Would you pay for this? (Also: we’re going to Japan!)

I subscribe to a handful of travel deal newsletters, and among these is Jetstar’s weekly Friday flight alerts.

Normally I scan the subject line and delete right away. But one day in November last year, the phrase “2 for 1” caught my eye.

Even with all the add-ons that budget airlines slap you with, a 2 for 1 fare puts you well ahead! And thus, we’re going to Tokyo in September.

Assigned seats

Would you pay $5 to guarantee you and your travel partner could sit together on a flight?

Personally, I wasn’t sure at first. After all, on our flight from Reykjavik to New York, we didn’t get to choose our seats (either we checked in too late, or I missed that step somewhere along the line) and T and I wound up sitting several rows apart. And that was totally fine. It must be said, though, that this was toward the latter part of our trip , so we’d already spent a ton of time together.

But $10 (for both of us) per flight in the grand scheme of things is not a lot, so I stumped up.

Extra legroom

I am slightly toward the tall end of average for a woman and even I feel claustrophobic in economy class. So I have lots of sympathy for T.

I think it was on one of our short European flights that we got to change seats with another passenger in the exit row, and enjoy extra legroom for free. Let me tell you, that was a revelation!

Anyway, I balked at the $45 price tag for seats in the rows with extra leg room, but T‘s best sad face convinced me. And since it’s not possible to sit together and have only one person get extra leg room, that came to $90 per flight. (I would sit apart to save money, but apparently that wasn’t acceptable.)

It might even be worth it for me. I gotta say, the older you get, the more you’re willing to pay for comfort.

Hot food

The in flight meal menu looked absolutely dire. And this is where I drew the line. No way am I paying for what looks like a terrible attempt at a meat pie, or chicken and rice. Instead, we will fuel up and stock up at the airport before we leave.

15 thoughts on “Would you pay for this? (Also: we’re going to Japan!)

  • Reply Amanda @ Gourmanda March 10, 2015 at 18:36

    1. I’d pay for assigned seats on a long-haul flight (anything above 5 hours), especially if it’s a 2-3-2 configuration. At least if I’m sitting next to my partner, we can put the armrest up and lean against each other for naps and so on.

    2. Extra legroom – again, only on flights where I’d be expecting to have a really good sleep, five hours or above. I recently had a great seat on an Airbus A380 on the top level with the most legroom I’ve ever had – no extra charge. It was blissful on my eight hours to Hong Kong.

    3. Hot food – urgh, no way. I get motion sickness, and the smell of airplane food always makes it worse. I tend to prefer to just take along some crackers and fruit to get me through, as it won’t make me as nauseous.

  • Reply Taylor Lee @ Engineer Cents March 11, 2015 at 00:06

    1. Sitting together: I’d definitely pay.
    2. Extra legroom: I’m so short that it makes absolutely zero difference to me. It’d be up to the BF to convince me to pay up.
    3. Hot food: I feel like every international flight I’ve been on served us hot food for free (thought it was in the regulations or something). If they didn’t serve us for free, then yes since a flight to Japan is like 18 hours or something from where I live. On domestic flights, though, absolutely not.

    Woot, Japan!

  • Reply Rhonda Albom March 11, 2015 at 01:14

    I recently went to Wellington on JetStar, and it was $19 extra for picking my seat, but it include a $10 voucher for the next flight, plus $10 of food. Interestingly, you are the second blogger in a row I read that was going to Japan.

  • Reply Sense March 11, 2015 at 01:49

    Ooh, travel. So exciting!! Japan is…indescribable. I hope you get to explore Kyoto! Easily my favorite place in Japan that I’ve visited (this includes Nara, Tokyo, Kagoshima, Osaka, Zushi, Hakone (please skip Hakone)).

  • Reply Leigh March 11, 2015 at 03:28

    I loved Japan! Especially Kyoto. It was just amazing! I went in September 2013 for 2 weeks.

