Frontier Airlines announced a new option for passengers that are willing to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ultra-low-cost carrier will offer travelers the ability to purchase the middle seat if they wish to do so.
The option, called More Room, is not to ensure passenger health and safety, but rather an option to offer “extra peace of mind or simply additional comfort,“ stated Frontier Airlines‘ CEO Barry Biffle.
The airline indicated that the price for the empty middle seat will start at $39 per passenger per flight. The offer is available to flights that depart between May 8 and August 31, 2020. Frontier Airlines will free up 18 middle seats in order for passengers to be able to purchase them.
The chief executive officer indicated that prior to the crisis the carrier had seen demand for about 80,000 passengers per day. A few weeks ago, the number flattened out at 3,000. Now, more passengers are flying, with about 10,000 per day, Biffle told CNBC.
He also reiterated that blocking all the middle seats on the aircraft is not an option, as that would “cause airfares to rise.”
“We believe you are safe,” added Biffle.
Biffle’s point of view regarding whether airlines should block the middle seat altogether reiterates his counterparts’ viewpoint in Europe. Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary indicated that if governments want to block the middle seat, they would have to pay for it or Ryanair “won’t fly,” as the idea was “idiotic.”