How much is getting off the plane a minute or two faster worth to you? United Airlines is banking on the fact that some flyers will pay more for the privilege of sitting in the front of the economy cabin—even though the seats will have the same exact amount of legroom and features as the ones in the back.
It’s somewhat unsurprising another airline is tacking on an obscure seating fee. Maybe United should start auctioning off the seats in the front to people who are about to miss their connecting flight due to a United delay, as they would be more motivated to be in the first few rows to exit.
According to Travel Weekly, the airline will start charging more for seats in the front of the economy cabin as part of its new Corporate Preferred program, which will give benefits (including free dibs on those front seats) to flyers whose employers have a corporate contract with United Airlines.
United has not yet said how much they plan on charging for those seats. Frequent flyers who have United’s Mileage Plus Premier status will also be able to reserve those seats for free.
Everyone else? Head to the back of the plane or prepare to pay (or wait, as any unsold front seats will be released for free at the time of check-in).