......and for "preferred" seats in other parts of the plane:
They're more desirable so why not? It's standard practice for most carriers to do this and/or hold them back for top tier frequent flyers.
NZ were a bit slow on the uptake...how many airlines no longer charge extra for exit row seats?
It was only a matter of time.
They codeshare with Virgin who charge for better seats.
I suspect too many people were booking trans Tasman through either Virgin or ANZ, but selecting ANZ operated flights so they could have their pick of seats - we certainly did!
It's an ugly reality, but I do think it's a reality in that airlines now realize that certain seats or types of seats are in greater demand, ergo hold a higher intrinsic value to most (not all, but most) passengers..
All they are doing is formalizing that notion, attaching a fixed dollar (whatever currency) to it, and monetizing it..
I also agree with #1 in that it's also a way for carrier to better control access to give preference to their higher(est) yielding passengers.
To me, if I think about it, i can see this concept being applied to things like seats in a typical movie theater in that some seats will be more popular or in demand, and just like airline seats, can be a way for them to monetize this value.
While I understand charging for seats in exit rows, which is pretty much standard for all airlines now, charging for booking any other seat is bad news.
Prior to this, travellers could request a seat. It wouldn't be guaranteed but AirNZ staff at checkin would try to give the seats passengers requested. Under the new scheme, anyone who wants a seat has to pay. These booked seats limit the ability of checkin staff to allocate seating.
I see this as money-grabbing. Any couples or families who want to ensure that they travel together will have no option but to pay to secure seats, or take pot luck where checkin staff only have the ability to fill in the gaps.Edited: 7:19 am, November 20, 2012
I see this as money-grabbing. Any couples or families who want to ensure that they travel together will have no option but to pay to secure seats, or take pot luck where checkin staff only have the ability to fill in the gaps.
Money grabbing as in an airline trying to make a profit rather than huge losses and bankruptcy.The realities of the airline industry are that every bit of "money grabbing" is required just to break even.
I think they're jumping on the US airline bandwagon which has had that policy for a while now: foxnews.com/travel/…
"Any couples or families who want to ensure that they travel together will have no option but to pay to secure seats"
Not so. Most airlines will automatically assign seats together to passengers travelling on the same PNR. And even if you are on different tickets, you can get them linked on the airline systems in most cases which will mean seats together.
>> I think they're jumping on the US airline bandwagon which has had that policy for a while now <<
And the irony is that now the US (mainline) airline that started the charging bandwagon (United) comes out smelling of roses.
Why? Because they only charge for seats with a tangible benefit - Economy Plus with extra legroom. And they have that on (virtually) every plane and are raking in the money, while pax see a real benefit.
Yes Delta has followed suit with EC and American on a few planes with MCE. But otherwise, "preferred seats" that are charged for are same legroom and no tangible benefit (IMO being near the front of the aircraft doesn't count).
"Because they only charge for seats with a tangible benefit"
And indeed assign them at no charge to their silver or better FF members, thus ensuring brand loyalty.