Home Airlines American Airlines, Are You Serious About These Prices For Exit Row Seats?

American Airlines, Are You Serious About These Prices For Exit Row Seats?

by joeheg

Seemingly a lifetime ago, I was able to book flights for us from Orlando to Austin, TX and back using British Airways Avios. After finally being able to add my American AAdvantage number to our reservation, I checked on our seating assignments.

For our flight from Orlando to Austin, I was pleased to find out that we’d been assigned two window seats in the front of the Main Cabin area. Although we weren’t getting anything extra, at least we were close to the front of the plane (Note from Sharon: and I get a window AND can kick Joe’s seat LOLOL!).

I’m happy to see we’re getting seats that normally would cost $21 each.

The same was not true for our flight from Austin back to Orlando.

You can’t even see our seat assignments on this flight as they’re way in the back of the plane. I’m not complaining as we’re paying with BA Avios and paying the least miles possible. But what shocked me was the price American is charging for exit row and Main Cabin Extra seats for this flight.

$100 for the bulkhead or exit row. Are you kidding me? This isn’t even a 3-hour flight and you’re charging this much for a bit of extra legroom? When it comes to the bulkhead, I still can’t see the appeal.

Considering you’re charging $30 for the same upgrade on our flight to Texas, you’re obviously price gouging passengers flying on a Sunday afternoon. Those are more likely to be business travelers who need to be in Orlando for a meeting on Monday morning.

If you haven’t noticed by the seat map, no one is taking you up on the $100 price for the exit row upgrade. In fact, almost no one is paying your extortionist prices for the preferred seats either. However, the back of the plane is filled with leisure travelers who aren’t willing to pay for extra legroom.

While American Airlines would like to think that the airport is filled with business travelers (Spoiler alert: it’s not), I’m rather curious if they’re able to fly a plane with the entire front section empty and the last 20 rows full of leisure travelers.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Shaun August 1, 2021 - 12:58 pm

Can u reach Joe’s seat with your legs? 😁

I’ve noticed the same thing for my partner whose been travelling a ton for work. Wednesday to Orlando the exit row/MCE is $30-$40. Coming home Sunday is 2x or more. As he is Gold it actually works in his favor….as the likelyhood those seats stay empty until 24 hours (when he can select them) is high.

I do think airlines RM are stumped during the pandemic. Ive seen some pricing that is very much “let’s see if this works”. AA pricing has been all over the place on many levels.

Dave Edwards August 1, 2021 - 3:58 pm

I don’t blame them for trying. Anyone Gold and above can get the Green seats for free and Platinum and above can get any of these MCE seats for free. With all the reduced eligibility the past 2 years, most anyone who is loyal to AA has status. I’m assuming they are trying to get extra money out of the rest of the public. In most cases I assume few pay these fees and they get filled on the day of flight by standbys and such.


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