According to eTNW, Virgin Atlantic has begun charging passengers for the privilege of selecting their seats, and limiting the number of seats travel agents can pre-assign to their travellers.
Customers can choose a specific seat any time from 336 days before their flight at a cost of $40 per person per sector or $80 per round trip on Virgin Atlantic long-haul flights.
Agents will only be able to assign seats on the GDS for Upper Class and Premium Economy as well as booking classes Y and B in economy.
All other passengers who want to select their seats prior to online check-in will have to use the ‘Manage My Booking’ function on Virgin Atlantic’s website.
Once check-in opens, 24 hours before their flight, customers can choose their seat online for free, although this doesn’t apply to extra leg-room and exit-row seats.
Virgin will try to seat families together, free of charge, before online check-in opens. “We’ll assign seats on a first come, first served, basis. If we can’t seat all the family together, we’ll make sure each child under 12 years old is seated with an adult from the family group,” the airline said in a statement.