On Qantas, You Can Now Pay to Have the Adjacent Seat Empty

On Qantas, You Can Now Pay to Have the Adjacent Seat Empty


How many times have you boarded an airplane and silently hoped – prayed? – that the seat next to you would remain vacant for the flight?

On Qantas Airways, you can now take the matter into your own hands instead of leaving it up to a higher power.

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Australia’s national carrier has introduced what it is politely calling “Neighbor Free” seating that allows passengers to pay a modest fee to keep the seat next to them empty, according to The Independent newspaper.

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The option has a fee of 30 Australian dollars, or roughly $20 in U.S. currency, for the shortest routes on Qantas and escalates up from there. There is also limited availability on each flight, of course, lest the airline is interested in flying half-full cabins and giving up revenue.

According to The Independent, Qantas customers will receive an email from the airline about 48 hours before the flight takes off asking if they want to take advantage of the perk. You must pay at the time if you choose that option, although there’s no guarantee the airline will keep the seat vacant.

“Neighbour Free cannot be guaranteed as seats may need to be changed for operational, safety or security reasons, even after boarding the aircraft,” Qantas said in a statement, adding that if can’t fulfill a request to keep an adjacent seat empty it will refund the customer’s money for paying the fee.

It’s not a new gimmick. Emirates Airlines offers the same kind of deal to purchase an empty seat next to yours to keep it vacant. Actually, passengers could purchase up to three empty seats but it is part of a bidding process.

Sri Lankan Airways and Eurowing have similar deals.





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