Follow-up to L1011 vs 777

Dec 22nd, 1999, 03:35 PM
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Follow-up to L1011 vs 777

Thanks to Bob, Wes and Brian for the help. Now I have a follow-up to this question. I have read, also on this site, that Air France starts checking people in a lot earlier than the 2 hour minimum stated by the airlines and that even if you have assigned seats, if you show up at the 2 hour minimum your seats are likely gone by then. Further, we don't have assigned seats on our return yet, how on earth do we keep from getting the "middle middle" seats for the return? Does anyone know about this? We only have 36 hours in Paris as it is and I would be very upset if I got to the airport only to find my seats gone.
Dec 22nd, 1999, 06:23 PM
Bob Brown
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Let me describe in a little more detail what happened to us last summer. We flew from Atlanta to Paris. Two weeks later we returned from Paris after a connecting flight from Zurich, which is a story in itself.

I made the reservations through a travel agent and was told that I was flying Air France. So naturally, I called Air France and negotiated seat assignments. After the conversation, I thought I was all set.

As it turned out, DELTA operated the flight over. When we checked in at the Delta counter in Atlanta, well before flight time, we had no seat assignment as far as Delta was concerned. So we got stuck in the middle section.

Coming home, we had flights that were "true" Air France. No code shares.
The flight from Zurich was over an hour late arriving in Paris. Our 90 minutes of connect time had shrunk to 28 by the time we got off of the aircraft and into the terminal building. After a panic stricken scramble that involved changing terminals, we got to the airplane bound for Atlanta; in fact, we were the last two passengers to board. Fortunately, our originally assigned seats were there for us.

What this experience tells me is that the code share between Air France and Delta does not work too well. So check and make sure that you are on Air France operated flights. If not, call both airlines and make sure they know about the your seat assignment.
Dec 23rd, 1999, 05:04 AM
Bob Brown
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One final thought on the seat assignments. We arrived in Zurich well before the flight left and checked in early. I do not know if that was a factor on the Paris - Atlanta leg of the flight or not in terms of our having the seats I reserved. So my evidence may not be as conclusive as first thought.
Dec 23rd, 1999, 06:16 AM
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The same thing happened to us when returning to NY from De Gaulle in November. Seems if the flight is a Delta leg, you can check in a full 24 hours before you leave. We of course did not know this, therefore we were effectively without seats. They assured us that we would be on the flight, but would have to wait until everyone checked in before they could assign us seats. Of course, the seats were not together. It was a bit stressful, and after a wonderful and relaxing vacation, who needs this.
Dec 28th, 1999, 08:17 PM
Fly Guy
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Just wanted to comment on those who posted messages regarding your seat assignments being gone or whatever. . . Being in the airline industry I am speaking from experience, and certainly respect your comments and understand the frustration of not having a seat. By all means whats a plaen ticket without a seat right? Well, if you think about it, you are not buying a particular seat on an airplane your buying a ticket, think of a train ticket it's open seating usually first come first serve-i think that's how all airlines should do their seats. Secondly, flight you can check-in up to 6 hours prior to your flights depature, HOWEVER you MUST remain int he airport this is for security reasons. So you can't go check your bags and run off. Belive me they know and you will lose your ticket/bags and everything else you can think of. I don't know who said you can check in 24 hours prior thats not true, seat assignments for most major airlines can be done at the same time the reservation is made. You should think to ask for seats when you make your reservation not 1 or 2 days before you leave. Schedules are in the airlines computers 11 months in advance so your not the only ones booking when you make your reservations, there are other people out there and the airlines are a 24 hour operation. A code-share flight is simply when one airline purchases x amount of seats on a plane and sells them at whatever the going competitive rates are at the time. Once that airlines seats are sold they are sold. Not the whole plane is given out for advance seat assignment, the airport holds back seats for the sole purpose of accomadating passengers in need of assistance i.e. wheelchair, crutches, unaccompanied minor etc... If you don't have seats already for your flight tomorrow too bad, wait till you check in and the airport will accomodate you. Your not the only ones booking a reservation. Delta doesn't own any MD-11 aircrafts are you sure it wasn't and American plane or an Air France Plane or even a Swissair??! It's interesting how many people are so against the airlines these days, when if you think about it trains and buses operate pretty much the same way. Yet theres a lot of people against the airlines and they still fly, and even better most companies are paying for you to fly so your getting reimbursed from them, not to mention that your doing things with your tickets and your company has no idea. Companies should be more strict to get some kind of verification from the airline if you tickets are changing and all, there are a lot of you out there BELIVE ME! Sorry this is kinda scattered around but I couldn't really collect my thoughts too well but I hope you get the idea.
Dec 28th, 1999, 09:22 PM
Bob Brown
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For Flyguy. I don't often get irritated at posts that tell me I don't know what I am talking about, but this one did.
The flight we took was AF045 from Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta to Charles DeGaulle Airport in Paris. The aircraft most assuredly was a McDonnel-Douglas
MD 11 and furthermore it was most assuredly Delta operated. I remember the flight quite well because I had never heard a Boeing aircraft, or a Fokker, or an Airbus, or anything for that matter, make all of the moaning and groaning sounds that this airplane emitted. The captain, in response to several queries, came on the intercom and explained that the MD 11 made hydraulic noises.

