Friday I mocked the Liberals who dominate Broadway theater for their embracing market pricing for their tickets. I was correctly mocked back in the comments for not calling out traditional conservative bastions for equal failure.
Well, critics all here is your reward.
Fliers can still choose between window and aisle seats on Delta Air Lines, but they’ll have to pay extra if those spots are near the front of the plane.
Economy passengers can now pay $9 or $29 for these prime seats, depending on the length of the flight. They were previously only available to frequent fliers in the airline’s Medallion program.
Other airlines such as US Airways, Sun Country and American Airlines already charge for window and aisle seats. The fee for premier seating is the latest in a string of surcharges by airlines. The fees have generated billions of dollars in extra revenue and have helped offset rising fuel costs.
I’ve long lamented the lack of markets in airline seating. As airlines are continually being squeezed for revenues by the competition, they are looking to gain efficiencies wherever they can. And part of that is scheduling flights as tightly as possible. Often I find myself looking at a connecting flight with only 20-40 minutes to catch it. I NEED to sit in the aisle and up front. At other times I’ve scheduled my flight the day before and am in a position where I can sit in the back without a problem.
There has to be a better way than randomly assigning seats or even setting up an “e-bay’esque” type of event like Southwest does. And for a long time I’ve told my poor suffering wife that “the market would set them free”. Now, of course, I’ve always wanted them to set up a market where I could sell my seat position with the airline taking a cut. But I guess this was inevitable.
In short, the market will allow people who need to be up front to be there while giving the folks who don’t need to be there the ability to well, not be.