USA Today‘s Ben Mutzabaugh writes today that Northwest is set to expand its “Coach Choice” program to include Mexico, Canada, and Caribbean flights. The program, launched less than a month ago, had previously been implemented on a test basis for domestic-only flights.
You’ll recall “Coach Choice” is the airline’s scheme for charging extra for some seat assignments that had previously been free. To wit, passengers checking in 24 hours before a flight can pay $15 to snag an aisle or exit-row seat.
Despite what seems like overwhelming disapproval from the traveling public, somebody must be ponying up the extra cash for these seat assignments, otherwise Northwest would be rolling it back instead of expanding it. In fact, the airline suggests it will make an extra $15 million a year in revenue from the program.
This looks like the strongest indication yet that “Coach Choice” is here to stay. Unfortunately.