Northwest Airlines sent a mass email yesterday touting a new “feature” that they’re testing: “Coach ChoiceSM Seating.” Here is how they describe it:
Northwest has begun saving some preferred seats (including aisle and exit row seats) in coach class until check-in, which is available 24 hours prior to departure. You can confirm these preferred seat assignments for only $15 per flight.
Call me cynical, but hasn’t this product been avaiable already for free? Maybe this airline is trying to model itself after the bank—that most beloved institution that gave us the ATM, a customer convenience to be sure, but also a way for the bank to reduce its payroll and extort more fees at the same time.
The fine folks at Northwest Airlines must figure that if people want to stretch their legs out into the aisle, they ought to pay for the privilege. You know, if I didn’t have frequent flyer miles to use, I’d boycott Northwest right now. We can’t let them get away with this! Oh, my blood is boiling! The indignity of it all!