British Airways have called a move to charge passengers for choosing seats a "service which will give customers more control over their seating options." The move, which comes in the wake of £401m losses in 2008, will be implemented in October 2009 and will see passengers charged £10 to choose a seat on short haul economy flights, £20 on long haul economy and £60 on business. A seat next to a much coveted emergency exit will cost a whopping £50 and can be booked 4 - 10 days in advance.
It's not the first time that an airline has resorted to boosting profits via extra passenger tarriffs (most low-cost airlines do the same.) However it is evidence of a high end carrier like BA having to resort to low cost strategies in order to stay afloat in the current economic climate.
Of course passengers who book late in the day won't even have the luxury of being able to choose their seats - they will by then, have all gone; what they are essentially paying for is standard seat allocation. Food has already been scrapped on short haul BA flights (fair enough) and baggage allowance slashed in an effort to profit from penalty weight fees. Will this latest measure put you off from flying with BA?