The FINANCIAL — As of 15 September 2008, Air France customers travelling in economy class on long-haul flights can reserve seats that offer more legroom thanks to their specific position in the cabin.
These seats may be reserved only when checking in online, from 30 hours before the scheduled flight departure and up to the latest check-in time, on payment of a 50 euro supplement.
"Customers consulted on the introduction of this new service have shown they are interested in an option that guarantees they can travel with extra legroom and allows them to choose their degree of on-board comfort with no fuss and in a totally open seat allocation system", explains Patrick Roux, Air France Vice President Marketing.
This service has been introduced initially on almost all flights operated by Air France between Paris-CDG and the United States and Canada. It will be extended across the long-haul network by winter 2008/2009. The number of seats available on each flight will vary from four on A330-200s or A340-300s to up to 37 on B747-400s with an upper deck. Once the service is fully operational, the number of Seats Plus offered for sale will represent 3% of all economy seats on Air France's long-haul network.
Until now, customers could be given no guarantee that they would obtain these seats. They were usually allocated at the airport check-in desk shortly before a flight's departure. Subject to availability, reservation of a Seat Plus is free for Flying Blue members who indicate their Gold or Platinum status when reserving.
Several other legacy carriers also offer specific seat allocation on payment of a supplement. Depending on the airline, this may cover front-of-cabin seats, aisle or window seats, or seats located beside the emergency exits.