Qantas giving out free exit row seats

By danwarne, March 30 2011
Qantas giving out free exit row seats

Qantas is allowing Platinum Frequent Flyers free access to exit-row seats on both international and domestic flights, it appears.

The airline normally sells these seats to passengers for up to $160 on each sector.

Despite there being no announced change in its policy of charging for exit row seats, Australian Business Traveller reader Shaun Ewing -- a Qantas Platinum Frequent Flyer -- reported that as of last night, he was able to pre-allocate seats to exit rows on several flights using Qantas' online seat selection system, with no charge.

Shaun was able to book into an exit row seat on both a domestic flight and an international flight he had booked, with the online seating system asking for no payment.

Shaun's domestic booking:

Shaun's international booking mentions a $160 fee on the left side, but he wasn't actually charged the fee to select the seat.

Although Qantas' official policy is that "there is a limited selection of exit row seats available on domestic flights at no charge", its international exit-row policy is still to charge for seats.

The published Qantas exit-row pricing is $40 each way for a short flight (for example Australia to New Zealand), $80 for a medium length flight (Australia to Asia, or Asia to Europe/Americas) and $160 for a long-haul flight (Australia to Europe/Americas).

It's not clear whether the free exit row seats are being offered only to platinum frequent flyers, or whether the airline has loosened up its policy more broadly.

Qantas PR did not return Australian Business Traveller's calls this morning enquiring about the detail around the changes. We will update the story if we hear back.

30 Mar 2011

Total posts 1

I can confirm that this happened to me on a Qantas flight from Sydney --> Melbourne on Saturday afternoon. However, it was using the checkin terminal rather than web checkin.

I guess the interesting thing is that it did it without even prompting me - simply gave me the exit row automatically at no extra charge, *and* I'm only a Bronze Frequent Flyer (for now :-).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

30 Mar 2011

Total posts 7

Qantas is also allowing Gold Frequent Flyers the same benefit.  I was just able to do the same on flights that I booked today through the web.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2011

Total posts 3

I have a domestic flight and international flight in the same booking, so I just checked. I'm platinum.

I was able to change my bulkhead seat to exit row for the domestic flight with no charge, however, when hovering over the exit row for the international flight, it stated a $160 fee. I wasn't prepared to risk losing my front row, bulkhead seat to test the 'spontaneous generosity' theory.

Maybe a gitch that Shaun got lucky with?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2011

Total posts 24

A Qantas Platinum FF, I have been flying MEL PER MEL frequently and regularly over the past three years, and have been able to choose exit seats online without charge.  To my surprise when checking my seating for April I was told it would be $60.    No advice from Qantas to their loyal customers.   I though it pretty pathetic actually.  I have, perhaps foolishly, remained loyal to Qantas even when Virgin scheduling was a bit better, for this thanks!  


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