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A pair of European airlines have announced plans to start charging business class customers for choosing their seats in advance.
As soon as next week, Air France and KLM’s new policy — which is sure to be met with derision by premium passengers — will go into place.
Here’s what you should know.
Air France and KLM’s New Premium Seat Fees
As of Tuesday, April 4, 2023, Air France and KLM will charge business class passengers a fee to pick their seats in advance of the check-in window. This mirrors a policy the airlines already have in place for long-haul economy flights.
The new fees will apply for long-haul flights operated by the 2 airlines starting on April 13, 2023. However, flights to and from North America are excluded initially from the new policy — although there’s no indication as to if or when the new scheme will be applied to long-haul North American flights.
The fees will range from 70 Euros to 90 Euros (~$76 to $97) per long-haul flight, though the airlines note that FlyingBlue Silver, Gold, and Platinum members, in addition to corporate flyers (with the exception of bluebiz) will be exempt from paying these new fees. All business class flyers will be able to select a seat free of charge once check-in for a given flight opens.
Hot Tip: Looking to redeem miles for a trip to Europe? Learn about all the best ways to earn tons of FlyingBlue miles to bolster your balance!
New Business Class Seat Assignment Fee Trend
Air France and KLM aren’t the first airlines to charge business class customers — many of whom have paid thousands of dollars for a ticket already — for an advance seat assignment.
British Airways has charged business class passengers to pick seats in advance for years. And another pair of European giants — Lufthansa and SWISS — are gearing up to roll out their new business class products, each of which offers several different seat types.
We’re not trying to give them any ideas, but it stands to reason that the 2 Star Alliance carriers will set different prices for the different seat types they offer.
This is an unfortunate new policy from Air France and KLM. The 2 SkyTeam airlines are following in the footsteps of British Airways by charging passengers even more to pick a seat in the business class cabin, even though the tickets themselves may have already cost several thousand dollars.
We hope we don’t see more airlines across the continent implement these kinds of fees, but we’re not overly optimistic.
Featured Image Credit: Air France
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