Written by Staff Writer: CNN
British Airways has announced it will charge extra for some executive-style business seats on transatlantic flights. But some of the world’s biggest airlines have advised passengers not to waste their time filing a formal complaint with the authorities over the new U.S. regulations on air travel.
The new rules, which came into effect June 12, require domestic and international passengers traveling in First and Business Class to also include their allocated coach seats on their itineraries.
How does that work?
Each class ticket contains a set number of economy seats. Passengers will pay an additional fee for those seats when they purchase their ticket (even for those cheaper tickets that can be redeemed free of charge). The policy only applies to new class tickets issued or upgraded by a U.S. airline, and British Airways is the only major international airline to announce it will be charging extra for seats on its most popular routes.
US travelers will be required to pay extra to ensure they have allocated seats on their tickets. CNN
The North American air sector, the world’s largest, was shaken after U.S. president Donald Trump launched a trade war with China in July 2017
But major airlines such as American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are advising passengers not to bother filing formal complaints with the authorities.
“It is a well-known fact that passengers can obtain one of our more expensive coach seats by simply expressing a wish to transfer to an even more expensive coach seat,” an American Airlines spokeswoman told CNN.
“If a passenger decides to change or cancel the booking (most importantly when a seat is not purchased in advance) they are required to pay any change fees or change/cancel charges charged by the original airline.”
Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued guidance as to how passengers should handle a plane malfunction or any other problem with their ticket.
The new rules were triggered after the recent election of American’s new president, Donald Trump, who promised to crack down on illegal immigration.
Before the rule change, airlines were allowed to charge separate fees on multiple ticket categories — and passengers could argue the price of the ticket was not the price of the “economy class seat” on their ticket.
“I think everyone is hoping that it will be a temporary thing,” said a senior industry executive. “It’s one more point the airlines will fight. The bigger carriers won’t be so shortsighted to cut off the legs of an illegal alien.”
For the most part, airline websites have been given a thumbs-up for the change, although many travelers are giving their feedback on social media.