Continental to charge for extra legroom in economy

5 Mar 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Continental Airlines is to give passengers the option of purchasing economy seats with extra legroom at check-in.

The US carrier said that from March 17 customers will be able to purchase “premium seat assignments for unreserved economy-class seats that feature extra legroom”. Continental says that depending on the aircraft type, these seats will provide customers with a minimum of seven additional inches of leg space.

Passengers will be able to purchase these seats from 24 hours prior to departure, when checking in either at the airport or online at The airline has not released exact details of the pricing for this service, saying only that it will “vary depending on a number of factors, including the length of the flight and market”.

Elite members of Continental’s OnePass frequent flyer scheme will continue to be able to assign themselves (and their companions) economy seats with extra legroom without charge.

In announcing this move Continental is joining a growing list of carriers charging for the selection of economy seats with extra legroom. US airlines such as Jet Blue, US Airways and Virgin America all offer varying options for upgrading to “premium” economy seats, and Singapore Airlines announced its own chargeable Preferred Seat Selection offering at the end of 2008 (see online news November 3, 2008).

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Report by Mark Caswell

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