Can I buy two coach tix for one person ?

Aug 11th, 2003, 10:15 PM
  #1  
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Can I buy two coach tix for one person ?

NOTE: This is a hypothetical question, so don't hammer me on practical details.

What would happen if instead of purchasing a first class ticket I decided to buy two coach tickets for myself, adjacent seats, to ensure that I would have a decent amount of space ? I think some airlines are requiring overweight people to buy two seats if they can't fit in one, so could a "regulation weight" person buy two seats, too ?

Just curious ...
fussy_traveller is offline  
Aug 11th, 2003, 10:52 PM
  #2  
 
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YES, you can.....
The only way to assure the 2 seats are next to each other is to call the airline and tell them there is a "REASON" for your purchase. The "REASON" could be anything you want it to be, but make it sound real and 'VERY MUCH NEEDED', for whatever "REASON" you come up with.
If you don't, there is always a possibility of having 2 single seats. That would defeat the very purpose of paying for two seats.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 02:25 AM
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A few years back I was in a 767 Business class ( 2x2x2) and it was packed full, Coach/Economy(2x3x2) was about 20% full, so instead of staying 'up front' I went back and slept on 3 seats together. It was a 9 hour overnight flight. Thinking how much the Business class fare was I could have bought 3 seats and still had money left.

JamesA is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 05:20 AM
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Apparently it already happens.

In this past Sunday's New York Times Magazine, one of the questions posed to ethicist Randy Cohen was whether two people who had purchased 3 coach tickets (for exactly the same reason, to have more space) had an ethical obligation to give up/sell the third seat on an overbooked flight. It seems someone had to be bumped to a later flight because they wouldn't give up the seat.

He said that they had no ethical obligation to release the seat, but suggested that they might have been well advised to make their wealth and comfort less conspicuously at the expense of someone else.
soccr is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 10:49 AM
  #5  
LT
 
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Fussy:

I'd check with the airline before automatically assuming you can do this.

Recently, I bought a ticket on DL and had to buy another one, as I had made the first one for the wrong return date. I thought at the minimum, I'd at least get the extra seat and the SkyMiles, but was told at the airport when I checked in that I would be considered a "no-show" for the other seat, and the ticket would be cancelled -- no SkyMiles, no extra seat, no refund -- no nothing.

Make sure you explain what you want clearly, see if it's doable, and get the name of the person you speak to as a backup . . .
LT is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 12:03 PM
  #6  
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Wow, excellent replies everyone. Thanks so much.

AAFrequentFlyer and LT, very good advice.

JamesA, that was my main reason for posting the question. First and business class seats seem to always be well more than 2x or 3x coach seats.

soccr, very interesting ! I'd probably give the extra seat up, especially if I were going to be rewarded for doing it. (Would an airline be compelled to offer the same kind of compensation for the 2nd seat used by one person ??)


fussy_traveller is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 02:28 PM
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My cousin was a professional cellist for several years, and he always bought 2 tickets--one for himself and one for his cello, as he obviously didn't want it in the luggage compartment and it was too big to stow elsewhere.
RachelG is offline  
Aug 15th, 2003, 06:50 PM
  #8  
cfc
 
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Also have a cousin cellist. His ticket used to read: "Smith, John and Smith, Cello."
cfc is offline  
Aug 16th, 2003, 07:06 PM
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>>> make their wealth and comfort less conspicuous at the expense of someone else...

If a large person did not purchase two seats on the overbooked flight, there would be others screaming and hollering that he should have purchased two seats.

There are almost always plenty of volunteers waiting to be bumped even if the reason was that another passenger bought and insisted on keeping two seats for himself.

If someone bought two seats for himself and refused to give one up if the flight was overbooked, the airline is not losing money because of it. The same number of people would be bumped if that "selfish" person had bought the second seat for a spouse, child, co-worker, etc.

Travel tips:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/fatso.htm
ajaynejr is offline  
Aug 17th, 2003, 06:47 AM
  #10  
cfc
 
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Allan,

The response "soccr" included came from a column on ethics not the letter-of-the-law. An unrelinquished empty seat is a fairly nasty thing for a bumped passenger to see (which he/she did in this case according to the letter), and whether the airline has still made their revenue on that seat or not is really of no interest whatsoever to the bumped passenger.

