Qantas Will Now Let You Pay $30 to Fly Next to an Empty Seat

Would you pay to have an empty seat next to you?

Qantas Dreamliner flying through the sky

Courtesy of Qantas Airlines

There's no better feeling than having an empty seat next to you on a flight, and the Australian airline Qantas is allowing some of its passengers to lock in a neighborless trip before boarding. 

Qantas' "Neighbour Free" seating option will allow passengers in economy to buy seats next to them for anywhere between 30 and 65 Australian dollars (about $20 to $33). Currently, this program is only a pilot program and will be available on a handful of domestic flights for the next six weeks. These flight paths include three flights to Sydney from the Gold Coast, Adelaide, and Darwin, flights from Perth and Adelaide to Brisbane, and flights from Darwin to Melbourne.

About 48 hours before a non-full flight, passengers will be sent an email asking if they'd like to buy an extra seat. Unfortunately, the seat isn't guaranteed until departure—if for whatever reason, the plane fills up and seats are needed, those who opted in the program will have their money refunded and a new seat neighbor. 

Qantas joins a short list of other airlines that offer this neighbor-free seating option. Eurowings and Sri Lankan Airlines offer a similar program, and Emirates allows purchasing up to three neighboring seats. 

While the airline is only rolling out this pilot program domestically, for the time being, the airline told Travel + Leisure that they would consider a more extensive rollout later in the year. 

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  1. Travel + Leisure. "Qantas Will Allow Passengers to Purchase the Empty Seat Next to Them for as Low as $20." Sept. 7, 2022.