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Etihad to charge for seat selection


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Apologies if already posted somewhere.

 

Etihad has added a new seat selection fee for economy passengers travelling on certain fares.

From July 15 customers purchasing Economy Deal, Saver or Classic fares will have to pay “a small fee” to select their seat in advance.

Those choosing not to pay the fee can continue to choose from remaining seats free of charge from 24 hours before departure.

The new fee adds to the carrier’s existing paid-for Preferred Seat and Extra Legroom options, as well as the Neighbour-Free seat option, which was launched last year and allows passengers to bid for up to three empty seats next to theirs.

Rival gulf carrier Emirates launched seat selection fees for passengers travelling on economy class Special and Saver fares in 2016, and extended the policy to add paid-for Extra Value seat options last year.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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The race-to-the-bottom continues, especially at those airlines which are financially-challenged, following poor minority-investments in lacklustre local airlines.

Pity, I do recall (several years ago) when Etihad were the equal of their Gulf-based rivals.

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I flew with Etihad this time, and my return ticket is in Nov back to the UK.

They did do this auction deal where you can bet on an upgrade to Business class, I put the lowest possible price for one of the legs at ~£250 which was accepted.

Was very happy with flying Economy to Doha, then going into the Lounge then flying Business to BKK.

Final cost was £450 + £250, I might try for another leg one the way back in November which will still put the cost to about the same as Economy Plus with EVA.

So they seem ok to me...

 

Definitely agree that with the prices being squeezed, they will look at the low cost airline model and start implementing the extras.

It is a shame but you are getting cheaper flights...

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One problem with seat selection with Gulf airlines is that you have two lengthy legs to each one way journey, and you have to decide what you'll do about paying two seat selection fees each way.

I prefer the European airlines which give you a quick hop to their European hub, which I do in whatever seat they give me for free, and then one long leg which I pay +€70 or so for one of the best legroom economy seats.  As a person who doesn't live near a major hub (my nearest airport is Nice) I have a choice of which hub/airline to go via, and I think I prefer Frankfurt and Lufthansa since I can stop over in a German FKK or two en route.  The stop over really means the travelling gets a reboot and starting up again in Frankfurt seems like a new trip after the FKK phase.

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I hope this doesnt become a trend with major airlines.

I always book my seats well in advance because I want to make sure I get the seats that I want.

The booking of seats in advance was always free but for my last flight and next flight(both with emirates) I had to pay for my seats.

I will continue to book my seats well in advance because I don't want to book  seats just before my flights are due because I know I wont get the seats I want

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3 minutes ago, SirL said:

One problem with seat selection with Gulf airlines is that you have two lengthy legs to each one way journey, and you have to decide what you'll do about paying two seat selection fees each way.

I prefer the European airlines which give you a quick hop to their European hub, which I do in whatever seat they give me for free, and then one long leg which I pay +€70 or so for one of the best legroom economy seats.  As a person who doesn't live near a major hub (my nearest airport is Nice) I have a choice of which hub/airline to go via, and I think I prefer Frankfurt and Lufthansa since I can stop over in a German FKK or two en route.  The stop over really means the travelling gets a reboot and starting up again in Frankfurt seems like a new trip after the FKK phase.

I don't mind 2 longs flights

Many years ago I flew with Etihad for the first time and enjoyed the flights.  And liked the short stopover in Abu Dhabi T1 even though the terminal  had its faults.  So I stayed with Etihad and always booked my seats well in advance.  And the seats were free to book. And because I flew with them twice a year and was a FF member I was able to get a free fast track ticket to get through Manchester airport security quickly on the way out.  And a Fast track ticket for Bangkok airport on the way back.

In 2016 I heard about Emirates doing special deals for the time I was flying out in 2016.  So I went online and booked with them and managed to book my seats with them for free.  I was made up with there A380 planes and the seats and everything else.  The airport at Dubai was very modern and OK.  In 2017 when I booked with Emirates again I had to pay for 2 of the 4 seats that I wanted.  This was due to me booking 2 of the 4 flights at the cheapest economy prices.  And my luggage allowance was only 20Kg instead of the normal 30kg.  This year 2018 I managed to get a cheap price for my emirates flights.  This time my luggage allowence was back to 30kg BUT this time I have had to pay for all 4 seats.  And I had to pay £25 per seat.  I always like to book seats at the very front of economy so I can get of each plane quickly, I don't mind flying but at the end of a long flight I just want to get off the plane quickly so that I can get through security or immigration quickly.  I got the impression this year that if I had booked my seats further back in the economy cabin they might have been free BUT I like being in the front and having an iasle seat

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2 minutes ago, blue1878 said:

And I had to pay £25 per seat.  I always like to book seats at the very front of economy so I can get of each plane quickly, I don't mind flying but at the end of a long flight I just want to get off the plane quickly so that I can get through security or immigration quickly.  I got the impression this year that if I had booked my seats further back in the economy cabin they might have been free BUT I like being in the front and having an iasle seat

[Not sure about facts on Emirates, sorry if I'm wrong]

If you're only interested in £25 aisle seats, then paying 4 seat fees won't be too painful.  I want the long legroom seats which go for about €70 each long leg, and at that price the 2 fees for each one way starts to hurt the wallet a bit more.

