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Airlines charging extra for window seats

May 4, 2008 at 3:01 PM

BOSTON, May 4 (UPI) -- The practice of charging travelers extra for such premiums as window seats and extra leg room is gaining a hold among U.S. airlines, analysts note.

US Airways, JetBlue Airways Corp. and Air Canada recently began charging $5 more for a window seat, $10 for extra stretching room and $25 for passengers who want to be able to connect with a reservations agent if s flight is delayed or canceled,The Boston Globe reported Sunday.

US Airways additionally plans to charge most passengers at least $5 extra to reserve an aisle or window seat in the first several rows of coach class, beginning Wednesday.

The charges are a way for the airlines to offset rising fuel costs in an economic climate that has been the worst for the airlines since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Although some passengers are sure to grumble over the increased costs associated with air travel, others may welcome the charges as a way to give them more control over what they pay for to fly.

"Ultimately, they will be more satisfied because they will be in control of their travel experience," said Henry Harteveldt, principal airline analyst for Forrester Research Inc.

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