Australia’s largest airline, Qantas, has found a new way to make money from tourists who want a guaranteed flight with a seat next to them. For the new service, the carrier asks travelers to pay extra – approximately 19 euros.
As the carrier explained, the airline offers this opportunity to its passengers on six domestic routes as part of a pilot scheme. The “No Neighbors” option will allow economy class travelers to pay a certain amount to keep the seat next to them empty.
Anyone who has booked a seat on a flight that is not full 48 hours before departure will receive an email offering to pay for the service to keep an open seat next to them for a more comfortable flight. If the plane is filled later due to late bookings, passengers will be refunded. But if the scheme proves successful, it could be expanded internationally.
Qantas is not the only airline to offer this service. Thus, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, already introduced a similar option back in 2017. Customers can bid on a seat when they book their main ticket online and are notified 30 hours before departure if successful.
Emirates also offers a similar service: passengers can book an entire row to themselves for around €88. The reservation system allows travelers to buy up to three free seats on their flights for a price of 43 euros.
However, tourists have cheaper ways to try to save seats on the plane next to them. Yes, Gilbert Ott of God Saves The Points previously showed the best way to get a whole bunch of free seats. According to him, to begin with, you need to choose a flight that will be as empty as possible.
When booking a flight, most airlines show the remaining seats, and you can quickly assess whether the plane tickets are sold out if we are not talking about booking months in advance. Or you can pay $10 for access to the ExpertFlyer.com website, which will show the traveler how many seats are left on the flight of interest to him. “If you do that, you’ll be able to see exactly how many tickets are still unsold in every cabin on every flight on any airline every day,” he said.