Airline Seat Assignments

Oct 15th, 1998, 04:35 AM
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Airline Seat Assignments

When we went to Europe this last time I had asked our travel agent to get boarding passes and seat assignments for us. I dislike sitting in the center section of the plane because I am very hot natured and it is always much warmer in that section. Our boarding passes arrived with seats assigned correctly. When we got to the plane we found that our seats had been changed to the center section. Why did this happen? How can I prevent it in the future? We had arranged this travel some time in advance.
Oct 15th, 1998, 04:57 AM
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I've never found that I can rely on my travel agent's seat assignments. I try to get to the airport early enough to select the seat I want - although that does mean early!
Oct 15th, 1998, 05:52 AM
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Airlines are more and more assigning seats on the basis of what you paid for your ticket. A kind of justice based on contribution I guess Which is a reason they are witholding actual seat assigning to the morning of departure in many cases.
The key is whether your agent had only REQUESTED those seats, or whether you had the actual seat numbers CONFIRMED by the airline.
For most international flights, if you are in steerage and on a discounted ticket all you can do is request. [I'm an 'aisle' person. I wander a lot during a flight...]and while I'm not always been in the cabin I want or away from bulkheads I've seldom had trouble getting that aisle seat.BTW on 747s I've learned to love the aisle seats on the middle section of the plane. The only hassle is having to put your carryon in the bin across the aisle as the ones above the center are for coats and other lighter things.
The only seating near-disaster we had was when we were on Air France with a condolidator ticket. We got to the airport THREE hours early and the charming [NOT!] Air France agent claimed not to have seats together, let alone anywhere we might WANT to sit. After a well-regulated tantrum in reasonably fluent French about not wanting to be separated from 'mon mari', lo and behold... not only together but an aisle too!
Oct 16th, 1998, 10:35 AM
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Last Aug. my family must have been very lucky. When British Air failed to find us three seats together on our flight from London back to the US, they bumped us up to Business Class! The good husband was dreading the return flight in "sardine" class. The bump made him a very happy traveler! The bad news...he'll never fly to Europe again unless it's in Business Class. I gues sometimes you just get lucky.
Oct 18th, 1998, 02:44 AM
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We've been on many flights when our seats have not been satisfactory or the seat arrangement on the plane what the travel agent or desk person that assigned the seats said it would be.This summer I decided we would get to the airport early and try to be first to check in and ask for exit seats...we got them for Phoenix-NYC and then again, NYC to problem. Did not get them for our return trip. All planes we took were packed but I know they assign exit seats, for those that ask, during check in. Can't beat them for extra leg room.
Oct 18th, 1998, 09:26 AM
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A friend and I just had a very unsatisfactory experience with Iberia--we had made reservations in June for a trip to Spain this month, requesting and receiving confirmation of our seat assignments. Two days before departure, we reconfirmed and I requested a wheelchair, since my foot was broken. We arrived at O'Hare more than 2 hours before departure time and still waited on line for over an hour. The wheelchair? They "don't have any" was the response I got. And once seated on the plane, four attendants appeared to tell me I had to move; I refused, showing the confirmation letter. They became quite loud, rude, and hostile--one even threatened to have me forcibly removed from the plane! I held my ground, after surrounding passengers spoke up in my behalf, and after learning that my seat number had been assigned to 2 others! We will NOT be flying Iberia airlines again.
Oct 18th, 1998, 11:13 AM
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Seat assignments!!! What happens if the PLANE isn't even available!! In regards to the above post, my husband and I also had an unfortunate experience with Iberia! In spite of having reconfirmed our return trip to L.A. via NYC some 30 hours in advance, we arrived in New York (after a long flight made seemingly longer due to the FLIGHT ATTENDANTS--not passengers!--smoking incessantly!) to find that our connection was no longer flying that route. At that time (last October), Iberia was "partners" with PanAm, though Iberia did ALL the ticketing, reservations, correspondence and reconfirmations. We arrived in New York to find that Iberia's "partner" Pan Am had not flown that route in MORE THAN two weeks, though Iberia in Madrid assured us all reservations were in order. Had it not been for the kindness of United--who, it happened, had a direct flight to San Francisco, our ultimate destination--we might still be at JFK.....and NO thanks to Iberia! So much for dutifully reconfirming flights in advance!!
Oct 18th, 1998, 09:28 PM
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My husband and I have usually traveled across the aisle from one another. That gives us more room to roam. However! We've discovered that seat 25C and 25D might be 1-2 rows counterpoint! We spent our 20th wedding anniversary trip quite a ways apart. I felt like Meg Ryan in "French Kiss" when Luc arrived to sit next to her, except it didn't turn out quite so well! Anyway, arranging your seat assignment in advance frequently doesn't turn out right because planes are all configured differently, and you never know exactly where you're going to sit until you look at a chart.
