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Looking down the central aisle of an empty airplane
Svitlana | Adobe Stock

This Airline Will Let Passengers Pay to Have an Empty Seat Next to Them

Hearing the announcement that the cabin doors have closed and realizing there’s still an empty seat next to you feels like hitting the jackpot, especially on a long-haul flight. If you don’t want to rely on luck, Qantas is now giving passengers on some flights the option to buy the empty seat next to them for a small fee. 

Qantas’ “neighbor-free” seating option is now available on domestic and international flights when space is available. If eligible, passengers will receive an email invitation to reserve two seats together 48 hours before the scheduled flight departure time.

Woman using phone, looking out airplane window
tonefotografia | Adobe Stock

The price to purchase the empty seat varies by route but will typically range from $20-$40 for domestic flights and around $140 for international flights.

According to Qanta, “Neighbor-free seats are subject to availability and may need to be changed for operational, safety or security reasons, even after boarding the aircraft.” If you pay for an empty seat and the seat ends up being occupied, you will automatically receive a full refund of the fee. 

Reserving the additional seat will only give you access to extra space—it does not include additional baggage allowance or meals. You also won’t earn Qantas points on the purchase of an extra seat. 

Neighbor-free seats cannot be used for infant seating or to store carry-on baggage or musical instruments. 

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