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British Airlines To Charge Passengers As Much As $95 To Reserve Seats

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A few weeks ago we reported on airlines cutting flights to match falling demand and save money. Another way the shrinking industry is offsetting losses is by introducing new fees.

It’s no secret that airlines, both here and abroad, have been sticking it to passengers, charging us for everything from checked baggage to blankets—even water. (A recent report from the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reveals airlines made an incredible 3.8 billion on such fees in the first six months of this year alone.)

Next week, however, the airline industry will hit a new low in its quest to separate travelers from their hard-earned dollars.

The latest creative revenue-generating idea? British Airways’ reserved seat surcharge. Starting Oct. 7, the UK carrier will start charging passengers between $16-$95 to reserve seats more than 24 hours ahead of departure [Chicago Tribune]. The real rub if you fly BA is this: you’ll have to pay extra if you want a seat next to your travel companion(s), and/or if you have a preference for a window, aisle or exit-row seat.

BA says the move would "give customers more control over their seating options". [The Guardian] It’s not yet clear if that explanation will fly with the public.

Do you have an opinion? Do extra fees affect which airlines you fly? Login and share your thoughts below!


Adrien Glover is the online deputy editor at Travel + Leisure.

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