American Airlines owns a stake in and has been partnering increasingly closely with China Southern. And China Southern has a new policy to let coach passengers buy extra seats on the cheap.
This is interesting not because they say you can buy more than one seat if you want extra space (ghetto premium economy or business class). The major US airlines let you do this already in fact it’s one of the very best, least well known tricks in travel.
What’s interesting here is just how cheap it is to buy those extra seats when flying China Southern economy. Here’s their pricing table, using Google translate and converting Yuan to US dollars:
|Route type||Price (USD)|
|International long route||$98||$180||$255|
|International short-haul routes
and regional routes (first gear)
|International short routes and
regional routes (second gear)
Getting the seat next to you on a long haul flight between China and the US for just $98 strikes me as a huge bargain. Additional seats cost incrementally less, you may want a whole row to yourself to lay down.
I’m surprised that in promoting this the airline seems to be acknowledging how bad it is to fly coach,
Long-haul flight + night flight + economy class for more than 10 hours …
About equal to: butt pain + back pain + neck pain , and wake up asleep… wake up sleep… wake up wake up…
However in the case of China Southern’s “One Passenger, More Seats” offer seats are sold at the airport, if available, rather than booked in advance. (HT: Loyalty Lobby) This way they’re truly generating incremental revenue for the flight. Of course this is not as desirable for passengers. Still if you find yourself flying China Southern coach it’s a no brainer to ask about.
Remember though this isn’t limited to China Southern. You can book an extra seat on Southwest, too, and when the fare is say $53 it seems like it could be well worth doing.
Here are instructions for how to buy and board with an extra seat on United, Delta, American and Southwest and even though basic economy fares don’t support advance seat assignments this usually even works with basic economy.