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Economy class seats on a plane are tight and most of the time very uncomfortable. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who still have a seat open next to you when that door closes and the crew gets ready for take-off.

Now, Qantas Airlines is offering a ‘Neighbour free initiative’ where passengers are given the chance to pay extra to keep the seat next to them empty for the duration of the flight.

This option is already available on domestic flights within Australia and now it’ll be available on some international flights as well.

Catriona Larritt, chief customer and digital officer at Qantas, said in a statement that at first the international option would be in a test phase.

“We’ve had a really positive reaction from our customers who’ve opted to travel Neighbour-Free on our domestic network. International bookings can be a little more complex, which is why we’re starting with select routes and bookings without additional products to test our processes, before expanding the program in the coming months.”

The option won’t be cheap though. It’ll cost you almost R3,000 to keep the seat next to you open on flights between the US and Australia.

Flight options and prices to and from South Africa haven’t been made available yet.

Image credit: Dailyo

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