Well, it's not like they're in this alone, but count American Airlines as the latest carrier to figure out a way to make passengers pay more for coach. The airline announced today that it would begin offering (aka charging a fee for) "Express Seats," which will allow travelers to choose seats in the first few rows of coach, including bulkhead rows.
The seating can be purchased up to 24 hours in advance of the flight and the fee will vary depending upon the length of the trip. On the airline's website, it says introductory pricing will start at $19 for a trip between St. Louis and Chicago; $29 between San Francisco and Dallas; and $39 between New York and Los Angeles. By paying the fee, passengers will also receive early boarding with Group 1. American already offers priority boarding options for $10, so for as little as $19 more you get to sit at the front of the class. Whoo-hoo.
JetBlue, Continental and AirTran already offer more leg room for about $10-$20 extra. You can pay extra for "choice" seats on USAirways or "Economy Plus" on United. So maybe American was actually a little late to the game.
"This is another great product under the Your Choice program that puts more travel choices in the customer's hands," said Virasb Vahidi – Chief Commercial Officer for American Airlines.
Hmm. Discuss. Or is that disgust?