Getting seat assignment changed?

Mar 5th, 2012, 09:49 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,111
Getting seat assignment changed?

So we had two FF seats on hold with AA. During the hold period, we got notification they had changed our flights and assigned our seats for us. DH and I are now sitting apart. We were told that it was because the flights had just been on hold. I find that hard to believe as I've had flights & seats changed even after booking. Anyway, I called AA and they can't switch our seats. I saw the diagram and both flights look pretty full. I am a horrible horrible flyer and need DH to hang on to. Aside from having a crying meltdown episode at the gate, any tips for possibly getting these changed - besides asking at the gate and hoping someone is sympathetic enough to change with us. Just thought I would see if anyone had success with anything else. thanks
cruisin_tigger is offline  
Mar 5th, 2012, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
I'm assuming that you are not elite members?
are there two coach seats together on the flights at all?If there aren't they aren't going to move someone for you.

I understand your fear - I was a terrible flyer for years.

The few things I can suggest

1) if you know anyone with AA status who could call for you.
2) where are the flights to/from? Can you change flights?
3) Call and ask to speak with a supervisor (not likely but possible)

4) Get to the airport really early.
mztery is offline  
Mar 5th, 2012, 11:07 AM
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Thanks mztery

No, not elite members. We're going ORD/LAX/HNL. Then home, HNL/DFW/ORD. Interesting thought, changing just the mainland flights, since that's where the seats are screwed up. Can I still change booked FF flights without penalty as long as its the same itinerary? I thought you could do that in the past. thx!
cruisin_tigger is offline  
Mar 5th, 2012, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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AA holds back a fair number of seats for assignment at the gate. Some of those holdbacks are required by the FAA.

First, check every day or two to see if seats have opened up and grab them. You can easily do that online at

Failing that, just try to get to the gate early and there will most probably be no difficulty getting decent seats. You can also try mztery's suggestions #1 and #3 but don't be surprised if they don't work. They will not move another passenger just because you have certain needs. #2 would be ok if you were willing to spend $300 in change fees plus any difference in fare.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Mar 5th, 2012, 08:23 PM
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AA also holds back a fair number of seats until online check-in begins. If you can check in as soon as it opens online, you may be able to select different seats.

I wouldn't recommend 'having a crying meltdown episode at the gate'. Airline staff tend to take a negative view of that kind of behavior, particularly in recent years.
julia1 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2012, 08:56 PM
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1) they are award seats so my understanding is if there are seats on an alternate flight there may be a change fee but no"difference in fare"

2) I stated, they will not move another passenger but it's not clear that is why AA would not change their seats.

I would check for other possibilities on the mainland flights.
mztery is offline  
Mar 5th, 2012, 09:06 PM
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Chances are you can move seats during online check-in and at airport. But say both doesn't work, you can still try switching with other passengers. In that situation, your success rate depends on what seats you have currently. If you now hold aisle or window seats, I doubt it'll be too hard to get one of your middle-seat neighbors on the plane to switch. But if both seats you have now are middles, then good luck.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 5th, 2012, 09:44 PM
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We frequently change our seats during online check-in. Make sure you are checking in as soon as online check-in starts - usually 24 hours in advance. I have never had a problem doing this. Good luck.
Cali is offline  
Mar 6th, 2012, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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As a Frequent Flyer. Being nice gets you father then crying, hissy fits.etc....

If you ask someone to trade it helps to give up the better seat. So if you have one seat up front and one in the back try to ask the person in the back if he/she would like to move up. Middle seats are lousy traders. But if you can snag 2 aisle seats you might find one of your middle seat passengers eager to trade for an aisle.
CarolA is offline  
Mar 7th, 2012, 09:46 AM
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Thanks guys - the crying thing was a joke.

I was able to change some seats online, now only waiting to change the DFW/ORD leg. Thanks for your help!
cruisin_tigger is offline  
Mar 8th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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No one seems to have supplied what I would do first. If you have the same locator number, call up your reservation and view your seat assignments. You can then change the seat assignment for one or both of you. It doesn't matter if it's on FF or not.

If there are 2 locator numbers, then find 2 seats available and quickly move 1 seat at a time to make sure you are together.

AA's not the only airline that allows this, but their system is the easiest to use.

Worse comes to worse, find a sympathetic ticket or gate agent and tell your tale of woe. It usually works.

I was booked on a flight once with my wife and there was only one first class seat. I gave it to my wife. As soon as the AA FAs found out, everything was free, including a lunch brought back to coach from first class.

One reason why AA is my favorite airline.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 8th, 2012, 06:37 PM
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R-guy-: You missed the part where she says the flights looked full online...because AA holds back a good number of seats until online check in starts and she can't access them earlier because she doesn't have elite status with AA...
julia1 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2012, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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julia1. I didn't miss the part....

One thing I've learned in my million+ miles with AA, if the seat isn't available today, it might be tomorrow, or even this evening.

One keeps trying. About 95% of the time, I can change seats to where I want.

Usually when we fly to Europe, my wife has a different locator #. It just makes it a bit more complex, but the same rules apply.

The other 5% is me begging politely to someone at AA to put us together. Dressing nice for your flight always helps.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 12th, 2012, 10:30 PM
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ps - no, my wife is not an elite member.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 07:34 AM
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Thanks guys for all the tips. I kept checking and now we are sitting together for all of our flights. yay!
cruisin_tigger is offline  
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