Qantas to trial neighbour-free seating on select international routes

Qantas international customers could soon have the chance to travel ‘neighbour free’ following the success of the airline’s Neighbour Free product on its domestic network earlier this year, which is now available on the majority of Qantas’ domestic network.

The airline is currently trialling Neighbour Free seating on 19 international routes where some Economy passengers will have the option to keep the seat next to them free. Neighbour Free will start from A$45 (US$28) on trans-Tasman flights, A$100 between Australia and Singapore, and A$225 between Australia and the US.

Eligible Economy passengers on international flights will have the option to keep the seat next to them free during the trial (Photo: rarrarorro)

Customers booked on a flight with spare capacity will receive an email 48 hours before their flight with the option of selecting a Neighbour Free seat. The seat is not guaranteed until departure, with customers receiving a refund if the seat is subsequently sold.

During the trial, Neighbour Free will only be available for flights that are operated by Qantas aircraft and for select customers. Passengers who have purchased additional products, such as extra legroom, have requested an upgrade, are travelling with an infant or have an unaccompanied minor in the booking will not be eligible for Neighbour Free during the trial. Customers travelling as part of a group booking will also be ineligible.

The trial routes include Singapore to Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth; Brisbane to Auckland, Christchurch, Los Angeles, and Wellington; Melbourne to Auckland, Christchurch, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Wellington; as well as Sydney to Auckland, Christchurch, Dallas, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Wellington.

More international routes will be rolled out in the coming months following the evaluation of the initial trial.

Qantas’ chief customer and digital officer, Catriona Larritt, commented: “We’ve had a really positive reaction from customers who’ve opted to travel Neighbour Free on our domestic network, and customers have told us they want the option on our international flights too.

“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 programme in the coming months.”

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