Seateroo Turns Airline Seats into a Commodity

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seateroo app on phone February 2016

A few years ago air travellers used to end up with metaphorical acres of leg-room if they were lucky enough to end up with a seat in front of the plane’s emergency exits.  Similarly, passengers who preferred a window seat, but ended up being issued an aisle seat, used to have to hope they could convince the person in the window to swap.  Airlines started catching wind of all this, and saw it as an opportunity to make a little extra cash.  Now, Seateroo has done the same thing.

Up until recently, airline passengers used to have to pay the airline for things that used to be down to luck of the draw (like the aforementioned leg-room or window seats).  However, Seateroo has found a way to put the power back in the hands of passengers using their app.

Now, passengers who end up booking a great seat have the ability to sell that seat if the price is right.  And, with some seats being particularly sought-after, the price often is right.

How Seateroo Works

The premise is decidedly simple.  A passenger who ends up booking a particular seat has the ability to sell that seat.  All he or she needs to do is log into the app, post the flight number and the seat location, set a price, and then sit back and wait to cash in.

Similarly, passengers who end up with seats they find less than desirable (like the ones in the back by the toilets) can use the app to buy better seats.

Of course, this app doesn’t allow passengers to sell their tickets.  Airlines are very sticky about passengers changing their tickets – in fact, they just don’t allow it.  What this app does is simply let passengers jostle their positions inside the aircraft.

Whether airlines are particularly fond of this is still uncertain.  After all, the airlines are the big losers in this situation, with the money they used to be earning now going to the passengers they used to be charging.  However, as things stand, airline seats are a commodity which passengers are exploiting.

Though simple, the app stands to be very popular and join other travel-related apps like Uber or Airbnb.  After all, on every flight there are people wishing they either had better seats or had been able to save a bit on their air fare.  This app will serve both of these types of passenger well.  The only thing left to discover is whether airlines will allow this seat swapping to continue for much longer.

Image credit: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/01/12/want-window-seat-seateroo-app-opens-air-travel-ticket-exchange

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