Almost eight in 10 people say they wouldn?t pay extra to reserve a seat on a budget airline, a new poll from Skyscanner has revealed.
The survey follows easyJet?s trials of pre-paid allocated seating on various routes earlier this year, making it the latest budget airline to consider implementing the model.
More than 500 people voted in the poll, with the majority saying they wouldn?t part with any extra money just to reserve their seat. 32% claimed it was just another ?rip off? tactic; 28% said reserved seating should be a basic right on all flights, and 20% said they?d rather travel with another airline that allows passengers to choose a seat for free.
Only 8% said they would be willing to cough up the cash to reserve a seat; 12% said they?d consider it, but only if it cost less than ?10 (which is ?2 less than the current easyJet trial fee for reserving front row seats).
easyJet is expected to make a decision on whether to roll out pre-paid allocated seating on all its flights later this year. Various other airlines already offer the option to pre-book seats for a fee, with many charging extra for seats with more legroom.
Traditionally, budget carriers have no reserved seats and passengers are free to sit anywhere. However this has led to problems with families or groups who wish to sit together but cannot guarantee it. Even passengers who purchase ?speedy? or ?priority? boarding are not assured their choice of seat as it depends on how the plane is loaded, and how many other people also purchased it.
Sam Poullain, Skyscanner spokesman commented:
?Although our survey showed high resistance to the idea of paying to pre-book seats, passengers who want to guarantee getting the seats they want would at least have the option of doing so. With the budget airline model, travellers can tailor make their flights, without having to pay extra for elements they don?t want. It?s really important for passengers to know what they?re getting for their money, so Skyscanner compares both low cost and scheduled airlines, and shows users what is included in the ticket price and what they will have to pay extra for.?