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Would you pay more to get off a plane faster than everyone else?

July 09, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • Would you pay more to get off an airplane faster than the rest of your fellow passengers?
Would you pay more to get off an airplane faster than the rest of your fellow… (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

Here's a way to make air travel even more miserable: Picture yourself stuck in your seat after the plane lands while passengers who paid more are allowed to depart ahead of everyone else.

Or, perhaps you picture yourself paying an extra $10 or $20 so you can be the one blissfully making your way down the aisles thinking, "So long, suckers!" while others grumble and wait. 

Such a scenario is not taking place -- yet.

But an online poll at Airfare Watchdog found that 16% of those surveyed would be willing to pay more to deplane earlier than everyone else.

The online site dedicated to travel deals asked more than 1,000 travelers: "Would you pay yet another fee to be the first person to get off the plane?"

Not surprisingly, the poll found that 84% of the respondents were against it. But 10% said they'd be willing to pay $10 more, 3% said they'd pay $20, and 3% said they'd be willing to pay another, unspecified amount.

"I was surprised by those results," Airfare Watchdog President George Hobica told the Los Angeles Times. "I would have thought only 1%, at most, would be willing to do that."

Hobica said it's not just business passengers in a hurry who might be willing to pay more. People who want to avoid any unnecessary time in those "church pew seats" might also want to get off the plane as soon as possible.

Hobica noted that passengers who are unlucky enough to sit in the back of the plane are the first to get on and the last to get off, which can mean about another hour cramped into those chairs during the lengthy boarding and un-boarding process.

"Not that we want to give the airlines any more ideas about fees," he said. 

So far, no airlines are offering such a service. But savvy travelers already know enough to nab seats in the first few rows of economy class for the very same reason: They are usually the first to get off after the high-priced seats in front.

Hobica said the survey also suggests that people are getting used to the airlines' nickel-and-dime dance. "Every other industry charges better for an extra experience. The airlines are actually kind of late to the game on this one."


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