Air Travelers Want Expanded Options for Obtaining a Preferred Seat

The ability to select a preferred airline seat is not possible once such seats are sold out. As a result, while traveling on a full flight, many people are stuck in middle seats, rear seats, or other less desirable seat locations. A recent study suggests that passengers would benefit from a secondary market for airline seats.

Seateroo, a recently launched air travel app, commissioned an independent survey of air travelers. As part of this survey, air travelers were asked about their willingness to pay to swap for a better airline seat under a number of circumstances during varying flight lengths. Below is a summary of responses for flights of 3.5 hours or longer.

  • 39% are willing to pay to swap from a middle seat to an aisle seat.
  • 31% are willing to pay to swap from a middle seat to a window seat.
  • 18% are willing to pay to swap from a rear row seat to a front row seat.
  • 34% are willing to pay to swap for a seat away from an annoying passenger.
  • 44% are willing to pay to swap from an economy seat to a premium seat.
  • 44% are willing to pay to swap for a seat near a spouse, friend, or colleague.

“Unlike tickets for sporting events, concerts, or other live events, there is no secondary market for airline seat assignments,” said Brad Pursel, Founder and President of Seateroo. “Currently, air travelers’ seat options for a flight are limited to unsold inventory. Our study indicates that air travelers would embrace expanded options for obtaining a preferred seat before and after boarding, including options to pay other passengers to swap seats.”


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