Trying to turn empty seats into an advantage, Alaska Airlines on Tuesday announced a sale of two-day plane tickets that should delight pairs of passengers traveling together who dream of having their own row.
Instead of just selling two for the price of one, Alaska “Get the Row with BOGO” Promotion guarantees that two people traveling together will have an empty third seat.
Given that Alaska has already blocked the middle seats on its main flights for social distancing purposes during the coronavirus pandemic anyway, a promotion that puts two people in a row for three might not count as a daunting challenge. But the Seattle-based carrier says the move is meant not only to attract those looking for more comfort, but also to ensure their personal safety.
“Our hope is with this offer … our customers enjoy greater peace of mind while traveling,” said Sangita Woerner, senior vice president of marketing and customer experience for the airline, in a statement.
Alaska says the BOGO buy one, get a sale on their website is limited to travel until October 31, when its blocked middle seats guarantee for all passengers ends. Tickets must be purchased by 11:59 p.m. PDT Wednesday. Customers, however, must pay taxes and fees on the second seat.
The sale does not apply to Alaska regional jets as they only have two and not three seats on either side of the aisle.
Alaska isn’t the first airline to try to turn social distancing into a promotion. Deep-discounter Frontier Airlines announced a plan in May to charge passengers at least $ 39 per flight to sit next to an empty middle seat. The idea was quickly scrapped after an outcry from Congressional Democrats who saw it as an attempt to cash in on the virus.
In addition to blocking the middle seats at no cost to passengers, Alaska said it was taking other steps to ensure customers feel safe from the virus on board its planes. They include pre-ordering food or drink so passengers don’t have to hand over a credit card to a flight attendant, scanning boarding passes six feet away, and sending receipts from. baggage by emailing customers, instead of printing them.
Contributor: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAssociated Press
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