American Airlines adds another fee!

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- American Airlines has discovered a new way to charge passengers for something they used to get for free: sitting near the front of the plane.

On Wednesday, American Airlines, owned by AMR Corp (AMR, Fortune 500)., unveiled its "express seat" offer, which allows passengers to pay extra to sit in the first few rows of coach.

The size of the fee depends on the flight, with longer flights charging more. American provided the following introductory fees: $19 for St. Louis to Chicago, $29 for San Francisco to Dallas/Fort Worth or from Boston to Chicago, and $39 for New York City to Los Angeles or from Honolulu to Chicago.

This is the just latest so-called "ancillary" fee for the hard-hit airline industry, which has been charging passengers in the last couple years for a number of services that were once included in the fare. This includes checked luggage, meals, non-alcoholic drinks, pillows, extra leg room and so on.

"[Passengers] were not able to choose these seats previously," said American Airlines spokeswoman Stacey Frantz. "Now they can choose these specific seats, if they want them, for a small fee."

Frantz said that disabled passengers will continue to get priority seating for the front coach section, and they will not be charged extra for it.

While the ancillary fees have annoyed some passengers, it has proven to be a boon for the industry. The Air Transport Association of America reported last month that passenger revenue was on the rise for the first half of the year, including a 25% surge in June compared to the same period the year before. The fees were partly responsible for the increase.

When that report was released in July, ATA spokesman David Castelveter said the rise in revenue stemmed from "a combination of improving economic conditions, increase in business travel and revenue from ancillary fees." To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,055.32 76.19 0.45%
Nasdaq 4,526.46 -0.02 -0.00%
S&P 500 1,991.83 5.32 0.27%
Treasuries 2.42 -0.00 -0.12%
Data as of 10:56am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.82 0.29 1.90%
eBay Inc 55.75 2.35 4.40%
Hewlett-Packard Co 36.64 1.52 4.33%
Apple Inc 100.42 -0.15 -0.15%
Intel Corp 34.84 0.34 0.97%
Data as of 10:41am ET

Sections

Russian officials have shut four McDonald's restaurants in Moscow, including the first to open in the city nearly 25 years ago at the end of the Cold War. More

Traffic lights are easy to hack, and they're unlikely to be fixed, according to computer researchers. More

This Canadian startup founder faced the threat of deportation because he was on the wrong visa. Problem is -- there's no startup visa for entrepreneurs. More

This month, Delaware became the first state to pass a law giving heirs the right to access the online accounts and assets of someone who has passed away. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.