Qantas to charge up to $180 more for exit row seating

Andrew Munro 5 July 2017

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And no more free rides for Gold and Platinum Frequent Flyers.

Legroom is now worth up to $180, depending on the length of the flight, with Qantas bringing in fees for exit row seating on Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 flights. Gold and Platinum class Frequent Flyers will also no longer be getting free exit row selection, although the very front economy class rows will continue to be reserved for Platinum One and Chairman's Lounge members.

Qantas brought this change in for east-west routes in 2014, and must have seen success because it's now bringing it to rest of the entire network.

The prices vary depending on flight length.

  • Domestic Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 flights - $20 to $60
  • International short-haul flights - $25
  • International medium-haul flights - $90
  • International long-haul flights - $180

The idea of charging premium prices for a bit, or a lot, of legroom sounds like everything people don't like about airlines, but there's no denying that it works and people are willing to pay extra for it. Qantas isn't the first or only airline to put a bigger price tag on exit row seats, with Virgin Australia already seeing success with its more spacious Economy X seats.

In this case, Gold and Platinum Frequent Flyers might be the most disgruntled, finding themselves needing to pay for what used to be free. Platinum One and Chairman's Lounge looks like the place to be, so it might be worth buckling down, buckling in, and moving up the ranks.

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