), accompanied by a jaunty version of Turkish Airlines’ theme song, and it will generate an e-card from your window seat.

Make your own greeting at and Happy New Year!

Photo of the day – Approaching Rio

Many of us love the window seat when traveling. Even in cramped coach class, you can feel like you have your own little nook with a place to prop up your tiny airline pillow (in case you don’t fly with a SkyRest like Mike Barish) and a great view of the sky and landscape below. But few of us ever get the best window seat, up in the cockpit, where the view is framed by hundreds of tiny lights and controls. Fortunately own resident pilot Kent Wien shared this nighttime arrival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. See more of his beautiful sky photos here.

See any stellar views on your travels? Add your pictures to the Gadling Flickr pool and you may see one as a future Photo of the Day.

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.]

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.