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Northwest drops $15 fee for some flyers

Northwest has modified its Coach Choice program to drop the $15 fee for extra legroom on flights booked by its most loyal customers.

Previously, the airline set aside its most popular coach-class seats (many aisle and exit-row seats) and allowed travelers to reserve those seats for an extra $15. Now, it says it will no longer charge its elite frequent flyers to reserve those spots.

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It will also remove some seats from the program altogether, including the popular seat D in row 6 on its DC9 planes. This and other coveted seats will now only be available to its elite frequent flyers on flights that fall into the Coach Choice program.

Here's the rub: Northwest says it will replace these coveted seats by pulling additional seats into Coach Choice. So if I understand this right, it's now charging $15 extra for some seats that it didn't deem worth an extra $15 when it launched the program in March.

And this is good for consumers? I don't think so.

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