British Airways to charge for seat selection
British Airways passengers will have to pay to choose their seats if they want to reserve them when they book, the airline said today.
The new charges will affect people who want to ensure they sit together on a flight and anyone with a preference for window, aisle or emergency exit seats.
Currently, BA allows passengers to reserve seats free of charge in the 24 hours prior to departure, but from October 7 those willing to pay will be able to secure their preferred spot in the cabin when they make a booking.
BA said the move would "give customers more control over their seating options".
For an economy class trip within Europe, passengers will pay an extra £10 per person to choose a seat.
On long-haul economy or short flights in business class the charge will be £20, and £60 in business class on long-haul voyages.
A seat in an emergency exit row will cost £50 and can be booked between 10 and four days before take-off.
A BA spokeswoman said: "From October 7 2009, British Airways is launching a new service to give customers more control over their seating options.
"Customers will now be able to select their seats when booking and secure exit row seats for a fee.
"Customers frequently request specific seats, but in the past we've only been able to confirm them 24 hours in advance or on the day.
"We know people want to secure them in advance and have real control over their flying experience. This will allow them to do that."
The introduction of the levy comes as BA attempts to bolster its balance sheet after a £401 million loss in the last financial year.
It follows the airline's decision to cut luggage allowances and abolish free meals on short flights.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
BA vs Virgin Atlantic: Who has the best premium economy?
Warnings stepped up for travellers to Israel and Thailand
The 10 Best hiking boots
Gatwick’s biggest airline, easyJet, calls for new runway at Heathrow
Peru's 'second Machu Picchu', Italy by train, and the original Hogwarts Express - Travel agenda
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...
£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...