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changing seat assignments on flight to Europe

changing seat assignments on flight to Europe

Jun 28th, 2003, 09:32 AM
  #1  
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changing seat assignments on flight to Europe

HELP:Can anyone tell me how difficult it will be to change our set assignments before boarding our flight to London? Our family's seats all apart. We are leaving on our family's first trans-Atlantic trip on Wednesday and I've got a 13-year old daughter who is terrified of flying (I think it may be a post Sept.11-thing) I don't have the heart to tell her that she will be sitting alone!
fla2exile is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 09:37 AM
  #2  
 
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Explain your situation to the gate agent when you check in. Usually, after the upgrades are processed, they can make arrangements for a seat change in light of your daughter's situation.
usbeauty is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 09:41 AM
  #3  
 
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If that doesn't work, people are usually willing to switch seats if you POLITELY explain the situation.
lillehavfrue is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 09:58 AM
  #4  
 
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I would make it a 3 step process to hope for the best:

Immediately contact the airlines and explain because it will be alot easier if you can get it changed prior to airport arrival, second try it when you first check luggage & then again at the gate (arrive early so you are the first in line standing when they open the counter), third throw yourself on the mercy of other travelers (it will be easier to find someone to switch if you have an aisle or window seat to bargain with!).

Are you sure you don't want to talk with your daughter, rather than have her find out she is sitting alone once you are already on the plane?
suze is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 10:23 AM
  #5  
 
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suze has it right. I think if you explain the situation on the phone, maybe even ask for a supervisor if you don't get a helpful agent, you are likely to get at least 2 seats together for your daughter. If it doesn't work, keep trying at every stage. I'll bet you manage to get her seated next to you. Post and let us know.
Marilyn is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 10:50 AM
  #6  
 
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You did say family? Is your wife/girlfriend/partner going as well? If so, what would stop you from having her sit with your daughter and you sitting alone?
I'm just assuming here, so I apologize if I'm wrong, but if I'm right, then either you are a selfish ass or a troll.
Have a wonderful trip
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 10:55 AM
  #7  
 
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AA- I'm assuming this scenario ... 3 people, 3 seats, none of them together.

Don't be jumpin' all over everyone so quick and judgemental-like.
suze is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 11:04 AM
  #8  
 
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I did apologize if I'm wrong, didn't I? Now that I read the original post again, I did realize s/he said that the family's seats are apart. It still open to different interpratations.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 11:07 AM
  #9  
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Thanks to all of you. Here are more details: my husband booked the flight, which originates in NYC and goes to Detroit and then leaves for London! whew! He is thinking that travel nowadays is like it was 20 years ago and didn't bother to get seat assignments early. We are a family of four with four seats within shouting distance of one another!Ha! As far as speaking to my daughter about sitting by herself, this could be done but would be hard because she is really petrified and is only calmed by the thought that she and I are sitting together. My husband and other child are fine sitting alone.
fla2exile is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 01:03 PM
  #10  
 
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Remember that some seats are held for the day of the flight, so the earlier to the airport the better. You might even be able to get bulkhead seats.
LVSue is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 01:20 PM
  #11  
MGB
 
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You did not say what airline? Could it be Northwest? (guessing with the route through Detroit). I would call and explain. If it is a DC10 what they started doing a couple years ago is that the 1st section is first/business class, the 2 became full fare and higher level frequent flyer people, the 3rd section became discount tickets and regular frequent flyer people. (United does this too) As a result, some of the last fares booked end up with the better seats in that section because you may have a full fare ticket. Talk to the airlines, find out if this is the case and see if they are able to move you.

Also, Northwest told be last time we flew that about 30 hours before the flight all those seats in the 2nd cabin as well as other seats open up and they (airline reservationists) cannot access them but you can from the internet to relocate people. That would be another possibliliy.

Finally if that does not work, go very early the day of the flight. A few years ago we were flying Detroit/Nevada for Thanksgiving with our 17 year old. She had been very ill and we delayed the flight 2 days. When I moved the flight, on frequent flyers, I forgot to reserve the seats. We got there like 3 hours early which was unheard of then. Only isolated seats were available and she needed one of us next to her. The gate attendant could see the distress this was causing and miraculously put us in 1st class! No shouting was needed!

So do not give up hope but do give a try to all the possibilities.
MGB is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 01:22 PM
  #12  
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Thanks! I hope this doesn't sound too naive BUT, if you have a connecting flight do you have to go through extensive security screening all over again at your "connecting" airport before you continue your travel. If so, there goes the idea of "getting to the gate early"! We will be enroute.
fla2exile is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 01:29 PM
  #13  
MGB
 
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Hi again.

I think I was posting at the same time you posted. (See my post above your last)
In Detroit, that very well could be because of it being in a different terminal. However, if it is Northwest, I think all of their flights now go out of the McNamara terminal. I would think most of your screening should be done at the point of original flight. Keep in mind what I said about the 30 hours before flight (or check with a reservationist to see if that is the amount of time before an international flight)
MGB is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 01:32 PM
  #14  
 
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ADVICE: offer the flight attendant $50 to upgrade you to first class. If she declines up the ante to $100. If there's availability she'll take the $50. It's well worth the $50 or $100 as any TransAtlantic flight is grueling.
BigBadTea is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 01:38 PM
  #15  
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Thanks to all who wrote with suggestions! I called Travelocity (which is where my husband booked the tickets) and explained to a very sweet young woman my problem and she offered to talk to Northwest herself (it seems she has a problem flying herself). I waited on the phone line (while reading more on Fodor's) and when she got back on she had ALL the seat assignments for the trip coming and going! the seats will be two-by-two! I was in shock! I was so happy I started crying! I guess I have been sort of in overdrive about this worry.
Thank you again to all!
fla2exile is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 02:06 PM
  #16  
ira
 
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Hi fla,

How nice for you all.
ira is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 02:55 PM
  #17  
 
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Fla2, glad it worked out for you. It probably wouldn't hurt to phone NW directly to be sure of the seat assignments. Seems like there are a lot of seat changes these days, leaving passengers surprised at check in. Just a thought.
Betsy is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 04:58 PM
  #18  
 
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For people flying AA, if you go to their site and input your confirmation number, you can change your seats at any time as new ones becomes available. On my last trip I must have changed 3 or 4 times (moving myself closer to the front, next to an empty seat, etc.), including the day I left.
LVSue is offline  
Jun 28th, 2003, 06:58 PM
  #19  
 
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Traveled on AA to Boston and back this past week and found that if you check in using the automated self-check-in machines near the ticketing counters, the seats that had been blocked before the day of the flight are now unblocked. If you get to them early, before someone else goes through regular ticketing and asks for them, you can change your seat. I managed to improve a back-of-the-plane middle seat to a row 4 A window seat without ever having to wheedle or cajole an agent. Worth remembering.

soccr is offline  
Jun 29th, 2003, 06:51 AM
  #20  
 
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I have NEVER seen a gate agent accept a bribe to upgrade someone..they could lose their job...I would not even suggest that.....

As long as your seats are close together, and you state the aircraft is 2-2 then you will not have any problem asking a single person to switch..as long as you are not requesting their aisle seat....

Always check DIRECTLY with the airline for the seat assignments .

And get to the airport early if you want to change your seat..even sold out seats have people changing their minds about flying at the last minute -so there may be more seats available...

As far as security check=in on connecting flights--it all depends on the airport and the airline...some require it, some do not....But they all so this at the CHECKIN gate just prior to boarding..so don't sweat it...it's nothing...
andy is offline  

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