buying "extra seat" on long haul flights?

Sep 13th, 2007, 01:36 PM
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buying "extra seat" on long haul flights?

On a flight back from Arusha to AMS two guys pitched in and bought an extra seat to be certain they had room to stretch out for the 11 hour overnight flight-from-hell.

Hmmm ... I'm too tall to be comfy in coach on a fully-packed flight, and too poor to pay almost $7,000 just to upgrade to first class on KLM every time I go to Africa, so I was thinking that buying an extra seat might be a wonderful idea.

Anyone have experience doing this? I guess you could try at the gate but I'd like to do it in advance if possible (our last KLM flight on this route was full so we'd want to get the seat in advance). I'm wondering if they give you a boarding pass or similar for the extra seat so you can fend off the flight attendants if they try to put someone in it, and also wondering if you could use the extra luggage weight allowance for that extra ticket, which would be nice for us traveling from AMS to Africa, where the limit is only 44 lbs (from USA to AMS it's 100 lbs ... we break the flight up by staying two nights in Amsterdam so have to go by the European luggage rules on the AMS - Kili leg ... 66 lbs each would do it for us).

So anyone in the travel industry know how to book an extra seat in advance for an international flight? I can't get answers from KLM.

Thanks (if you can help).

Bill_H is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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I read one story (it may have been a myth) where someone purchase two tickets on a long-haul flight, and he was given two seats, each on opposite sides of the aisle ;-)
thit_cho is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 03:25 PM
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Here's a recent thread on flyertalk about buying an extra seat. It seems as though people do this often. No mention of luggage allowance though.
cw is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 03:36 PM
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High risk strategy - there is definitely no guarantee that the extra seat purchased will be allocated to the seat you are assigned.

Not to mention that airlines often bump no-shows or need to rejig seat allocations to allow families to be seated together.

I would not risk this unless I had something in writing from the airline guaranteeing allocation of my two seats together.

And I doubt they'll give such.
Kavey is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 03:48 AM
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I flew on Air Canada to London, and decided to purchase an extra seat for comfort. I called the airline, and they booked myself, and made the seat beside me unavailable to reservations with my name attached. The thing I really liked was that I didnt pay taxes on the 2nd seat, so it only worked out to be $300 more return, an excellent value imo.

richardfh is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 04:07 AM
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here's a fodor's thread about this

I think it's a great idea, if it works. I can see the airlines not letting it happen with they way they over book, although why should they care, since the seat is sold either way...
Momliz is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 04:20 AM
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theycare because the other customers get v.v. annoyed.
sunshine007 is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 06:18 AM
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Aren't you supposed to buy two tickets if you are very heavy, I'm sure I've seen people denied boarding on the Southwest Airlines extended commercial that masquerades as a documentary. If so, tell them you are huge when booking the ticket and the two seats have to be together, after all it is their requirement. Then if they question you on arrival at the airport, just smile and say "thanks Jenny Craig".
napamatt is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 07:40 AM
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cw, thanks for the flyertalk link, that helped.

Momliz, ditto for the Fodors link, that helped too. When I ask the airlines I'll tell them one of us is 'oversized' and needs extra space for comfort I guess, even though it's leg-room and not butt-room we really need.

These flights have a 3-4-3 seat arrangement for coach rows and we would like to buy tix with seating assignments for all three seats in one section for two people. So long as we have the boarding passes for all three adjacent seats we should be OK, but it sounds like they will take the seat if the plane is full anyway.

From those forums it sounds like they just give them the name "Extraseat" with the same last name ... wonder how that works when they ask for Extraseat's passport # ... wonder if Extraseat gets a luggage allowance

Anyway, thanks for the posts ... I have a query in to KLM and will post if I hear back from them, in case others are interested in doing this.

Bill_H is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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hey, oversized is oversized, they don't need to know the details.

And, most important, will "Extraseat" get ff miles?
Momliz is offline  
Jul 7th, 2010, 02:54 PM
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Just pulled up this old thread when searching "long flights". Has anyone done this recently and were there any problems?
NGail is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 10:56 PM
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I've heard of this, never tried it.
I've also heard that if the flight is full and the airline wishes they can take that extra seat away from you!!!! Unbelievable?? Not really, with todays airlines . I would certainly check this out carefully before planning on it. Have you posted this in "air Travel" forum?

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 05:49 AM
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Hey Tom-
Found this thread by chance and hadn't realized it was on the Africa forum.
My guess is the same as yours re taking extra seat away!
NGail is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 10:11 PM
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I've read many articles recently where this practice is common with Air New Zealand. Google might lead you to the info!
HariS is offline  

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