Qantas and Virgin Australia Offer Comfort Seat
4th Jan 2014
While it is true that legroom is becoming a luxury these days and airline seats, well, remain the same, incidence of passengers complaining about comfort on board are increasing.
However, according to a study by Australian Medical Association, an astonishing 60% of Australians are considered overweight. A research done by Monash University, meanwhile, suggested that over 5 million Australians are classified as obese.
So the country's two major rival carriers are offering comfort seats to those who are on a heavy side and want to get to their destination with happy disposition.
A comfort seat is a seat that is booked by a passenger sitting next to it. This is to allow passengers who need extra space for himself especially if he has the habit of placing his arms on the arm rests.
While it is targeted mostly to passengers of size, virtually anybody can book a comfort seat if he wants to, regardless of his weight.
Passengers can easily book a comfort seat as it costs cheaper than a regular or occupied seat. Qantas and Virgin sell comfort seats at a cheaper price than normal seats because these seats are not levied and no other surcharges are collected from the passengers who book them.
Qantas' cheapest economy seat, for instance, which costs $327 for a Sydney-Perth route, includes already $50 in taxes and surcharges. So, if you book a comfort seat next to you, you'll be paying only $280.
While you still earn frequent flyer points and status credits for the comfort seat that you book, they won't be credited to your account automatically. You still need to contact their respective service centers immediately after you completed your flight to ensure your earned points and status credits are properly credited to your account.
The process of booking a comfort seat, despite its name, however, is not comfortable at all. Funny as it may seem, but yes, you need to book it over the phone. Both airlines don't accept online booking for comfort seats.
Another thing to note - a comfort seat is sold as a regular seat and may appear as the best available ticket, provided it's not taken yet. One caution though, avoid booking the last seat in a cheaper fare category or you'll end up paying more for your comfort seat than your actual seat.