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Singapore Airlines to Charge Economy Class Passengers for Preferred Seat Selection

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Monday, 3 November 2008

Singapore Airlines customers making Economy Class bookings on now have the additional choice of guaranteeing themselves a preferred seat, with the launch of Preferred Seat Selection.

Currently, preferred seats available for allocation are located in exit rows. Customers will be offered an option to purchase a specific Preferred Seat, when they make their seat selection for applicable Economy Class bookings, including KrisFlyer redemption bookings. Customers can also purchase a Preferred Seat anytime before check-in (which begins 48 hours before flight departure), simply by retrieving their bookings on Singapore Airlines website.

Preferred Seats offer customers more legroom, and are now available for advance and guaranteed customer selection, for a fee of US$ 50 per sector, for all Singapore Airlines flights, except short-haul routes within Southeast Asia, and flights served by Boeing 777-200ER aircraft (this aircraft does not have seats located in exit rows). Preferred Seat Selection is subject to official approval in some markets, and some local variations may apply where regulatory approvals dictate.

Other categories of Preferred Seats, that similarly offer customers more legroom, may also be made available for selection in future.

Previously, Preferred Seats were only available on a request basis, without confirmation. The new option now offers a guarantee of assignment, subject to terms and conditions, on a first come, first serve basis.

For seats located in exit rows, Singapore Airlines requires, as part of a commitment to the safety of customers, that those who select and occupy these seats must meet mandatory safety conditions. These prerequisites, which strictly comply with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapores flight safety guidelines, require that these customers must:

Be at least 21 years of age at the commencement of the journey.
Be fully able-bodied, and capable of opening the exit doors and moving quickly, or reaching and passing through the adjacent emergency exit.
Be able to understand and follow the safety instructions in English.
Be in good health at the time of check-in, boarding, and during the flight.
Not be pregnant, or carrying infants, or using an infant seat belt.
Not be under the influence of any intoxicating substance at check-in, boarding, and during the flight, as determined by ground and cabin crew.
Not require an extension seat belt because of large body size.

As an example, customers travelling on SQ16 to San Francisco, via Seoul, will pay US$50 to select a Preferred Seat on their flight. For customers traveling from Sydney to London via Singapore (eg. SQ222 for SYD-SIN, and subsequently SQ322 for SIN-LON) will have to pay US$100 to select Preferred Seats on both legs (i.e. SYD-SIN and SIN-LON), as each leg is considered one sector.

Preferred Seat Selection is not available on the All Business-Class Airbus A340-500 aircraft as Preferred Seats are only available in Economy Class cabins. Customers travelling in Business or First Class, or the Singapore Airlines Suites, enjoy specific seat selection at any time from the time of booking, with no additional charge.

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