If you want to contest my statement:
take a look at the Air France or the Expedia or the Delta pages and any of them will tell you that the aircraft on that particular run was the MD 11.

As for the rest of your comments; can you imagine what chaos boarding would be if people were milling about hunting for seats?
Boardings are chaotic enough as they are without introducing total anarchy into the picture. High speed trains in France (the TGV trains) demand that you have a seat reservation, which certainly eases the confusion. (Do you want to argue on that one, too??)
Dec 29th, 1999, 04:41 AM
Nigel Doran
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Regarding seating arrangements on aeroplanes, readers might be interested to note that easyJet, a U K no-frills airline serving domestic and European destinations, has a first-come first-served seating arrangement. You do not get a boarding card as such, meaning that the earlier you get to the airport (as long as the check-in is open) the better chance you have of getting the seat you want. You are given re-usable boarding pass.
Also, I have always tried to get seats with leg room in economy on many airlines, ringing in advance but to little avail. It baffles me that sometimes you get lucky when you ask to be pre-assigned the seat you want, whilst at other times your wish is not granted. One ticket clerk told me that if you have paid the full whack for a seat then you have a better chance of getting the good seats, but that bulk-head seats and emergency exits are never pre-assigned.
What really gets my goat is when you see infirm people sitting in emergency exits when someone like me (not infirm and very tall) has had to squeeze into a normal seat despite having arrived early at the airport. I always thought that airlines had a responsiblity to ensure that passengers near to exits had to be fairly healthy and strong so as to be of help to everyone should there be an accident. What do others think?
Dec 29th, 1999, 07:20 AM
Brian in Atlanta
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Delta has 14 MD-11s in service. Check

Nigel, Southwest Airlines, a super-successful low cost/low frills carrier (this is the business model for all the newer low cost carriers in the world) also has first-come, first-serve seating. The vast majority of Southwest's flights are very short, though, so seating assignments are not that important. If I'm getting on a transoceanic flight, I want to be sure to have a "decent" seat and one next to my wife - not one in the middle of a row of 5.

And in my experience, I have never seen an infirm person sit in an exit row. In fact, I've seen a few elderly and children removed by the flight attendants after they've sat down. These seats are supposedly not assigned until the passenger presents themselves in person (so they can be visually sized up), but I imagine mistakes still happen.
Jan 9th, 2000, 03:02 PM
Posts: n/a
Just want to make a quick comment/apology. First I apologize to Bob for getting you so irate. My post wasn't meant to make you irate. And I didnt realize Delta has MD-11's in service. I do A LOT of transoceanic and domestic travel and of the 139 domestic/transoceanic flights I have yet to be on a DELTA MD-11!! My comment is on the seat assignments -- most MAJOR airlines such as Delta, US Airways, American etc. . . block of seats for airport checkin. They also however, allow reservations to assign the emergency row or bulkhead seats AS LONG AS THE AIRPORT DOESNOT have these blocked off as an airport checkin seat. Being a Platnum Million Miler on Delta and a Chairman's Prefered with US Airways I have always gotten the seat I request (usually and exit row). Before I reached this status with them (Platnium or Chairman's) I was never able to get the exit row, what I am getting at is that there are certain seats on EVERY plane that the airlines have blocked for their prefered members. Which for someone who flys everyweek can appricate this. Because if they were not doing this I would more than likely be stuck in a middle seat or something. They also however allow passengers that are purchasing a FULL fare ticket to get preference in these "prefered" seats as well.
Happy Flying and hopefully this won't make any irate!

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