Kulula charges customers an additional fee for seats which promise extra legroom, but an unpleasant surprise awaits some people who book these seats.
Kulula explains on its website: “Whether it’s some extra legroom, or simply a view of the clouds you’re looking for, you can select your favourite spot for a small fee.”
On two recent Kulula flights – to George and Durban – MyBroadband journalists booked extra-legroom seats only to find out they did not receive what they paid for.
On the George flight, the seats that were sold as “emergency exit row” seats with extra legroom turned out to be normal seats.
On the Durban flight, the “Front Exit Row” (row A) seats that promised extra legroom at an additional fee had no extra legroom.
In fact, because it was not possible to put your feet underneath the seat in front of you, the experience was worse than sitting in a normal seat.
This is a change from previous flights, where both rows A and B offered passengers extra legroom.
The image below, which comes from the Kulula website, explains what people are promised.
Photos of what people received
The photos below show the difference between the usual Front Exit Row seats with extra legroom, and the “new” row with no extra legroom.
Standard extra legroom seats
“New” extra legroom seats
Kulula explained that the most likely explanation for what happened is that there was an aircraft change.
“While we endeavour to operate the same aircraft type and configuration as that which customers have booked, this is not always possible,” Kulula said.
“Occasionally aircraft have to be changed for technical or operational reasons to allow us to operate the schedule and minimise disruptions.”
Kulula said it understands that because not all its aircraft are the same type or configuration, customers who have booked particular seats at an additional cost may be inconvenienced.
“When this happens you can e-mail our customer services team, who’ll process a refund for the pre-paid seat,” Kulula said.