AirAsia X launches empty seat option


AirAsia X and its technology partner, Optiontown, have launched a new service, called Empty Seat Option (ESo), which offers passengers traveling in Economy an option to get all three seats in a row for a nominal fee.

Empty Seat Option (ESo) is AirAsia X’s second ancillary offering introduced in partnership with Optiontown after the Upgrade Travel Option (UTo) service, launched in 2011.

The UTo provides AirAsia X’s passengers the opportunity to upgrade to AirAsia X’s Premium Flatbed seats. The UTo has helped to significantly increase AirAsia X's premium class load factor (by over 22%) and upgrade yield (by over 60%). Options are limited by flight to ensure a reasonable probability of successful upgrades. Each option is dynamically priced.

AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani said, “The airline is constantly looking for ways to boost customer satisfaction and enhance their flying experience with us. I believe that the Empty Seat Option (ESo) will be a great addition to our family of ancillary products which will further increase our ancillary revenue stream. We estimate that we could earn up to US$1 million in 2012.”

AirAsia X is one of the 10 airlines collaborating with Optiontown, an innovative airline service provider headquartered in Massachusetts, USA with branch offices in India and Europe.

To add on the Empty Seat Option (ESo) to a booking, AirAsia passengers need to:

  1. Log on to and select Upgrade with Optiontown under the Flight Information section
  2. Click on Optiontown and select Empty Seat Option (ESo)
  3. Enter the current flight booking number and select flight for ESo
  4. Pay a small sign up fee (MYR3) and a nominal Empty Seat(s) fee
  5. Empty Seat(s) availability status will be emailed (72-4hrs) to the customer before flight departure
  6. If Empty Seat(s) are not assigned due to unavailability, Empty Seat fee will be refunded automatically to the customer.
© Japan Today

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Word on fees, but nothing on actual savings. Color me skeptical.

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Why not just make the seats larger and able to lean back enough to sleep in with a neck pillow. Getting more and more difficult in cattle class.

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Seat density in economy class is very high nowadays. I made my first flight in 1967 in a DC-8. I don't remember the pitch of the seats, but for sure you could recline your seat much farther than in today's aircraft.

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