“Traveling by yourself?” The ground staff behind the counter of Air Canada asked.
Remember the good old days when they asked you if you’d prefer an aisle or window seat? When I was younger, I always wanted a window seat. Now I prefer aisle with little freedom of access.
Couple years ago, someone built a website called seatguru.com. I would reference this site while doing online check-in. It lists airlines and the craft models and have comments on the leg room and other potential problems. It is a good guide. Not always a hundred percent but when traveling long haul up to 20 hours, it was nice to have some choices.
When did the airlines catch on this lucrative opportunity to make extra money? Within the last 2 years, one could pay an additional 50 dollars to be able to select these “prefered seats”. You are still in the same cabin class, but it’s all “location location location”.You could still select the rest of the seats based on the map without extra charges.
Then this year, Air Canada decided that if you want to choose the rest of the seats ahead of time, you can do that by paying them 16 dollars, otherwise you will just get a randomly assigned seat. Never mind that when you joined their reward program they asked you about your preferences. I wonder if the airline is working with real estate agents nowadays…
When I checked in for my flight last night, I struggled a little bit. I could see that I was sandwiched in a 3 seater and the flight seem to be fully booked. My only choices now were the $50 prefered seats. Do I want to change it? Would it be worth it?
In the end, I decided against it, mainly because the flight is only 2.5 hour. It won’t be unbearable. Though I don’t know what I’d do if the flight was longer.
Back at the counter, the ground staff informed me that she changed my seat to an aisle since I was traveling solo. My guess was that some family wanted to sit together and there were still some wiggle room in the seating chart. I thanked her (and my lucky star). This trip appear to be off to a good start!