Here's a pretty picture I'll paint for you. You finally book a dream trip with the love of your life on a long flight to a gorgeous destination. You can pay more than a meal for two to assign seats together, or risk it, facing the inevitability that your partner will end up sitting far away, next to a charming stranger with magazine looks and you'll end up twenty rows back, legs splaying into the aisle getting battered by beverage carts. When legacy airlines charge for economy seats they virtually force you to buy…
KLM is the newest airline to join the list of traditional airlines including Air France, British Airways, SAS, FInnair, Lufthansa, Swiss, Virgin Atlantic and many more making money off of what once was free. I certainly don't expect them to be the last. We're not talking about preferred seating, extra legroom, comfort plus or any of the the overly marketed seats that perhaps warrant extra cash, just a seat. Standard economy seats are not created equal, with some offering windows, bulkheads or a position closer to the front of the cabin. To ensure the best odds of securing one on the better end, you'll almost surely need to book before the stampede that occurs at free seat selection within 48-24 hours, depending on airline (links to chart of fees by airline).
So what can you do? Certainly earn miles towards elite status, many airlines offer free seat assignment and preferred seats to elites and attaining minimal status can be quite easy, especially if you follow tips on this blog. If you're not going to be elite and don't want to spend money, be first in line when the 24 or 48 hour complimentary seat assignment window opens and check again just hours before your flight to see if any better seats have opened up. If you told me that I could create nearly a billion dollars a year without adding any extra service or products I'd definitely listen and airlines make literal billions each year in service related fees such as seat assignments.You can hardly blame a for profit corporation such as an airline for jumping into a game that creates money out of thin air.
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