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1 hour ago, article22 said:

I flew with Etihad this time, and my return ticket is in Nov back to the UK.

They did do this auction deal where you can bet on an upgrade to Business class, I put the lowest possible price for one of the legs at ~£250 which was accepted.

Was very happy with flying Economy to Doha, then going into the Lounge then flying Business to BKK.

Final cost was £450 + £250, I might try for another leg one the way back in November which will still put the cost to about the same as Economy Plus with EVA.

So they seem ok to me...

 

Definitely agree that with the prices being squeezed, they will look at the low cost airline model and start implementing the extras.

It is a shame but you are getting cheaper flights...

how did you go via Doha with etihad ? their hub is abu dhabi

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2 hours ago, SirL said:

[Not sure about facts on Emirates, sorry if I'm wrong]

If you're only interested in £25 aisle seats, then paying 4 seat fees won't be too painful.  I want the long legroom seats which go for about €70 each long leg, and at that price the 2 fees for each one way starts to hurt the wallet a bit more.

Hi SirL the £25 fee was for any economy seat.  And I think if memory serves me correctly the fee was only for the very front rows ither side of the staircase which took you to the upstairs seating.  I was happy to pay the 4 x £25.  

I like sitting as near to the font of the plane as possible and on the right hand side of the plane.  Right hand side of the plane because that side of the plane is where you get on and off the plane.  Sitting at the front allows me to get off the plane as quickly as possible. So in Dubai I'm one of the first off the plane to get through security.  And at Bangkok airport(and Manchester) I'm one of the first to get through immigration.  I prefer the aisle seat because (1) if I want to go to the toilet I don't disturb anybody in my row(2) If I want to have a drink I can go to where the cabin crew are and get a drink rather than wait for them to come to me(3) And last being in the aisle seat allows me to get my hanf luggage from the over head locker easier.  And get of the plane even quicker

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14 minutes ago, blue1878 said:

Right hand side of the plane because that side of the plane is where you get on and off the plane. 

Can't think of any flight I've boarded or disembarked from the right :Dunno1:

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2 hours ago, Ru4Real said:

Can't think of any flight I've boarded or disembarked from the right :Dunno1:

Sorry I cant tell my right from my left :Laugh1:

I meant left hand side of the plane:rolleyes:

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Fees like this are so unpalatable because it costs them absolutely nothing to allow passengers to choose a seat. It's just them playing an economics game to see how much they can squeeze the customers willingness to pay.

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1 hour ago, yugot said:

Fees like this are so unpalatable because it costs them absolutely nothing to allow passengers to choose a seat. It's just them playing an economics game to see how much they can squeeze the customers willingness to pay.

It's a sign of the times as airlines are looking at ways to make money out of there customers.

Even airports are looking at new ways to make extra money out of customers using the airport to fly abroad or domestically. In 2016 I went online and payed to be fast tracked through Manchester Airports T1 security check.  I am happy doing this because after checking in I want to get though the security check ASAP.  In 2017 when I went online to book the same Fast track I noticed that Manchester Airport were offering a Fast track service for when you return home at a cost of £5.

I think Manchester airport are thinking of doing away with a  fee drop off area at each of there 3 Terminals and forcing you or your lift into a car park. which will incur a cost 

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Will it really make a lot of difference with this airline though given how under capacity their services seem to be?

Most of the time I've flown with Etihad, (4 trips to LOS, 16 flights in totaI) their flights are usually half empty or less, particularly on the AUH-BKK legs, where they seem to be flying 4 return flights a day on A380s and 777s configured with over 400 seats. I've been on flights on this sector with as few as 50 people on board. Definitely 1 and probably 2 flights a day too many.

Last time was maybe about a third full out of BKK and after the doors were closed there was a scramble amongst some passengers to get the banks of 3 and 4 that were fully free which the crew seemed to be encouraging so one would rightly have felt aggrieved if they had paid for a neighbour free seat.

I like to sit in the aisle near the front as well as some of the posters above but IMHO most punters flying seem to prefer the back of the plane or window seats for whatever reason....

