Frontier Airlines to Charge Extra for Flying Next to an Empty Seat
If you want to guarantee the middle seat next to you remains empty during a flight, expect to pay $39-$89 extra.
Taking a flight may the last thing on your mind right now, but airlines are figuring out how they can enforce social distancing while also charging passengers more for guaranteeing some degree of isolation when they do decide to fly.
As Bloomberg reports, ultra low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines is set to introduce a "More Room" option for passengers from May 8. It allows an aisle or window seat to be booked with a guarantee the middle seat remains empty during the flight. Frontier is promoting it as a way of ensuring there's "more distance between you and fellow passengers."
The guaranteed empty seat option isn't free, though. Ensuring "nearly 21 inches of separation" will cost a minimum of $39. The More Room option price can rise as high as $89 depending on the route your flight takes. Frontier also warns that pricing may change, and ultimately it can only make 18 of these more distance seats available per flight. The airline expects to continue offering the More Room option until Aug. 31.
Anyone flying with Frontier from May 8 will be required to accept a health acknowledgement confirming they (and their household) have had no symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days. They must also wear a face covering over their mouth and nose. As the Frontier website explains, "This effort is yet another action we are taking to help you feel more comfortable when flying with Frontier and follows the guidance of the CDC and local authorities. Frontier airport employees and flight crews are already required to wear face coverings at work." The covering must be worn at ticket counters and gate areas as well as onboard aircraft.
Frontier would also like you to download the Frontier app on your phone so as to avoid touching kiosks or counters in the airport. Passengers are advised to open the air vents above their seat "all the way to receive maximum airflow," practice respiratory hygiene (cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing), wash your hands properly, and to not attempt to fly if you feel sick or have a fever.
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