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Qantas unveils ‘Neighbour Free’ empty seat program

Qantas unveils ‘Neighbour Free’ empty seat program

To make travelling in economy a little more tolerable, Qantas has come up with a scheme, but you’ll have to pay for it and the advantage might be taken away right before you board.

The airline has made public its new “Neighbour Free” programme, which on select flights will allow travellers to reserve an empty seat next to their own.

When flying in economy, Qantas said, “Neighbour Free gives you the option to reserve the seat next to you, so you can enjoy extra space and comfort.”

For the time being, it is not accessible internationally or on several of its popular internal routes.

Some elite frequent fliers have had secret access to this benefit in economy for a while now, but it’s now available to everyone for a fee.

If a client has purchased a domestic flight and is travelling on a qualifying route with seats still available, they will get an email 48 hours prior to departure requesting them to reserve the seat next to them.

If they choose to participate, they will then incur an additional fee of $30 to $65 and get notification that their Neighbour Free request has been approved.

Depending on the route, there may be a fee to reserve the seat next to you. The minimal cost of a flight from Sydney to Melbourne or Adelaide to the Gold Coast is $35.

However, the majority of the routes that qualify, such as Adelaide to Brisbane, Brisbane to Perth, and Darwin to Sydney, will cost $65 each way.

Many of Qantas’ biggest domestic routes, like as those from Sydney to Melbourne and Brisbane as well as Brisbane to Melbourne, won’t initially be covered by the Neighbour Free programme.

The initial batch of itineraries does not appear to include any trips to Canberra or Tasmania. International Qantas flights aren’t either.

However, according to Qantas, “plans are underway to further expand the initiative to other domestic routes in the months ahead.”

Children are not permitted to utilise the seat, and extra carry-on baggage or musical instruments are not permitted to be placed on them.

The airline has issued a warning that the vacant seat can be removed at the last minute as well.

“Neighbour Free seats are subject to availability and may need to be changed for operational, safety, or security reasons, even after boarding the aircraft,” it has stated.

Basically, if Qantas sells the seat later, you could still have a neighbour, but it’ll probably attempt to give last-minute ticket holders priority in unoccupied Neighbour Free seats.

Only if they have reserved the adjacent seat at the gate will passengers be able to be certain.

If the seat is taken, you will get a refund for the previously vacant seat.

Since September of last year, Qantas has been testing the project on six different routes. These six routes are still all included in the extended programme.

Source: escape

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