Is the Air France Duo Seat the Biggest Hustle in Airplane Seat Sales?

I was prepping for my upcoming Africa trip which starts with Chad. I booked an Delta SkyMiles economy award New York (Virgin Atlantic)-London-Paris -N’Djamena (both Air France). The direct NY-Paris option as usual has Air France flights blocked and Delta flights at wacky pricing.

Delta can now assign seats on Air France flights, except intra-Europe flights that do not have advance seat selection. What Delta does not see is that SkyMiles status is not transferred over to Air France in the booking so many seats come up as paid.

If you have Delta or other SkyTeam elite status, call Delta to get the Air France booking locator, then pull it up on Air France. Update your frequent flyer status there, and in the case of my Delta Diamond, that unlocks free seat selection.

Air France A330-200 Seat Map

The 4 types of seats:

  • Economy seat (no charge)
  • Seat at the front of the cabin ($32 for this flight)
  • Duo seat in row of 2 ($32 for this flight)
  • Seat plus (exit row, $54 for this flight)

I was curious on this Duo Seat. The seating layout is 2-4-2. Is this a way to reserve two seats for a modest upsell? Haha, no. I had to read it twice to believe what I was seeing. “With or without a companion, choose an aisle or window seat and travel with only one seat next to you. Standard recline and comfort.” Full terms here.

In other words it is a seat that is not at the front of the cabin. Farther back these so-called duo seats become economy seats for no charge

You may still have a passenger next to you, the chances presumably lessen for advance seat assignment as fewer people will pay for a Duo Seat than the free seats behind. At airport I wonder if agents fill the seats behind first and then assigns these if the others are full.

Slick marketing, it is almost enough to get people to think the seat must be special.

Readers, what other egregiously branded seats are in the sky?

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  • Joey

    I didn’t know Virgin Atlantic flew to Paris. I’m guessing you meant Air France for the LHR-CDG leg?
    I love the branding of the Big Front Seat at Spirit. I always thought it was only for big people but for certain routes the Big Front Seat is only $25 more, which is totally worth the price!

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Joey – you are right, I didn’t pay attention to who was operating LHR-CDG, it is AF.

  • Tom

    It’s odd that 25-28 are regular, then 30-32 are duo. I always like A330s since every seat is at most one seat from the aisles (2-4-2). I never understood why 3-3-3 is chosen over something like 2-5-2 on 777s and others.

  • Jack

    To confirm this won’t work for intra-Europe flights?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Jack – I believe not, unless they have some check-in or airport upsell that I don’t know.

  • Lucas

    Actually the intra-Europe KLM and AF duo seats are even funnier.
    They are in fact, when available, last-row seats (this is mentioned sometimes as “no recline”) next to the lavatory, which are 2 because they need the space for cart-moving and other technical reasons. So you pay for the privilege of sitting with your special half (that’s where the commercial pictures are aiming) next to the lavatory. Yey!