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Continental Adds Fee for Extra Legroom

Continental announced that, beginning March 17, passengers checking in for flights will be able to purchase seats with a minimum of seven extra inches of legroom. Customers can purchase these seats up to 24 hours before departure from check-in desks and airport self-service kiosks.

Continental is by no means the only carrier with a service like this. AirTran, JetBlue, Frontier, Spirit, United, US Airways, and Virgin America all charge for either pre-selected exit-row seating or some other upgraded economy option.

What’s odd about Continental’s option is that customers won’t really have a sense of what the upgrade will cost until they’re at the airport. The airline says, “Pricing for the premium seats will vary depending on a number of factors, including the length of the flight and market.” OK, then. Maybe customers will get the hang of Continental’s pricing scheme, but it seems odd to keep prices a secret. Maybe some guidelines are forthcoming?

Continental’s elite OnePass members can still request these seats at no charge.

Readers, what would you pay for a few extra inches of legroom? Also, head over to our sister site,, and vote for your least favorite “perk” fee (in-flight meals, flight changes, and seat selection). Thanks!

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