The Empty Seat Option is a program launched a year ago by AirAsia X which allows passengers to purchase the seats next to them so that they can have a more comfortable flight. The option requires a small fee so that passengers can book the empty seats next to them.
The airline targeted low cost, long haul flights where passengers often want a bigger legroom and perhaps a place to fully recline. Having the empty seats right next to theirs available for their use will give long-haul passengers added comfort that was only previously available in first class flights.
The Empty Seat Option is perfect for passengers travelling alone or travelling in pairs, especially for long distance flights. Lone passengers can take advantage of the extra legroom and the sleeping space, while passengers travelling in pairs now have the option to have the entire row all to themselves.
This arrangement essentially eliminates the trouble of having to sit next to a crying baby all throughout an 8-hour flight. This option is also designed for passengers who are bringing young children along. Since most kids get restless in confined spaces, the larger area allows kids to move around without having to bother the person sitting next to them.
Airline customers can avail of this option through online booking. There is a small fee for availing of the extra seat, which most travelers are willing to pay for the added comfort. All the travelers have to do is choose the 'Upgrade with OptionTown" and pay the fees, which could vary from $20 to $50 depending on the length of travel. If the seat is not available, the fee paid will be refunded immediately along with the proper notification.
One of the biggest advantages of this program is that it allows passengers to have more privacy and more moving space during long haul flights. You also avoid having to sit next to annoying seatmates, which could be torture especially if you have hours and hours of travel ahead of you.
Business travelers also have the luxury of having enough room to work without having to bother their seatmates. For business travelers who cannot afford the luxury of business class, the Empty Seat Option offers a less costly alternative and yet provides the same advantages.
According to AirAsia X there is no disadvantage to this program. It is a voluntary program and seats are limited so travelers are expected to book ahead of time so that they will be informed if seats are available or not. Airline staff and personnel are also very accommodating and helpful so arranging for extra seats will not be that hard to do.
The Empty Seat Option has seen a considerable amount of success considering that it has been in force for several months. Many passengers are taking advantage of the extra seats to secure privacy for themselves and family members.