One of the most frequent requests by air travelers at check-in is for a seat assignment that has an empty seat next to it.
The benefits of an empty seat include:
- Being able to stretch your legs under an adjacent seat;
- Loading your personal items in the empty seat instead of cramming everything in your lap or in the space for your feet;
- Eliminating an in-flight “war” with the person next to you when you both want to use the armrest;
- Lifting up your arm rest for more room when trying to relax or sleep.
Unfortunately increased air travel combined with a decreasing number of flights means there are fewer and fewer empty seats on airplanes. Some airlines, However, have now started to offer passengers the empty seat next to their assigned seat for an extra charge.
Virgin Atlantic launched their Seat Plus scheme (on some flights) that offers an adjacent empty seat for prices starting from $150 in 2012. Malaysia-based Air Asia and Spanish airline Vueling already offer this option.