Oct 20th, 1998, 02:55 AM
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I would be really interested to hear from travellers who are lucky enough to be able to afford to fly business or first class. I fly on average three times a year, always in economy. When booking a flight I always ask what kind of plane it is (Boeing, Airbus) and request a seat on the aisle in the corresponding row which I have found to offer the most room. It is really amazing how many times I have arrived at the airpot to check in and only been told that my seat has been changed. Mostly, I'm not even "told." I look at my boarding pass and I see that the seat I requested and confirmed the day before isn't listed. When I complain, I'm usally told that the plane is booked and there are no seats available on the aisle. After I get really loud and start making a scene, the ticket agent "finds" an available aisle seat. There is no doubt in my mind that seats are now assigned according to price paid.
Oct 20th, 1998, 07:01 AM
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Seats are important, particularly if you are long-legged or have sore knees. But here's our latest experience. We had to transfer in Minneapolis. Our 747 was ready and waiting. But some dimwit mechanic pushed the wrong button...and down came the inflatable passenger chute from one of the doors. While the ground crew went into its "Chinese Fire Drill" routine and repacked the yellow monster back into wherever it came from, we passengers waited and waited and waited. "Only a few more minutes, folks, and we DO apologize," we heard...for more than two hours. Did they offer us so much as a free cup of coffee while we waited? Not on your life. Did the ground crew get coffee, you bet.
Oct 20th, 1998, 10:50 AM
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One reason that seat assignments get all switched around after being confirmed is that the airlines may substitute a different type of aircraft prior to the flight (for a variety of reasons: load factor,mechanical, etc)
When that happens, the airline computer system many times just randomly reassigns new seats.
Also, the airlines have schedule changes every several months such
as flight numbers or departure times.
Once again, when this happens, the updated flight information appears as a new flight reservation so seats may be reassigned (without regard to whether the passenger was in an aisle or window seat)
The best way to guard against any nasty surprises at the airport is to call
the airlines the day before departure to reconfirm your seats. Arrive EARLY at the airport so if your seat has been reassigned, you have a better chance of picking a better one!
Oct 21st, 1998, 03:13 PM
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My husband and I just returned from Europe flying Luftansa. Although we were on a tour, I took it upon myself to call the airline about 6-8 weeks before our trip to select our seats. I got a confirmation number at that time. I then called about 3 days before departure to make sure our seats hadn't been changed. Elizabeth
Oct 22nd, 1998, 01:20 PM
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Someone asked about business and first class seating. I have never had a seating assignment problem but I would like to add that I would never pay the published price for flying "up front".We always use upgrade miles to go from economy to next class of service any flight over 4 hours.Although you have to be flexible on dates and flight times I have never been unable to get an upgrade using frequent flyer miles on American.There are so many ways to earn them now they really add up fast.
Oct 22nd, 1998, 03:30 PM
Paul J
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We just returned from Europe yesterday, On the way back, my wife and I had aisle and window seats on American 767, which, since it was a daytime flight what we wanted. However, on the way over, we had been assigned to a middle row, which was filled. I asked if the plane was going to be full. The agent said it wasn't. Since it was a night flight, I just asked if we could get a row with the middle seat vacant. She said. No Problem. She blocked out the middle seat, indicating someone who is travelling with a "baby". Since we're in our sixties, I found this to be very accomodating. It gave us some extra room The bottom line is that it does'nt hurt to ask. BTW, the tickets were purchased through a consolidator.
Oct 22nd, 1998, 10:24 PM
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I too have had similar problems with seat bookings ex Australia. I note business and first class seating allocations are usually as booked. I always turn up 3 hours before a flight to ensure a good seat. FYI, for all those tall people, I was informed that anyone over 6' tall can request the seats behind emergency exits that have the extra leg room - a must for a 24 hour flight to Europe!
Nov 11th, 1998, 01:31 PM
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My husband and I purchased two first-class, round-trip tickets from DFW to Vegas last year. We had a layover in Phoenix. On our return trip, during the layover in Phoenix we were informed that the "equipment" had changed, and there was no first class seating on the new "equipment" for our 2 hour flight home. What recourse is available in this situation? We pitched a fit, were moved to a later flight and given some coupons, but I would be curious to know if we really had any recourse.
Nov 12th, 1998, 03:35 PM
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I've just finished booking my winter vacation with "Signature" flying to Puerto Vallarta on Royal Airlines. They had a new twist this year for $10 (each way) you could pre-book your seat, $20 for exit rows. The brochure also says that you only need to show up 1 hour ahead instead of 3. I'm curious if anyone has tryed this yet and if you got the seat that you requested?

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