USAirways to Offer Elite Coach Seats for Sale to Anyone

USAirways’ “elite” seats in coach are at the front of the plane, but unlike United those seats carry no extra benefits (such as additional legroom), you just get off the plane first. Elites get them at no extra cost, but starting May 7 USAirways will be offering them to all other customers during web checkin for an extra charge.

Now, I wouldn’t pay extra for these seats. Non-elites will be boarding later and have a harder time finding overhead space which will presumably be taken by nearby early boarding elites.

But this is a devaluation for elites, who on the rare flight that isn’t full will fface more crowded surroundings. The concept isn’t new, though, Northwest has done it for some time.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Basically most of America has had it with the airlines. Horrible performance, terrible service, and most of all outrageous airfares on fuel bought three years ago on contracts. First they charge us extra for emergency seats, then $25 each way for another bag, and now $5 for choice seats and on some regional flights, that will be 1/2 the plane. Airfares are up an average $140 RT since January, regardless of what the airlines say, and with this latest little BS move, I personally will be waving bye,bye to US Airways. What they all fail to realize is that with these extra fees, they are making lost cost carriers like southwest look like gods. Congratulations on your own demise!

  2. I’m not sure it will impact elites much at all. US already didn’t block the middle seats on the first few rows – just the aisle and window. So elites rarely had the middle seat next to them empty as those were often the first middles to be taken.

    And they are still blocking the exit rows for elites only.

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