Qantas is now selling more 'extra legroom' seats in the economy cabin of its Airbus A380 flights, giving travellers additional ways to avoid that squeeze around the knees – as long as they pony up as much as $180 for the privilege.
While several of the A380s' economy seats on the A380 are already earmarked as extra legroom, these are all in the emergency exit row.
Qantas is now adding three more superjumbo seats – 71D, 80A and 80K into that cost-extra category.
These are located where the configuration of the plane has gifted them much more legroom than the standard 31 inch pitch – as many as nine inches in the case of 71D, which has no seat directly in front of it.
That trio of economy seats is the prized pick of savvy travellers who until now have been able to book them without any additional cost.
That all changes as of today. Those specific seats now attract a fee "from $90 to $180", Qantas says, although they can also be snared for 12,000 and 23,500 Qantas Points respectively.
Qantas argues that re-assigning those seats into the 'extra legroom' category will mean a fairer deal for most passengers.
A Qantas spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller that some of those seats would still be reserved for Platinum One-grade frequent flyers, who enjoy the perk of requesting extra legroom economy seats without cost.
Qantas is also introducing the extra legroom category onto its transcontinental Airbus A330 flights, with passengers able to book four spacey seats in advance of their flight for an extra $60 or 7,500 Qantas Points.
A330 flights on the Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne 'triangle' will still list those seats at the same rate as standard economy seats.
Qantas joins other airlines which already charge a levy for extra legroom seats, among them Virgin Australia for east-west A330 flights plus Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific on international flights.
Virgin Australia is also planning to introduce on its Boeing 777 jets a new ‘economy plus’ zone with extra legroom – and a higher price tag to suit.
The airline has revealed there will be 42 of these seats on each Boeing 777, although it's not detailed how many inches will be gained over the standard 32 inch pitch.
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