You might have heard the terms that have started popping up… Economy Plus, Economy Comfort, Preferred Seating. It seems like just about every airline is joining the “buy added legroom” market and, yes, it’s officially a trend.
Some of the airlines offering extra legroom in economy for a fee now include United Airlines, JetBlue, American, Delta, Air France and Virgin.
If you don’t have elite status and aren’t flying on a full-fare ticket, you’ll have to pay to sit in those enhanced economy seats for fees varying from 30 to 60 dollars per person.
Make sure you know what you’re paying for, though, if you opt to upgrade your seat. There are some airlines that charge extra money simply to make a seat selection towards the front of the plane that usually doesn’t have extra legroom. For example, U.S. Airways has “choice seats” that are simply seats towards the front of the economy cabin. And both Delta and American have “preferred seats” that are usually aisle or window seats towards the front of the cabin.
Look for a good seat as soon as you book your ticket. Check back the week of your flight as some people may leave a good seat behind if they get upgraded or change their travel plans.
Use the online check-in as soon as possible to get access to seats that may not have been available pre-booking, such as exit rows or bulkheads.
To help you on your quest for prime real estate in-flight – here are a few suggestions:
- Seatguru.com offers comparison charts to help you compare seat options across carriers and different aircraft.
- expertflyer.com offers free seat alerts that allow travellers to be notified when a better seat becomes available on your flight and airfarewatchdog.com has a chart of fees charged by airlines for upgraded and preferred seating.