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Airline fees for seat selection pushing passenger to tipping point

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For the past few years, airlines have hiked up fees for a variety of extras like early boarding and checked bags. Now they’re looking to charge for seat selection.

Several airlines are tacking on fees for select seats in coach, while some are charging passengers for assigned seats.

US Airways and American Airlines have started reserving more aisle and window seats for those willing to pay the fee, but that also makes it harder for friends and family to sit next to each other unless they shell out $25 or more each way.

ILM Airport Director Jon Rosborough says the rising cost in fuel is the main reason for the changes.

“Our passenger numbers are up 5.9 percent, and these fees have been on for some time now, for the last six to 12 months, and sooner or later there’s going to be a tipping point, and I think that’s what the airlines are seeing,” Rosborough said. “How much further can they go without turning away customers?”

The Associated Press reports the average domestic round trip ticket this summer is estimated at around $430. That’s three percent higher than last year.

Some passengers say if airlines keep tacking on the fees, they just won’t fly any more.

“‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’ style, and just pack up the family wagon and drive,” ILM passenger Zach Lehman said.

More: continued here

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