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I've been a big fan of qatar (no seat fee) for a few years, but booked emirates for november. I won't be reserving seats.

I prefer to sit at the back of the plane, whereas everyone else wants the front. Qatar was 3 flights using those bloody dreamliners, which suck. Emirates is 3 flights on a380 and a 777-300 which are all better. A trade off i'm happy with.

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13 hours ago, taylor1975 said:

I've been a big fan of qatar (no seat fee) for a few years, but booked emirates for november. I won't be reserving seats.

I prefer to sit at the back of the plane, whereas everyone else wants the front. Qatar was 3 flights using those bloody dreamliners, which suck. Emirates is 3 flights on a380 and a 777-300 which are all better. A trade off i'm happy with.

I'm interested to know why you prefer to sit at the back of the plane

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4 hours ago, blue1878 said:

I'm interested to know why you prefer to sit at the back of the plane

Freezing on every qatar flight i've been on, where i've sat at the front. Blanket around me the whole time.

Nice and warm at the back!

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1 hour ago, taylor1975 said:

Freezing on every qatar flight i've been on, where i've sat at the front. Blanket around me the whole time.

Nice and warm at the back!

Everybody is different

I've flown with  Etihad a few times and have always sat at the front.  And have never felt cold

I'm now flying with Emirates and again feel fine at the front

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On 13/07/2018 at 21:04, PR1977 said:

Most of the time I've flown with Etihad, (4 trips to LOS, 16 flights in totaI) their flights are usually half empty or less, particularly on the AUH-BKK legs, where they seem to be flying 4 return flights a day on A380s and 777s configured with over 400 seats. I've been on flights on this sector with as few as 50 people on board. Definitely 1 and probably 2 flights a day too many.

Firstly Etihad Airways do not operate the A380'S on the AUH-BKK legs only B777'S. I have my October flights already booked with Etihad Airways and have seen already that flight EY402 AUH-BKK has been downgraded to an Airbus A330-200 class this must be a first for me, Etihad have always used the B777's on this route since i have been flying with them way back to when they started from Gatwick Airport, i know the next flight EY406 can be either an B777 or A330 type aircraft.   When i booked my flights i did not pay the new seat charges but now see that if i want to change my seats i will have to pay the following surcharge fees Standard seat is AED 100 , Preferrded Seats are AED 130, and Extra Legroom seats are AED 560.          

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On 7/17/2018 at 13:33, Rainsberger said:

Firstly Etihad Airways do not operate the A380'S on the AUH-BKK legs only B777'S.

I stand corrected.

4 777s a day configured to hold I think 412 passengers does seem like a lot of seats to fill though, probably why they're now using A330-200s on some flights as you mention above, although I don't necessarily agree that this is a downgrade, I think the A330 in 2-4-2 is more comfortable than the 777 is 3-4-3.

Anyway I have flights on Etihad booked for trips in March and June next year so will wait to see if they change the equipment from 777 to A330 for those....

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£25 quid per seat ?  Holy fuck !!!

I've just booked my next trip and have 5 bastard flights (2 stops on return) to endure.  I was thinking of pre-selecting my seats for the 2 flights where I want to try and sleep (AUH to BKK going out and AUH to DUB coming back). But I had expected something like £10-£15 per seat. £25 is Dick Turpin territory :o

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24 minutes ago, Jumpin Jack Flash said:

£25 quid per seat ?  Holy fuck !!!

I've just booked my next trip and have 5 bastard flights (2 stops on return) to endure.  I was thinking of pre-selecting my seats for the 2 flights where I want to try and sleep (AUH to BKK going out and AUH to DUB coming back). But I had expected something like £10-£15 per seat. £25 is Dick Turpin territory :o

You think that's bad?

Booked my parents a holiday in Las Vegas for my Dad's 70th birthday & had to pay £360 (2 x 2 Outbound + 2 x 2 return at £45) with BA, in Premium Economy! (Cheeky Barstewards charging to book seats in PE)

Turned out ok though, they must have realised it was my Dad's 70th (or more likely he told them) so they got upgraded to Business Class on the way out (Had 1/2 a mind to ask for £180 back as they didn't give them the seats that I booked & paid for).

 

Some people say try to get a seat at the back of the plane on a long haul as the front tends to fill up 1st so you've a much better chance of bagging an empty row.

 

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I always sit at the back, for that very reason (rare chance to get a sleep stretched out in an empty row). But I always pre-book it cos I want a window seat in case there aren't any empty rows.

£25 will put me off, tho. I'm already overpaying for the flight (compared to previous flights).

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