SIA launches Preferred Seat Selection

3 Nov 2008 by Mark Caswell

Airlines economy passengers can now pay extra to guarantee themselves seats
with extra legroom.

The Preferred
Seat Selection option allows economy customers, including those on redemption
bookings, to “upgrade” to an exit-row seat for US$50 per sector. This can be
done at anytime before online check-in begins (48 hours before

The service is
currently only available on seats in exit rows, although SIA says it may extend
it to “other categories of Preferred Seats, that
similarly offer customers more legroom” in the future.

Note that this service is not available on
SIA’s 777-200LR aircraft, as they do not feature economy seats in exit rows. SIA
also points out that due to safety requirements, passengers looking to occupy
exit-row seats must:

  • Be at
    least 21 years of age at the commencement of the journey.
  • Be fully
    able-bodied, and capable of opening the exit doors and moving quickly, or
    reaching and passing through the adjacent emergency exit.
  • Be able to
    understand and follow the safety instructions in English.
  • Be in good
    health at the time of check-in, boarding, and during the flight.
  • Not be
    pregnant, or carrying infants, or using an infant seat belt.
  • Not be
    under the influence of any intoxicating substance at check-in, boarding,
    and during the flight, as determined by ground and cabin crew.
  • Not
    require an extension seat belt because of large body size.

Early indications suggest that this
paid-for service is not being well-received by SIA customers. When the story
was reported on the online version of The Straits Times (Singapore’s largest
selling newspaper) earlier today, it prompted a raft of comments from readers, almost
all of which were against the move.

What do you think of SIA’s decision to
charge for exit row seats? You can comment on this story below, or visit our
forum to have your say.

For more information visit

Report by Mark Caswell

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