I just returned from the UK having been over on some family business. Being 6’5″ and not very rich I have to fly economy and hope that the nice check in people will allocate me a decent seat in a bulk head or exit row so I dont end up with some disfigurment after 13 hours on a plane.
On my way out of Sydney the lady was kind enough to allocate me an exit row seat all the way to Hong Kong and then on to London. At check-in in London on my return journey I was informed that it would cost £50 per sector (£100 in total) to allocate exit row seats. You can imagine my reaction.
Last I knew you couldnt pre-book them as they needed to ensure the occupier of that seat was healthy and fit on the day of travel as they are required to open exit doors in an emergency. Fair enough.
Now heres the bit that gets me, soon after the passengers were settled in, the crew promptly set about asking people to move into the exit rows seats. There would appear to be some operational requirement to have people in the exit row seats on take off and landing.
To me this seems like shameless profiteering from an otherwise spotless airline.