Frontier Will Begin Charging Passengers to Social Distance

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It’s no secret that the pandemic has changed the balance sheets for airlines globally. Many airlines have reported losing more than $100 million in revenue per day and have extended flight cuts into the peak summer season.

Unfortunately for the airlines, flying is often categorized as a luxury and not required for most people. Therefore, airlines will need to be creative with their pricing, promotions, and messaging before they begin to see any change in passenger loads and sadly we haven’t seen that…yet.

Yesterday, we spoke about the messaging that some airlines are attempting to convey. Well, Frontier Airlines, the Denver-based ultra-low cost carrier has decided to be the first airline to display “creative innovation”…by adding more fees to the passenger experience.

IT’S GOING TO COST YOU TO SOCIAL DISTANCE

This morning as I was attempting to write another article about Frontier Airlines, I noticed a unique offer on their dedicated page to COVID-19.

Frontier Airlines has launched “More Room” seats, and beginning 8 May 2020, passengers have the opportunity to assign seats with empty middle seats next to them for just $39 per flight.

According to their website (and the picture above), there will be a total of up to 18 “More Room” seats per flight.

MY THOUGHTS

When I first saw this on the Frontier website, I thought “here we go..greed at it’s finest.” But thinking through the concept, this may not be a bad idea.

Although it should NOT be complicated, reserving an extra seat for yourself (pre-COVID-19) for whatever reason has, historically, been a complicated process.

But here’s the bottom line…airlines are struggling financially and will be for a long time. Due to schedule changes, there has been some outrage by passengers over airplanes being more full than expected.

With this announcement, airlines could generate incremental revenue while making passengers feel more comfortable flying. Heck, make it available so passengers could buy more than just the middle seat. Why not the entire row? Why not two rows? Now we’re really 6 feet away.

FINAL STAMP

I like this idea and give props to Frontier for being creative which is more than I can say for other airlines.

I think there’s no denying that blocking the middle seat is unrealistic long-term for any airline. Although many airlines have said they will block the middle seat, it’s not guaranteed. With Frontier, you have to pay for it, but it is guaranteed.

The truth is that social distancing is impossible on a plane and 21 inches is far from social distancing. However, if you are concerned about your safety as a passenger, then why not pay for it?

What do you think…good idea? Bad idea? Would you pay $39 to guarantee a blocked middle seat?

2 comments

  1. I think it will give people a little more peace of mind when flying to have that option. You’re right, 21 inches is not enough space but it’s better than 1 inch I guess. lol With Frontier offering flights for $11 – $29, I’m guessing some will be willing to splurge. But I wonder if this is a first come, first served(for free) deal. So if I purchase the window seat and pay the $39 today, will the person coming along say tomorrow looking at the window seat be able to enjoy the distance but without the charge of $39?

    Like

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