exit row seat

Starting March 17, Continental Airlines will start offering coach passengers the option of paying extra to get an exit-row seat, which offers 7 to 12 inches more legroom, depending on the type of plane.  Fees will vary based on the flight, but a Houston-to-New York flight might cost $59 more for an exit-row seat.  According to the airline, passengers who belong to Continental’s frequent-flier program and fly at least 25,000 miles a year, and those traveling with them, will continue being able to select those seats at no additional cost.  Currently, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, JetBlue, Frontier and AirTran all charge varying amounts for additional legroom.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • The New York Times’ “In Transit” blog reports that airline call centers are slower than ever due to staff cuts and increased call volumes that stem from flight cancellations.  The Times offers a few tips on how to navigate the bottle neck:  (1) have your confirmation numbers handy, (2) call from a land line if possible to avoid dropped calls, and (3) get as much information as you can about alternate routes.  (Suggestion: Use Yapta in advance of your flight to track pricing on alternate routes.  That way, you’ll have them at your fingertips when you need them.)
  • Las Vegas McCarran Airport officials are considering a plan to become the first U.S. airport to install a liquor store in the baggage-claim area.  Many airports sell liquor at bars and duty-free stores, but the proposal is aiming to capture revenue from arriving passengers who are headed into Sin City.  I love Vegas.
  • An FAA air traffic controller and supervisor were placed on administrative leave Wednesday after allowing a child to direct flights at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Feb. 17.  The agency also suspended all unofficial visits to air traffic control towers pending an investigation of the incident. The FAA will review its policy on allowing visitors into the towers.