Home YOU ASK - WE ANSWER Big Seniors Flying Economy Deal With Seat & Wallet Squeezes
Big Seniors Flying Economy Deal With Seat & Wallet Squeezes PDF Print E-mail

Q: I’m six feet four, and since I always have to pay my own way, I fly economy. I’m often a bit cramped, but it’s OK with me and save money. Now the airlines, always greedy for squeezing more dough out of us, have introduced more leg room for more money. What do you think about this new rip-off?



A: Yeah, airline beancounters have come up with a new name for the extra charge: premium-economy seats. It seems some airlines are always looking for ways to squeeze passenger wallets, as well as seats into sardine can widths. Even though the price of gas is down 70 percent from last year’s highs, some still tack on that extra fuel charge. And, of course, many get another $15 to check bags, so don’t expect lower prices any time soon. It will only happen when people cut back on flying, resulting a lot of empty seats in the air. 

Before you pay that extra fare for extra leg room, consider the so-called advantage. The added space is only from five to eight more inches, which for a very tall guy like you, a choice between getting cramps in your ankles, knees and thighs in a regular tourist fare seat, to getting cramps only in your knees in a premium-economy seat. If that’s worth paying an extra $30 to $100, go for it!

Before you book any flight to anywhere, do some heavy checking on the internet with Priceline, Expedia and other agencies for special airline and package promotions, red-eyes and other price-reducing deals. Often, Virgin, Southwest and other airlines offer attractive discounts.

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