Oman Air has introduced a new paid-for option enabling economy class passengers to ensure the seat next to them is kept vacant.

The My Space service has been launched in partnership with technology provider Plusgrade, which already enables passengers travelling on several airlines (including Oman Air) to bid for upgrades.

Customers checking in for their flight between 48 hours and three hours before departure, can select adjacent seats (where available) on the interactive seat map. They are then given the opportunity to purchase that seat.

Oman Air has not given details of how much customers can expect to pay to keep the seat free. According to the terms and conditions on this page promoting the My Space option, passengers must have purchased “a valid economy-class ticket starting with 910” to be eligible.

It also notes that Oman Air reserves the right to unblock the seat (in return for a refund), “for any operational or commercial reasons”, and that:

“Oman Air does not guarantee specific seat assignments to guests whose purchase Myspace. It may be necessary to move you from a pre-reserved seat to offer you the My Space experience, (pre-reserved Seat Assignment includes Standard Seat, Choice Seat, Exit Row Seat, Front Row Seat). In this case the pre-reserved seat fees are not refundable.”

Commenting on the news Oman Air’s senior vice president – revenue management, pricing and distribution Umesh Chhiber, said:

“Our guests appreciate flexibility and choices while they are travelling. In cooperation with our trusted partner, Plusgrade, we are giving them the opportunity to fly with more space around them.”