Alaska Airlines will charge for bulkheads and exit rows next year

Extra legroom seats on Alaska Airlines will cost more money. Photo: Alaska Airlines 

Extra legroom seats on Alaska Airlines will cost more money. Photo: Alaska Airlines 

Alaska Airlines is the latest carrier to charge customers for something that was once free. 

Executives told Wall Street analysts on Thursday that beginning next year they will charge extra for seats in the bulkhead and in the extra row. On the bright side, passengers who buy up will get a free drink as well as priority boarding. Alaska estimates the seats will mean about $15 million in extra annual revenue. 

I actually think the prices are low. But Alaska executives told analysts they'll play with the prices in the future. I imagine they will go up at some point. 

Since I wrote my original post, I received more context on this decision. 

  • This will start in the late first quarter or early second quarter of 2015
  • Alaska MVPs, MVP Golds and 75K Golds will still be able to book these seats for free at booking
  • These seats have 7 to 9 extra inches of legroom, according to Alaska.
  • Passengers will not be able to buy the seats until check-in. 

"We think this is a fantastic opportunity to offer an enhanced inflight experience to customers regardless of their status with Alaska," Alaska spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said in an email. 

What do you think of this move?