SYDNEY- In the near future, you could have the option to secure additional space on your upcoming Qantas (QF) flight, even if you’re flying in economy class.
The Australian airline Qantas is testing a new idea called “neighbor-free seating” on 19 international flights. This concept enables economy class passengers to reserve seats next to them, ensuring they remain unoccupied during their journey.
Qantas Neighbor-Free Seating
Neighbor-free seating can be booked for an additional cost, starting at $45 each way on flights between Australia and New Zealand, $100 each way on flights between Australia and Singapore, and $225 each way on flights between Australia and the U.S., reported TPG.
Qantas will proactively email customers 48 hours before their flights if the aircraft is not fully booked, allowing them to choose neighbor-free seating.
It’s important to note that this seating arrangement isn’t guaranteed until the actual departure, and passengers will receive a refund if the seat ends up being sold to another traveler.
Customers who have purchased seats with extra legroom, requested upgrades, or are traveling with infants or unaccompanied minors are not eligible for this program. Additionally, group bookings are excluded from the neighbor-free seating option.
Initially introduced for Qantas’ domestic flights, the airline has extended the trial of this unique seating concept to its international routes following its successful implementation in the domestic network.
Catriona Larritt, Qantas’ Chief Customer and Digital Officer, explained, “Our data indicates that this service is particularly popular on our longer flights between the east and west coasts, making it a logical step to introduce it on our international routes.”
Larritt further stated that due to the intricacies of international flight bookings, Qantas is testing the neighbor-free seating program on selected international routes as a preliminary phase before expanding it in the coming months.
The following is a compilation of routes where neighbor-free seating will be offered to economy passengers:
- Dallas-Melbourne, Australia
- Los Angeles-Brisbane, Australia
- Los Angeles-Melbourne
- Los Angeles-Sydney
- San Francisco-Sydney
- Brisbane-Christchurch, New Zealand
- Brisbane-Wellington, New Zealand (available from October 29)
- Perth, Australia-Singapore
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