Virgin Atlantic will start charging economy passengers for pre-selection of their seats next year. The move may be especially costly to travelling families with children who want to ensure they all sit together.
The additional fee will start from about £25 (about $40) per seat per flight for long-haul routes and £50 (about $80) for a round-trip long-haul flight. The charge will be £8 (about $13) per person per flight on Virgin’s Little Red domestic flights.
The fee will be introduced on May 1. It will be introduced on flights from Las Vegas to London’s Gatwick Airport first and on other US routes from June 1.
The fee will not apply to passengers flying between the UK and Tokyo.
Passengers will be able to reserve a seat free of charge when online check-in opens 24 hours before departure, but will have to pay if they want to select a specific seat earlier.
Seat selection can be made on most routes 336 days in advance by passengers paying for the service. Those who wait until check-in opens will be able to choose from the remaining seats.
Virgin Atlantic’s chief rival, British Airways, currently charges £25 per flight (£50 return) if passengers want to select their seats on long-haul flights.