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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 July 2018

Etihad introduces advance seat selection fee

Cost to reserve seat in advance will start from Dh100

Etihad Airways will introduce a seat selection fee from July 15. Photo Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways will introduce a seat selection fee from July 15. Photo Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways is introducing a seat selection fee on all economy class fllights.

The new fee comes into effect from Sunday, July 15, and brings the UAE national carrier in line with a number of other major airlines across the world.

Emirates, for example, has been charging for economy seat selection since 2016.

A spokesman for Etihad Airways said: "Etihad Airways has introduced a new seating option on its economy deal, saver and classic fare types, allowing customers to reserve standard seats up to 24 hours prior to the departure of their flight for a small fee.

"Between 24 hours and the time of departure, seats can be booked as usual at no additional cost during the on-line check-in process."

The airline informed Etihad Guest members of the change in an email titled: “Enhance your economy class journey” and applies to Economy Deal, Economy Saver, Economy Classic fares and as award tickets.

This image shows the seat plan on the Abu Dhabi to Dublin flight on July 15, when the new fees have been introduced.
This image shows the seat plan on the Abu Dhabi to Dublin flight on July 15, when the new fees have been introduced.

Also in line with the policy of other airlines, travellers will be able to select a seat free of charge when it is 24 hours or less before departure.

The current fees for selecting an economy seat towards the front of the cabin and for selecting extra legroom economy seats are being maintained.

The available free seats in turquoise on an Abu Dhabi to Dublin flight on July 14.
The available free seats in turquoise on an Abu Dhabi to Dublin flight on July 14.

Up until July 14 Etihad is referring to seats at the front of economy as standard seats, seats with extra legroom are called preferred seats and regular seats are known as available seats.

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From July 15 though, the seats at the front of economy will be referred to as preferred seats, which will cost Dh130 to reserve, extra legroom seats will set you back Dh520 and regular seats will be called standard seats which cost Dh100 to book in advance.

Economy Flex ticket holders are still eligible though for complimentary seat assignments in advance.