AA Finds Another Creative Way to Charge Customers

American Airlines will give passengers the option of paying a fee to reserve a seat in the front of the coach cabin, the Fort Worth-based airline announced Wednesday.

The sample fees the airline provided range from $19 to $39 dollars on popular routes.  For example, passengers flying from San Francisco to Dallas could pay $29 to reserve a seat in the first few rows of coach, including the bulkhead, when they check-in at the airport.  The reserved seats will be sold only at the airline's self-service check-in machines.

The program, which American calls, "Express Seating", would also allow passengers who pay for reserved seats to board the aircraft in the first group. 

American said passengers would still be able to reserve other seats in the coach cabin, behind the front rows, at no charge.   The airlines top frequent fliers will also continue to have access to preferred seats the airline blocks off, at no charge. 

American is not the first to charge fees for reserved seating, or for some select seats.  For example, passengers flying AirTran Airways can only reserve a seat in coach in advance if they pay for it.  Continental Airlines allows passengers to reserve seats with extra legroom by paying in advance.

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