Thai Airways has introduced a paid seat selection service to its international flights for both economy class and business class passengers.

The service, which was made available to travellers on July 27, will allow economy class passengers to book sought after seats for a fee. Passengers travelling in Thai’s Royal Silk Class (the airline’s business class product) will be able to upgrade their seats to First Class.

Economy class passengers may purchase front row or exit row seats in each cabin zone, while Royal Silk Class passengers may purchase First Class seats by paying an extra fee. The additional cost varies based on the actual flight distance, according to a press release from Thailand’s flag carrier.

Below is a table showing the additional fees for economy class passengers:

From/To To Zone 1 To Zone 2 To Zone 3 To Zone 4 To Zone 5
From Bangkok  USD 15 USD 30  USD 50 USD 70  USD 100
THB 480 THB 960 THB 1,600 THB 2,235 THB 3,195
 From Zone 1 (from Chiang Mai/Krabi/Phuket)  USD 30  USD 45 USD 65  USD 85  USD 115
THB 960 THB 1,440 THB 2,075 THB 2,715 THB 3,670
 From Zone 2  USD 45 USD 60  USD 80 USD 100  USD130
 From Zone 3  USD 65  USD 80 USD 100 USD 120  USD 150
 From Zone 4  USD 85 USD 100  USD 120  USD 140  USD 170
 From Zone 5  USD 115  USD 130 USD 150 USD 170  USD 200

Below is a table showing the additional fees for business class passengers booking first class seats:

Flights between…and…  Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5
Bangkok  USD 40 USD 75  USD 150 USD 200  USD 280
THB 1,280 THB 2,395 THB 4,790 THB 6,385 THB 8,935

Zoning details:

Zone 1 Bangladesh, Cambodia, China (Kunming), Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore,
TG Domestic Sectors in Thailand (Chiang Mai/ Krabi/ Phuket), Vietnam, Between Taipei and Seoul, Between Karachi and Muscat
Zone 2 China (Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xiamen), Hong Kong, India, Indonesia,
Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taipei, Between Phuket and Beijing
Zone 3 Australia (Perth) , Japan, Korea, Oman, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates
Zone 4 Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne) , Russia (Moscow)
Zone 5 Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Between Stockholm and Phuket, Between Copenhagen and Phuket, Between Frankfurt and Phuket

For more details on the preferred seat selection service, visit the following page here on the airline’s website.

Passengers can now book the service by calling the Thai Contact Center, or at the Thai check-in counter on the date of departure. However, they will have to wait until “mid-August” to purchase the service from Thai’s website, an airline spokesperson confirmed to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific.

Thai Airways is not the only carrier in the Asia-Pacific region to introduce this kind of service. Singapore Airlines revised its fare structure back in January 2018, with a notable addition being a new, cheaper “Lite” economy class fare option that only includes advance seat reservation if you pay an additional US$5 per flight segment. A few months later, Cathay Pacific introduced the option to purchase advanced seat selection on its cheapest Economy Super Saver, Economy Save and Fanfare tickets for an additional HK$300 (US$38) – something passengers on these fares had previously been unable to do.