Instead of crossing their fingers and hoping for the best, Qantas passengers may now pay extra for the convenience of a free seat next to them. It has been stated that the programme will be tested over the next six weeks on many domestic routes in Australia. For as little as $30, you’ll have an aisle all to yourself.
The airline’s new Neighbour-Free service allows customers to request that they not be seated next to anybody else on selected domestic flights.
Neighbour-Free places a premium on a perk that has always been free for top-tier Platinum and Platinum One-grade frequent travellers, who refer to the unoccupied seat as a “shadow.”
The Australian Frequent Flyer site first reported that Qantas Neighbour Free fares would begin at roughly $30 for short domestic flights, and longer domestic flights attract a fee of up to $60.
Qantas said Neighbour-Free would only be available on certain flights (presumably those with available seats), with customers getting an email invitation to pick the Neighbor Free option up to 48 hours before their flight.
Upon reaching the booking page, customers will pick a Neighbour-Free option adjacent to their seat, enter their payment information, and complete the transaction.
On their boarding card, passengers will see not only their assigned seat but also the seat of their Neighbour-Free.
But “for babysitting or storing objects such as carry-on bags or musical instruments,” the unoccupied seat is off-limits.
Although Qantas states that Neighbour-Free “cannot be guaranteed as seats may need to be changed for operational, safety or security reasons, even after boarding the aircraft,” if a passenger’s assigned seat is reassigned for any reason, the airline will issue a full refund within two weeks.