American recently announced it will charge a premium for seats located in the front of coach, thus providing customers an easy exit from the plane. The new perk is just the latest in a growing trend of airlines charging extra for ordinary or, in some cases, slightly upgraded coach seats.
Here's a rundown of who charges what, and what your money buys:
AirTran: Advance seat selection is $6, and exit row seating is $20.
Allegiant: Advance seat selection is $11 per segment.
American: Express Seats put you in the first few rows of coach (regular coach seats) at a cost of between $19 and $39. Also includes early boarding privilege.
Continental: Exit row seating is available; price varies.
JetBlue: Even More Legroom option provides 38 inches of legroom, compared to the airline's standard 34 inches, starting at $10 per flight leg.
Spirit: Big Front Seat, with 36 or 37 inches of legroom, compared to Spirit's normal (and paltry) 28 to 31 inches, from $25. Spirit also charges for advance seat selection, starting at $8 in the rear of the plane, $12 in the middle, and $15 in the front. Exit row seating, which provides extra legroom, starts at $20.
United: Economy Plus, from $9 per flight (actually on sale, at press time, from $5 per flight). Premier Travel bundles together a premium economy seat; priority boarding, security line access, and check-in; and two free checked bags; from around $47.
US Airways: Choice Seats, starting at $5 per segment, are regular seats located in the first few rows of coach. Purchase includes priority boarding.
Readers, would you pay for any of these perks? Which do you think are truly frivolous? Leave a comment below with your thoughts. Thanks!