Until recently, Jet Airways’ Seat Select program was implemented only for their special seats, such as the bulkhead and the exit row seats. However, most other airlines have started to monetize similar programs to sell all their seats on a pre-assigned basis, and Jet Airways is now joining the bandwagon as well, as of August 24, 2016.
Here is the refreshed list of seats that can be pre-assigned for a cost up to 24 hours before flight. Then, these can be taken by anyone during check-in if not pre-assigned ahead.
On the Boeing 737 narrow-bodies which fly domestic and regionally, in the front of the plane, you can pay for window and aisle seats. On the emergency exit and bulkhead, all seats are paid.
On the A332/333 planes which are flown domestic and internationally as well window and aisle seats are paid, while middle row seats are free of cost.
Platinum & Gold Members get free seat assignments
In line with the new Fare Choices, Platinum & Gold members will still get seat assignments free of cost. Platinum’s will be able to get seat assignments across all kind of economy fares, while Gold members will get it on Classic & Flex fares only.
Now, let’s come to the charges. Domestic flights, INR 600 for extra leg room seats and INR 300 for other seats. INR 600 is lesser than the Indigo and Spicejet pricing on these seats which is INR 900-INR 1000 I believe.
For international flights, it is much more complicated, and is a function of your destination and the plane that flies to that destination. Have a look.
So, for flights on the long haul segments, Jet Airways has copied the pricing of Air India at USD 50, and other window/aisle seats at half of that. I don’t know why those going to London get those seats for free. You can check out the seats classification on this page.
How does it work?
Seat Selection has been offered under the Manage my Booking segment for a very long time now. You can add a seat selection, and pay as well. Here is the seat selection screen for a flight coming up for me.
The current move is not taking away anything from fliers on the domestic legs, however, it is not giving them enough as well. Earlier, one could not select seats on domestic segments without being an elite. Now, you can, except you have to pay for it. On the other hand, this is not as cheap as GoAir, who will not make seats available free of charge through the end and will make passengers come to the counters for a free seat. GoAir only increases their own work load by discouraging people from web- check-in and encouraging them to check-in offline.
On International segments, it is a bit too much I’d say. I know there are other airlines going the way of monetizing seat selection, but for every airline that is going that way, there are 4 others which are not, and then this becomes a sureshot nickel and diming way, because prior seat assignment on international flights for free has been around as long as I can remember. One could take away the important bulkhead and emergency exit seats, but all others should have still been available for assignment.
In terms of Fare Choices, I think at least the Flex tickets should have gotten free seat selection, regardless of tier of the flier. If they pay top-dollar, this is the least the airline can give them.
What are your views on this? Do you like this new feature from Jet Airways or not? Why?