Sitting Together on Airplanes Gets Even Harder

Libby Kane

How do you feel about the middle seat on an airplane?

If you’re like most of us, you hate it and scramble for window or aisle. The only exception is when you’re sitting with friends or family, and then the middle seat is just fine. The elbow poking you just isn’t as bad when it belongs to your college roommate.

But now it looks like it will only get harder to get a window or aisle seat or hand-pick the elbows that will poke you.

The News Tribune reports that airlines such as American, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Jet Blue, United Airlines and Spirit (who are also hiking up baggage fees) are reserving increasing numbers of coveted end seats for higher prices or for frequent fliers.

For those who fly only every so often and mind their budgets, this isn’t good news.

Spirit Airlines is also charging an extra $15 for advance seat assignments. Otherwise, travelers are assigned a randomly generated seat at the gate with no consideration for families with children or travel partners of any kind.

To make things even harder, booking seats through a discount site like Expedia or Travelocity might allow a traveler to select an already-reserved seat, and then not hold that seat for them. To keep that from happening, it’s recommended that travelers confirm their seat assignments with the airlines.

But when it comes to sitting together, there are only a few solutions: spend more or fly more. And neither sounds good.

  • Ash

    Ridiculous. I have a three year old with severe food allergies…how could she possibly sit alone or I would be financially penalized for sitting with her?? Sounds like a discriminatory practice.