(CMR) Cayman Marl Road has received information that the national carrier, Cayman Airways (CAL), is likely going to introduce a fee for seat selection by October.
Charging for advance seat selection is not an entirely new practice to the airline industry. It's similar to baggage fees where a fee is charged per leg of the flight. In the case of seat selection the passenger will get the option of picking what are considered more preferential seats at a higher price point or be automatically assigned a seat.
Presently CAL customers are able to check-in online within 24 hours of departure and select the available seat of their choice. This has proved convenient for families travelling together. The new option will be to pay for that luxury or take the change of random seat assignment with no guarantee that travelling partners will be seated together.
Some airlines charge upwards of $100 per flight for a preferred seat (one in an exit row or quiet section of the cabin). There have even been consumer articles on how to avoid paying these fees but still get seated with your travel companions.
This potential change if implemented would comes against the backdrop of CAL recently making the controversial decision to charge baggage fees as well.
Consumers were outraged about that fee introduction.
There has been no official announcement from CAL management on this change as yet.