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United Airlines - seat selection

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Jan 15th, 2006, 01:58 PM
  #1
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United Airlines - seat selection

Twice in past year I have bought tickets on UA, selected seats on-line, and then at check-in given totally different and horrible seats (for example, family of 4 was changed from 4 seats together to 4 scattered middle seats)

Equipment was same as that listed on-line at time of purchase, no apparent weather problems, flight not delayd....

I know this happen sometimes, often for good reasons. Can't help but be suspicious, since they tried to sell us UA Enhanced seats. Don't want this to happen when daughter and I go to Florida in a month.

Any ideas/comments?
gail is offline  
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Jan 15th, 2006, 02:15 PM
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So, you actually bought the tix at united.com? Were your selected seats in Economy Plus? Do any of the four have Premier status or higher?
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Jan 15th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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Suggest you call United. And, when the time comes (24 hrs in advance, I think) you should check-in online.
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Jan 15th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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I've had the UA seating system change our seats before; for instance, when I've tried to book two of our three seats in E+ and one in regular economy (we're only eligible for 2 E+ seats), we all get reassigned to regular economy during a system sweep. I've researched this on flyertalk and basically came to the conclusion that there are some system quirks with regard to how the system handles parties of more than two. If your selected seat assignments don't correspond with the system's definition of 'seats together' (whatever that is), it may move you.

When the three of us fly together, I now always book us on two separate PNRs to make sure I can arrange the seating the way I want it.

With just two of you, I doubt you'll have problems, unless you've reserved seats in E+ and are not eligible. You should be able to check your seat assignments on 'my itineraries.' Make sure they are the same now as when you booked. Then, as mrwunrfl says, check in on line at 24 hours ahead.
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Jan 15th, 2006, 04:13 PM
  #5
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Thanks for fast responses. When this happened this summer we had actually bought tickets on United.com. No traveler had elevated FF status on UA. To select seats we went to the airplane chart, clicked on seats, and they appeared on our paperwork - if by some chance they were E+ seats, we had no way of knowing, since they were not indicated as such.

When we tried to check-in on-line, the seats had disappeared on "my itineraries" - I know it was not my mistake, because I was sitting at computer with original confirmation. We got original seats on 1 of 4 legs. When we called airline prior to departure they told us - no problem, you will get seats at check-in at airport.

Trip in February is on free FF tickets - seats still appear as we selected when I checked on-line.

Since it is school vacation week, I know I am going to get stuck in a middle seat between 2 500 pound Moms each with Lap baby twins who scream the entire flight. But it will be worth it to see some sun - can't remember the last time I saw the sun in Boston.

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Jan 15th, 2006, 04:54 PM
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Just saw a post at flyertalk about a family of three getting kicked out of E+ despite the fact that both parents had elite status. Speculation was that when the three were booked together "the system" saw only one elite and moved all three of them. But they were assigned seats together in E-. The suggestion was to do as ms_go does and book two separate PNRs.

Your situation is different but the solution could be the same. Sounds like you did everything right, though. The UA website has had issues for years and the FTers call it united.bomb. One time I was checking fares and saw a fare quote of $11 trillion or thereabouts.
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Jan 15th, 2006, 05:17 PM
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mrwunrfl - there is definitely something odd about the seating system, and I don't think it's limited to the website. I recently purchased E+ Access for my daughter, and even though we now should qualify for three seats in E+, the system won't allow it on one PNR.

I had a ticket for Thanksgiving travel with three of us on one PNR, booked online. System would not assign seats for one segment, indicating that it was airport check-in only (and I could not see the seat map at all). I tried a dummy booking with just one passenger, and there was the seat map - E+ was wide open and there were about a half dozen scattered seats in regular economy - but no three seats together. So I called and asked for seat assignments. The agent also could not 'see' the seat map for that segment and told me I'd have to wait until check in. I asked her to try splitting the PNR into two, and voila - the agent could see the seat map and assign us seats, all in E+.

Just one more thing that needs fixing...
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Jan 17th, 2006, 02:57 PM
  #8
 
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I couldn't get a seat assignment for 1 leg (will fly in March), called that 800 agent who didn't help giving me some BS that the flight 80% full gets "locked".

I redialed and this time asked for computer (technical) support. They gave me an isle seat per my request. It was Continental. And a single traveler.
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