There does seem to be an increasingly large proportion of the population that subscribes to the I've-got-mine, the-hell-with-you attitude, without even a pretense of consideration for others. The interesting thing is that for some, it's the "fatso" you love to bash (as your webpage) who is taking things at the expense of others; for other people, it's the ones who think their dollar is the final word on the matter, too bad for anyone with a geniune need -- e.g., to get somewhere.

The ethicist's suggestion was that the 3-seats-for-2 arrangement might need to be abandoned for the sake of another member of society with a need and for the sake of good feelings all around, on the "we're all in this together" theory. Not a legal requirement and not even strictly an ethical one, but a fair suggestion nonetheless from the point of view of smooth societal self-regulation.

It would seem to me that fussy_traveller has the right to buy two seats and even the legal right to keep them no matter what the circumstances might be. But if it were the last flight out of LGA during a snowstorm, I'd be hard put to say keeping that empty seat is a good idea.
cfc is offline  
Aug 17th, 2003, 02:02 PM
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Interesting questions!

Would there be compensation if the empty seat was "bumped" ? Who was the passenger who didn't travel? If both John Doe & Mary Roe are delivered to their destination, what is the loss, other than the price paid for the extra seat. I think this would be ruled the same as someone with a first class ticket who was forced to fly coach. Refund of the difference, but no other "real" compensation.
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Aug 17th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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Cassandra
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Loved your question, rb_Traveler!! I think John Doe should be bumped leaving Mary Roe and Vacant Roe to travel together.
 
Aug 18th, 2003, 08:30 AM
  #13  
 
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Gee, I hadn't thought about that "Roe" vs row name! I LOVE getting bumped if I can still get to my destination the same day, and I get a free future flight, EVEN with some restrictions. But I think the airlines would bump the empty seat first, as I'm sure the tariffs make use of the word "passenger" rather than "payer". I also have considered if paying for two seats would be a good option, especially on railroads, where a sleeper costs a fortune and there's no business-class seating.
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Aug 18th, 2003, 01:44 PM
  #14  
Cassandra
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May I just add the side comment that I envy those of you who still can get comfortable trying to sleep across two seats on a plane (or a train). I love it when I have an empty seat next to me, but anything more than a short nap curled up on the two seats and I start to feel like a very achy pretzel.
 
Aug 25th, 2003, 07:58 AM
  #15  
 
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It is not all that unusual for a person to buy two seats. Film stars are known to do it to ensure privacy. I saw a man who was not unusually large buy an extra economy seat simply to have the space. Economy tickets are so cheap these days it does make a certain amount of sense. The flight attendants were very respectful of his having an extra seat. It's pure economics. You buy two seats, they're your two seats. The airlines would have to treat it as occuppied.
wills is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 10:33 AM
  #16  
Cassandra
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Does mean that on the flight passenger log you are beside yourself?
 
Oct 12th, 2003, 11:16 AM
  #17  
Cassandra
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Topped to join other thread on same subject
 
Oct 16th, 2003, 11:54 AM
  #18  
 
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One time my son did not travel with us and we got to check him in and keep the seat.

Not anymore according to an airline i talked to. If you want 2 seats you have to buy 2 seats in your name. So for instance you buy 2 in your name and 1 in your spouses name and your spouse does not go for some reason you don't get to keep that seat, your spouse would be considered a no show. Same if you are a no show, your spouse does not get to keep your 2 seats.
s140 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2003, 07:03 AM
  #19  
MightyIsis
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OK so how does one go about buying two seats for themselves; not on an airline's website I am guessing. Do you have to call the airlines reservation number, and if so, what do they consider acceptable reasons for buying another seat just so the one beside you is empty?
 
Oct 18th, 2003, 10:22 AM
  #20  
cfc
 
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I too would like to hear the answer to the above question.

One approach, I suppose, would be to book at two different times and choose a seat next to yourself.

However, one thing I'd think you'd have to be careful of is what might happen if they change flights or equipment on you, without notice or warning. They routinely assign new seats without really paying attentio to original seating arrangements -- you could end up giving the empty seat to someone rows away from yourself.
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