Uncomfortable Ideas About Uncomfortable Seating Assignments

Evidently, low cost carrier Jet2 has a seating policy that states – and I’m paraphrasing here – you wants to sit next to your significant other, you pays to sit next to your significant other.

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable policy. Pay an additional fee and you can select where on the plane you sit, and next to whom you will be seated. And if you don’t pay, well, you take your chances – but Jet2 will still fly you and your SO to wherever it is you want to go (within the airline’s route system, of course).

But Greece_l0ver has a sneaking suspicion Jet2 might have taken this policy to the next money-making level:

2 people should be easy enough to seat together, however on both flights we are split by several rows, forcing us to pay for seats together & unable to change just one seat but have to move both. Last year I thought this was unfortunate as there were 3 of us travelling, but now I seem to think it’s just another money making exercise.

Now, this is a rather old thread, having been started in January 2013, but it is still going strong and has turned into quite a debate as to whether an airline would go to the trouble to purposefully separate travelers in an attempt to pull a bit more money out of their wallets. Vauban summarizes the gist of the argument quite succinctly:

The presumption should be that, if it is possible, companion passengers should be able to sit together. By paying a supplement, you merely make that a much nearer certainty (and choose the location on the plane).


The question that OP asks is whether as a matter of policy Jet2 is splitting up companions in order to encourage people who assumed they would be sitting together in most instances from feeling the need to pay additionally up front. You say that they are there to make money, and imply this would be legitimiate practice. I [think] such practices – if they happen – are disagreeable, and speak of contempt for the customer as a cash cow.

So which is it?

  1. Does Jet2 make some attempt to seat paired travelers together, even when those travelers haven’t paid the additional fee for joined seats?
  2. Does Jet2 assign seating completely randomly if the fee isn’t paid?
  3. Or does Jet2 make an effort to ensure paired travelers who haven’t paid the fee are seated separately?

And if the answer is #3, is that a predatory practice, or just good business sense?

No matter in which camp you fall, you are sure to find some supporters as well as opponents participating in this discussion.

Read the thread in its entirety: Who else NEVER gets seated together?!

Image: “G-CELD B737-300 Jet2” by Maarten Visser. CC BY-SA 2.0.

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