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United/Lufthansa code share--can't reserve seats until departure??????

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I've booked an open jaw itinerary on United--from the US into Mumbai and out of Bangalore back to the US. These are United flights to India, but on the return trip these are Lufthansa flights into the US. We have seats for all of the United legs, but I can't find a way to get seat reservations on the Lufthansa legs.

On the return we have flights on Lufthansa from Bangalore to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Chicago. Since these are each 9.5 hour flights, I'd like to upgrade to Economy Plus seats. I called Lufthansa, and they told me that there are Economy Plus seating sections on the Bangalore to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Chicago legs. But, since I bought tickets through United, they told me I can't get any seat assignments until check-in in Bangalore unless I work with United. United told me that they don't have access to Lufthansa's seating, so they can't do anything for me either. I find it hard to believe that in today's world there is not more coordination and transparency between airlines who offer code shares.

Is this truly the case that there is no way to get seat assignments before we show up at the airport? At this point I'd be happy with even just getting a regular seat assignment without an upgrade so I could try for window or aisle seats in regular economy because I am guessing that if we wait until check-in for seat assignments we'll be stuck in regular economy with middle seats in the four person middle aisle seats. And, I am dreading two long flights like that, especially since the first flight departs at 03:45. Thanks.

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