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American Airlines to charge for front-row seats

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booking on the phone or in person

They charge you if you go to their office?

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Honestly, airlines keep jacking up the prices, cutting services and then wonder why no one wants to fly with them when there are cheaper alternatives out there. I am more than happy to pay a cheap airline for cheap tickets and no frills. Shame the other big airlines aren't understanding this and trying to charge more and more for basic services that were offered 10 years as normal service. Either cut service or cut prices but do not start to jack up prices on things that used to be free.

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Dear US based airlines. A note from the average traveller.

You greedy, greedy people should spend a lot more attention on the quality of your service, timeliness of your flights and reliability of your overall services before you find any new ways to charge people.

It is disconcerting to know that all you seem to care about is how to grasp your way into every little penny that you can. It is shameful and opportunisitic. And we dislike you all for being so bloody obvious about it.

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So what are these geniuses going to do when the plane is full and nobody paid for the special extra seats?

Will they just fill the plane up, and FORCE people to buy those seats AT THE AIRPORT a day before the flight?

this sounds like a fishy gimmick to avoid "overbooking," keeping a few seats open until the last minute.

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The general public need to start saying no to many of these kinds of fees. We are the bosses after all.

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Other airlines have been doing this too. Qantas started it a couple of years back, I believe BA also do it too. I wouldn't be surprised if AA are the last American airline to do it. Its funny how asian airlines (and while we're at it the gulf state carriers as well) can focus on service and do it for the same price as these dinosaurs cutting back on services, charging extra for what once free, and generally degrading the experience... Airlines such as Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Korean, ANA etc offer a far more pleasant experience than these pathetic American, Australian and British money pits, and are often much cheaper and are more profitable companies. Keep your no frills airlines tmarie, I'll be flying the 3rd way.

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Yaaaawnnn. Just like the new charges for checked luggage, none of these charges/news matter to most of us who have gold, platinum or executive platinum elite status anyways.

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Airlines such as Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Korean, ANA etc offer a far more pleasant experience than these pathetic American, Australian and British money pits, and are often much cheaper and are more profitable companies.

First of all, Singapore Airlines is a lot more expensive than other airlines. Let's get that out of the way.

Second, both JAL & ANA use Hobbit size seats for their international coach class flights. The seats are so small and narrow that even average size Japanese people complain.

I absolutely despise airline companies along with insurance companies and banks. They are all a bunch of vampires. I think the public should push back and refuse to fly for a year or so until their backs are broken financially and start focusing on customer satisfaction and stop trying to nickel and dime us to death. The US govt. should let the bad ones fail.

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Singapore Airlines is a lot more expensive than other airlines

I guess that depends on the route you're flying. I fly Tokyo-Melbourne multiple times a year, and Singapore is always cheaper the Qantas, and usually cheaper the Malaysian and Cathay Pacific.

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@borscht: Yes, American Airlines (and almost all other airlines as well) will charge you an additional fee if you buy tickets from one of their ticket clerks at the airport or one of the few remaining city ticket offices they have left. Ryanair and EasyJet actually charge you for checking in at the airport using a live human rather than one of their kiosks!!

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For front-row seats? It's not like one's watching a concert or opera where the closer the stage you are the pricier it is.

Oh well, not really surprised at this. Airlines are struggling with operating costs, fuel prices, etc. that they'll do anything to squeeze a buck out of their passengers. Just hate to think what they'll start charging more for next.

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"They charge you if you go to their office?"

Incredible, isn't it?

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The last time I flew on American they were charging to use their on board toilets, yes, I am sure they were charging and you had to stick your credit card their in the dark, so imagine who much fun this was, with heavy turbulence, but it was a fun experience.

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American Airlines to charge for front-row seats

I see that they're taking the Sumo Seating approach.... hmmm....I bet those seats are reserved for the mafia too.

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Charge extra for seats at the front and hire miserable cows/ overpaid waitresses. Love the strategy.

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I feel sorry for all the long legged people flying... the over weight people don't have to pay for extra seating or a fuel charge, but tall people have to pay for a seat that they can be comfortable with.

I am not so tall, yet my knees seem to find the seat in front of me easily.

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And they still dare to use their current slogan "We know why you fly"!!!! Priceless!!! Third world practices of the American civil aviation industry. And now we're at it, very soon we also have to pay an extra fee of $10 for entering the country. They call it "tourist tax". Can someone please explain Americans the meaning of hospitality?

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"American also charges fees for checked bags, priority boarding, booking on the phone or in person, “sleep sets,” unaccompanied minors and pets."

They also charge you $8 for a pillow and a blanket.

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mg2008 - TOTALLY agree with you!!!

I personally hate american airlines. Rude staff, bad food, compared to the Asia based ones they are awful. If I was going to the US, I will always choose a Asian, followed by European airline to get there.

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"They also charge you $8 for a pillow and a blanket."

And $5 for a not ice-cold beer. Can you believe that?

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How much are they charging for emergency exit row seats?

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Although I hate the new fee centric approaches by the airlines, I am resigned to the fact that the industry has come into the realization that this is the only way to make money. If one does a little research he will find that the Airline industry is one of the very few industries that have negative rates of return over the entire history of the industry and are still around. Which means although some years they make money, but they lose more in other years. I chuckle every time someone starts a new airline because they have a 'new' model of delivery. Since we all need airlines I am resigned to paying a little more for better service.

Also, like someone said before me, I would choose Asian airlines over American ones any day. The senority rule system in the American airline industry has degraded service to the lowest level possible. I once was woken up by the oversized butt of the head flight attendent over a transpacific flight. Her girth was wider than the isle. I was just flabbergasted at the sight. I can't imagine the Asian flight attendants would have this problem. ;)

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FrankUSA: I totally agree that Asian based airlines have hands down better service. The gap in service quality between US airlines and Asian airlines is not even close. But, how do you survive a 14 hour coach class flight from Japan to New York in those tiny, narrow seats that JAL & ANA use. Further, the cabin temperature is too cold on US airlines, but JAL & ANA are very stingy with the air conditioner and the cabin is often not comfortable for western people of even normal weight.

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As for seat pitch both ANA and JAL are among the best in Asia (and worldwide).

Their seat width is similar to most other Asian airlines. Sometimes their seats are just an inch narrower. That's a whopping 2,5cm!!!

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Wait a minute, Does that mean, if you check in for your flight and the only seats left are in the front row, they are going to charge you more? If I request a front row seat and pay for it and someone comes late and is seated in the front row at no extra charge, do I get a refund?

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bengoshi, I've flown business with ANA. You must have a very large rear end not to fit in those seats!

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Come to think of it, the only time I ever flew AA was when the government put me on an AA flight on my way to basic training. Sure, I was nervous about starting basic training, but that flight sucked.

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bicultural: bengoshi probably flew coach, like most of us. The coach seats are tiny, and if it wasn't for the better service, I wouldn't fly ANA

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Time for many of these airline companies to fold.

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american bengoshi: I've flown both JAL and American Airlines. The coach seats for both are the same size. Coach seats for all planes are small. No difference whatsoever in size. As for service, that is another matter.

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