I have a question for people that prefer aisle seats: what do you like better, the lack of a view, being bumped into by people walking by (and possibly the beverage cart), having other people climb over you to use the restroom, or having to get up to let me get to my seat because you rushed onto the plane before you were supposed to?
Bankrupt Northwest this week unveiled a program called Coach Choice in which the carrier will save some preferred coach seating on the aisle or emergency-exit rows until check-in. Passengers can pay $15 per flight to sit in those seats, which may offer more room.
Other airlines also have creative upgrade programs, such as... United Airlines, which in 2005 started allowing passengers to pay a fee to upgrade to unsold seats in a better section of the plane at the time of check in.
One possible cost-saving measure might make some sense:
A next step -- one that may be controversial -- could be that airlines will start charging for bag checking...As long as they enforce carry-on size restrictions, it makes sense to charge people more for taking up more room. However, there might not be enough space for the increased use of carry-ons that would result from such a policy. Some of those bags would have to be checked for free.
The Washington Post also reports, from the AP.
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