Airline Eyes Bigger Fares for Choice Seats

Northwest Airlines plans to charge extra for aisle seats and exit rows. Other carriers may follow suit.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

The glamour days of jet travel are long gone. Now airlines seem to be competing to make travelers more miserable at 30,000 feet. Flying the friendly skies now means less leg room, smaller seats and so-so plane food that is no longer free. Now some of the airlines are charging extra for aisle seats and exit rows. Northwest calls its plan Coach Choice. The bankrupt airline allows you to pay an extra 15 dollars to save your kneecaps.

And industry watchers predict that some airlines may start charging to check luggage. But all is not lost, yet. Some perks like pillows, blankets and headsets are still free. And last week, American Eagle gave up charging for soft drinks. Passengers weren't willing to pay for them. Maybe the soft drink companies should be worried.

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