    My boyfriend refused to go on the long haul flight without getting extra legroom, so we each paid $50 I think and then the person in front of him spent the whole flight with her seat reclined, so he didn’t get any extra leg room. Traveling by myself, I wouldn’t pay a cent for extra legroom – I have plenty. But I am willing to pay to ensure we sit together.

  • Reply Kara March 11, 2015 at 04:39

    I’d definitely pay to be seated with my husband. His aunt and uncle travel a lot and always pay to sit together, and always seem to have people them ask to switch seats so they can sit beside their partner.

    I’ve never been on a flight long enough that extra legroom would matter. Three hours has been my longest flight, so I’ve never had issues. Plus, I’m short, so it’s not like I need a lot of room.

    I’ve only been served food once (on the three-hour flight) and it was OK. I didn’t even know it was being served, so I’m guessing it was free? I was 14 at the time and didn’t buy my own ticket, so maybe it wasn’t.

  • Reply Tracey March 11, 2015 at 07:17

    For $5 I’d pay to sit together, but probably grumble about it. Would MAYBE pay extra for an exit row on a long haul flight – but only because I sometimes get motion sickness and an exit row makes dashing to the bathroom quick and easy while still having the luxury of a window seat. TMI? 🙂 Hot food? Nah, I’m with you. Fuel up before takeoff.

    I’m heading to Tokyo myself next Friday on a stopover. Can’t wait! Japan is so fascinating and Japanese people are lovely.

  • Reply The Asian Pear March 11, 2015 at 08:40

    OOOH! Japan! I’m excited for you. It’s on my “hit list”. 😀 When are you going?!? Which cities!?!

  • Reply Amber March 11, 2015 at 08:54

    Ahhhh I’m so jealous! We REALLY wanted to make Japan happen this year but after doing all the research and completely pricing out a 10 day trip we decided it just wasn’t affordable for us right now. One day though. And yes if I’d seen a deal for 2 for 1 flights I also would have snapped it up immediately!!

  • Reply Sally March 12, 2015 at 12:02

    I’d skimp out on all three so that I could fly to Japan!!! Sounds awesome!

  • Reply Ashley March 12, 2015 at 23:19

    I love Japan! You should visit Miyajima Island- easily my favourite place from my trip over there.

    I would pay to be seated together on long haul, as I actually manage to sleep a little on flights when with my partner. Legroom I’m iffy on- it sounds nice, but what I really want is to be able to lie down. And I would probably avoid paying for food that’s bound to disappoint for short-ish flights, but anything over 12 hours I’d probably give in just for the convenience of it.

  • Reply Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank March 13, 2015 at 12:11

    Where exactly in Japan? I hope it’s Tokyo. Try their bullet train. I am so excited for you. I want to go back there because the food is so great!

  • Reply Karen March 17, 2015 at 08:18

    Japan sounds super exciting! I prefer to sit together because you can share things such as snacks or if one person has an item you need to borrow. If the flight is short, 4 hours or less, then it’s not really a big deal. I would find it awkward sitting beside someone I didn’t know for a long flight. I prefer the window seat, so I would hopping over this person constantly to use the washroom.

    As short as I am, I still find there is not enough legroom when you sit in economy class. So I would be willing to pay. The only time we lucked out was on our way home from Greece. We checked in several days in advance and managed to get the very first seat of economy class, just behind business class. We had more than enough legroom for that flight. 🙂

  • Reply Alexis@FItnancials March 18, 2015 at 04:32

    If it’s a long flight, you bet I’m going to pay a little extra. I can’t believe how cramped some airlines make the planes. I remember having to sit in the middle of a three seater on a flight from Seattle to Chicago. I tried to make the best of it but it makes it worse when people sleep on you! Haha.

  • Reply Britnee April 2, 2015 at 16:54

    Hooray, Japan is an amazing place!! So my husband is 6’6″ and asks for the exit row every chance he gets and I get to enjoy the extra legroom by default. 🙂 On short flights with Jetstar we skip the extra charge and my husband puts up with the small seats. On our last flight I heard a tall guy ask a flight attendant if he could move to a different seat with more leg room and she let him without charging extra!

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