You May Have to Pay Extra NOT to Sit in the Middle Seat on an Airplane

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As if extra baggage fees, large carry-on costs, and $7 for a spritz of Pinot Grigio weren’t bad enough, airlines are about to up the ante when it comes to nickel-and-diming. Travelers who prefer a window or aisle seat should prepare to cough up some extra moolah.

According to airline experts like Scott Mayerowitz of the AP, airlines have already started
charging fliers, in some ways, for a good seat. Spirit, for example, already forces customers to pay for seat assignments. Southwest, which doesn’t assign seats, increased the price of early boarding by 20 percent. With Delta, basic economy passengers can’t select their seats until 24 hours before their departure, meaning the coveted window and aisle seats are generally taken by those who paid a higher fare. And it looks like American Airlines and United are about to follow Delta’s lead.

“Regardless of what fare you book, if you book only a few weeks before your trip, the only seats left are those middle seats or the ones next to the bathroom,” said Mayerowitz to ABC News.

To improve your odds of snagging a seat to your comfort, experts suggest entering your flight
info into sites like ExpertFlyer.com, which emails travelers when an aisle or window seat opens up. Otherwise, enjoy the intimate encounters with your seatmates.

Tom is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? but with more sunscreen and jorts.

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