An American AAdvantage Gold elite member complains that the airline wants to charge her to reserve exit row seats.
“I’m a frequent flier with American who has gold status because I have been commuting every 2 or 3 weeks between Miami and New York for the past year,” she says. “Each time in the past I made a reservation and purchased a ticket and I was able to obtain an exit row seat for no extra charge.”
But the last time she tried, American said nuh-uh.
“I was informed that I had to pay $19 extra for each leg of my trip if I wanted to reserve such a seat,” she recalls.
So is she being scammed?
Here’s what happened.
They said at the time that it would be free for Platinum elites and above, and that Golds would be able to reserve those seats free at time of booking only through December 2013. (After that Golds would get the seats free at check-in.)
Exit row seats — which had been free to Golds — got folded into Main Cabin Extra since they had extra legroom.
Now Gold members can have the seats free at check-in, or get a 50% discount on reserving these seats in advance. That’s the Gold benefit, as promised in April 2012. For more on the policy, see here.
This story via Christopher Elliott, natch. He calls it a scam.
Oh, you don’t think this is a scam? Well, think about it. According to Zaritsky, American offered her these confirmed reservations — and let’s face it, it’s the least they can do for a good customer — in exchange for her business. And then one day it quietly pulled the rug out from under her, deleting this perk.
In my book, that’s a scam.
Then he polls readers on whether he should “mediate Joyce Zaritsky’s case with American Airlines?”
Early readers of the column, though, are pretty smart. It will be interesting to see whether people who read Elliott without throwing their computers will continue to hold the same view.
Main Cabin Extra — combined with British Airways Avios — is why I’m flying coach more and more and loving it.
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