US Airways and its ‘poor choice’ seats

When you think about a “choice” economy-class seat, what first comes to your mind? An exit row seat? Aisle? Window? The photo above?

Not so fast. It seems the definition of “choice” is evolving all the time.

Take US Airways, for example. The carrier’s “Choice Seats” programme generally allows customers to pay a little extra for a window or aisle seat towards the front of the economy-class cabin. But not always. In fact, a US Airways Choice Seat might not even recline!

In US Airways’ latest employee newsletter, the carrier is asked why it sells non-reclining seats on the Boeing 767 against the bulkhead (row 11) as Choice Seats.

Here is US Airways’ answer:

“We are continually looking at our Choice Seats program and making adjustments as to how many Choice Seats are available for sale on a flight as well as their location. In the case of the 767, although that particular row doesn’t recline, its proximity to the exit and Zone 1 boarding priority make it a product our customers are willing to pay for to enjoy, so we sell it as a Choice Seat. This is especially true for customers traveling between PHL and CLT – a trip that we operate several times each day using 767 equipment.”

So now being merely close to an exit row qualifies as a good seat? Correct.

To quote my Irish aunties, “That’s desperate.”

I know that many of you do this before you fly, but if you want the real skinny on your aircraft seat, be sure to check out SeatGuru by TripAdvisor, which shows the good, the bad and the ugly of aircraft cabins.

Here is SeatGuru’s take on US Airways’ 767-200 service. Looks like Row 11 is full of “poor seats”, making it a poor choice indeed (perhaps with the exception of the high-frequency PHL-CLT route, Mr. Dan Webb :-)

(Photo above from jsmjr’s Flickr photo stream)

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5 Responses to US Airways and its ‘poor choice’ seats

  1. Robert E. Coli August 15, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    You people are such complainers! Getting any kind of seat is a luxury. Crikey, we wanted to put in vertical “standing room only” seats. That would have worked, too, except for those safety wowsers. So stop complaining that a seat will not recline. There is just no pleasing some people.

    Take a chill pill*… then you can have a “laid back” attitude, whether your seat will recline or not.

    Robert E. Coli
    CEO Thromby Air – Lowest of the Low

    * Where permitted. Chill pills are not included in the base price of your ticket.

  2. Jetcal1 August 16, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    The picture does not match the seating envelope on the seat guru page. I wonder if US Airways has pulled a lav or two and repitched.

    Unless there is another exit behind the seat where the picture was taken, the recline should not have been locked out. (However, the seat forward of the exit should have the ecline locked out. Nice comparison with the Emirates photos.

    Perhaps the US carriers should compete for the domain name “3rd world airlines”.

  3. Dave August 16, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Well we are talking about US Air, American’s single worst airline… it’s like they aspire to be reviled just that extra little bit everyday.

  4. Mushroom August 17, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    Anyone who pays an extra few bucks to choose their seat/get on first is almost certainly a douche.

    And hence deserves the misfortune…

  5. Rocketist August 19, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    The seat in the photo certainly qualifies as choice for people with unusually long legs. I thought that included you, Mary?
    In any case, people’s seat preferences vary about as much as one could dream of, so some would certainly find this position attractive.

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