Air France/KLM Adding ‘Advanced Seat Selection Fee’ to Business Class

Air France and KLM will begin charging advanced seat selection fees to passengers traveling in long-haul business class cabins. This is an extension of the current policy which they have had in Economy for some time. This will go into effect on April 4th, 2023 for flights departing on or after April 13th, 2023 (though as of now it will not apply to flights to and from North America).

Air France Boeing 777-200 Business Class Interior

Depending on the flight, the fee will be between 70 and 90 euros and Flying Blue elites will be exempt from these fees as well as customers with corporate contracts (excluding bluebiz). Unfortunately this follows a trend that we are seeing from

European airlines as British Airways has had this policy in place for some time and I expect other European competitors to follow suit. For passengers that don’t want to pay for a seat assignment, free selection will be available during the check in window (So have fun playing the Southwest check-in race on your $5,000 ticket!).

I currently have 4 trips to Europe planned for the Summer with one on Air France and two on KLM so I am interested to see if they eventually roll these fees out for North American flights. Since i’m traveling with Mrs. ATX Jetsetter I appreciated being able to select our seats so that we can sit together but that may be changing soon. Our 4th flight is on British Airways where we are unable to select seats without a fee which bothers me considering the price of the tickets, especially considering the prices on British Airways are much higher than the ones that Air France/KLM is rolling out.

Unfortunately it just seems to erode the premium experience even further and isn’t very customer friendly (unless you’re a Flying Blue elite). Hopefully these don’t affect North American flights (possibly as a result of the Delta transatlantic joint venture), but it is something to watch for going forward. I can only imagine Lufthansa Group will be looking to add this ‘enhancement’ soon.

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