How can I get bulkhead seats with a bay?

May 2nd, 2001, 06:15 AM
  #1  
Roberta
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How can I get bulkhead seats with a bay?

Can anyone tell me how to go about getting bulkhead seats when we travel with our 2 year old? It seems like they are ALWAYS taken/not available, so obviously SOMEBODY knows how to book them??!! It's a great help to have no one in front of you on an 8 hour flight with a little one. Specifically this time, we are traveling on Northwest's flight (operated by Alitalia) JFK to Rome.
thanks for any suggestions,
Roberta
 
May 2nd, 2001, 07:23 AM
  #2  
Lisa
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Try calling the airline directly ASAP or if you used a travel agent, let him/her try. Try giving a "sob story" and be extra sweet or how you always try for it but it gets given away.

And if you don't get it from the first agent you reach, keep trying.

From what I remember from the 10 or so years ago that it has been, the airlines would say, they will try but not guarantee.

good luck!

 
May 2nd, 2001, 07:36 AM
  #3  
Jody
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Make sure you tell them you are traveling with a little one, I know they hold those seats for babies and parents.
 
May 2nd, 2001, 08:54 AM
  #4  
What A View!
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Sorry, but only the windows in First Class come with bays.
 
May 3rd, 2001, 07:50 AM
  #5  
rb
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Hi Roberta,
I am sorry I can't help you with this but on a different note, I have a question for you.... We are also flying on Northwest's flight, operated by Alitalia JFK to Rome (whatever that means??).
WHO do you call for seat reservations? Northwest has been telling us Alitalia nad Alitalia says Northwest. It is sooo frustrating - we don't know how to get our seat assignments!
 
May 3rd, 2001, 08:30 AM
  #6  
Jeff
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RB: I have no solution for you, but a warning. We did the NW/KLM route, and when we arrived at the airport, we had no reservations. What is worse, I purchased the tickets directly through NW's 1-800 line, and made sure we had a specific seat arrangment b/c of the extended family and child with which we were flying. Part of the trouble was the inability to communicate w/ the KLM computer. They found us seats, but they were spread out over the plane. Very stressful for us, and not as convenient for the other passengers.(b/c we had to swap seats and never had the circle of family support (and buffer) that we had arranged for to care for the child). NW was our airline of choice, but I'm still rather miffed, particularly as we look at flying again soon.
 
May 3rd, 2001, 12:00 PM
  #7  
rb
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Hi Jeff,
I am so sorry for your bad experience!
That is like the problem I am having right now. NW is telling us that they cannot get into the system to get us seat assignments for our flight since it is a flight operated by Alitalia. Alitalia says that because it is a NW flight, NW has to give us the seat assignments. We are leaving in two weeks and after reading some posts on this board I was worried that NEITHER airline has us in the system. I explained this to a NW person at the 1-800 number and she says that we definitely do have seats since we have the tickets but since I am getting the runaround somehow I don't quite believe her.....
 
May 3rd, 2001, 12:34 PM
  #8  
s.fowler
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In a sentence: GET TO THE AIRPORT EARLY!!
 
May 3rd, 2001, 01:40 PM
  #9  
Ariel
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I have to agree with S. Fowler - getting to the airport early is really the best (and usually only why). Let me, however, suggest that you might NOT want the bulk head. I just returned from Istanbul (12hrs) witha 2 yr old. The flight was fairly empty both going and coming back and they offered us the front row after we got onto hte plane. The 2 problems with bulk head are (1) our "baby" no longer fits in the bassinet that they provide and (2) the arm rests for bulk head seats do not lift up. So unless the baby gets his/her own seat, tehy have to sit/sleap on your lap only during the entire flight and with an over night flight the kid usually falls asleep (unless you can rock them to sleep and then put them on the floor). We found it much easier on all of us to lift the arm rests up after take-off so that she could move back and forth between us and even sit on a pilow between us. The only benefit I have had with bulk head is on short hauls where the child can sit o nthe floor and play.

Just some thoughts - enjoy!
 
May 4th, 2001, 04:04 AM
  #10  
Roberta
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to what a view...sorry I meant to spell "baby" not "bay"..
to others..thanks, for resplies.I am going to try a call & will let you know results!!
Regards, Roberta
 
May 4th, 2001, 04:12 AM
  #11  
Roberta
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hi RB: my tickets indicate that the flight is "Northwest" flown by an Alitalia team...one good thing is I recall 2 years ago, although on a defferent route (via Amstedam) we flew NW to Italy & plane was half empty, allowing us to get front row seats...again, I am calling NW today & will post results!!
 
May 7th, 2001, 04:29 AM
  #12  
Roberta
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Rb: I called NWest and it IS THEIR flight...it's merely an Alitalia crew flying the plane. The flight is Northwest's.
They set aside seats for "family use" and when you get to the airport (as Lisa said get there early), the seats are allcoated/given out. Could not get one over the phone!
If you are concerned about your reservations/itinerary just call the NW number on the back of your frequent flyer card and thee is a push button option to revie your itinerary without even waiting for an agent...however if you call early in the morning est, you get an agent right away...they can look up and confirm your tickets in moments.
have a wonderful time.
Roberta
 
May 7th, 2001, 05:57 AM
  #13  
richardab
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If you are flying on United, forget it unless you are a frequent flyer or pay extra. United has blocked out the seats in the front of the plane as economy plus and offer extra leg room. Most all of these seats are booked to Milegae Plus silver and gold members. United even reserves and pre-books the exit row seats to their know frequent flyers.
 
May 7th, 2001, 06:44 AM
  #14  
Pris
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Airlines often save the bulkhead seats for last-minute full-fare passengers (esp. if no business class seats are available) and/or high-mileage frq.flyers -- and I have even seen them seat pilots "deadheading" there, although not on transatlantic flights. The trick is to be there and be classified as someone whose need for the seat supercedes theirs -- doesn't happen easily.

Some airlines (many of them) have a release time of four hours before the flight at which time they allow booking of the bulkhead in the airport -- and you may be able to ask if it's the same for transatlantic flights - may be even earlier (like morning of the same day for an afternoon flight). Keep asking the airline 'til someone tells you.

But getting to the airport early doesn't always do it. I've called the night before to request a bulkhead seat for a "special need" like yours and been told the seats could not be released, only to arrive at the airport 3 hrs. ahead of departure and be told the seats had been sold the night before. When I checked who was in the seat, it was a business.

_When_ I've had luck with this, it's been because I called the airline repeatedly, explaining the special situation in as full detail as possible, until I finally got someone who turned me over to a supervisor AND the supervisor was willing to over-ride the seating block. Not all supervisors can do this, and sometimes the best you can do is get a special notation in your record, which will show up when you check in -- but you still have to check in early.

Being a pest and being insistent is a botheration, and shouldn't be the necessary, and unfortunately everyone now knows that it is so everyone's learning to be a pest. But it really is your only option.
 

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