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Iberia airlines - seat assignment

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We are flying from SFO to JFK to MAD in Sept. The SFO to JFK leg is on AA, and the JFK to MAD leg is on Iberia. I booked the tickets through AA and made my AA seat assignments on line. I called AA today to ask for seat assignments for the Iberia leg, and they told me that seat assignments can only be made at the airport on flight day. That would be JFK airport not SFO. I pressed the AA agent for a better explanation and to re-check her facts. She read from her "instructions" that;
- Iberia airlines will not accept any contact from an AA customer for seat assignment
- Seat assignment can only be made at the departing airport.

I can't imagine a plane full of customers showing up at JFK and all needing seat assignments. That might take a lot of extra time.

We fly to Europe 2-3 times a year and I have never encountered this before. I've flown Iberia once & don't recall encountering this problem.

Has anyone else flown Iberia recently and were forced to get seat assignments at the airport???

Thanks

Stu Dudley

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