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Does the fact that I can't get a seat assignment mean the flight is overbooked?

Does the fact that I can't get a seat assignment mean the flight is overbooked?

Jun 23rd, 2006, 06:33 AM
  #1  
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Does the fact that I can't get a seat assignment mean the flight is overbooked?

I just booked my first-ever last minute flight, NYC to Austin, TX, for July 4th weekend. I booked through Travelocity. On the Northwest Airlines website, I was able to select seats for both flights to Austin, but for the flights back, the chart shows that there are no seats left, except for "premium" seats which may be available for an extra price or for frequent flyers. Does this mean the flights are overbooked? DH and I always get to the airport at least two hours early, so if we get to the Austin airport early, we'll be able to get on our flights, right? Thanks in advance for any advice.
sunny16 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 06:40 AM
  #2  
 
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I booked a flight through lastminutetravel.com in January, and the same thing happened to me on the way back from Chicago. We got the airport earlier than normal, and had no issue getting an assigned seat on the plane.
lizziea06 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 06:48 AM
  #3  
 
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With AA...
1. Sometimes it does mean that the flight is oversold
2. Other times it means that there are no prereserved seats available for your fare class (Cheapest seats sometimes do not allow prereserved seating assignments)
3. Last but not least, sometimes it means there are no prereserved seats available in coach unless you are a frequent traveler (limited availability)
MOST of the time you will have no trouble securing a seat assignment.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 06:49 AM
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Meant to say...
MOST of the time you will have no trouble securing a seat assignment at check in.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 07:56 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the help, guys! I feel much better now.
sunny16 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 08:02 AM
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Just don't get to airport at last minute, especially since it is 7/4 weekend.
gail is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 12:25 PM
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This would be rather amusing:

"But I have a reservation."

"Yes, ma'am, but a reservation does not guarantee you a seat. You will have to stand for your three hour flight. Next!"

Just kidding. I'm sure you'll be fine.
budget4me is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 01:30 PM
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It does not mean it is oversold. They hold out a certain number of seats and you can't get seat assignment until check-in either online or at the airport. We always get out boarding passes on line and have never had a problem with this. A friend who works for NW told us they don't give out any new seat assignments after it is 60% full and then release them when you check in (online or at the airport). Good luck!!
Cali is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 01:43 PM
  #9  
TheWeasel
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I booked a last minute from DIA to MSP a couple weeks ago thru NWA's website and had the same thing happen. It showed all seats (except the premium stuff) were full, but I had no problem getting a seat when I checked in online. I was even able to switch seats when I got to the airport and checked my bags, so I suspect Cali's info is correct.
 
Jun 23rd, 2006, 04:26 PM
  #10  
 
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I am in the same situation. We have had reservations on BA from Seattle to London since October. Leaving July 10. My sister made the reservations and thought we had seat assignments. I looked over the paperwork (last week)and we had seats on the way home but not on the way over. My sister called BA and they said we would get seats when checking in. I love to travel, but I do get airport anxiety and this is freaking me out. We have connecting flights to make so being bumped would make a mess. I am hoping I am freaking for nothing!
hester is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 05:01 PM
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Last time I booked tickets on NW, the same thing occurred - no seat assignment. I bought the tickets in January for June flights. In April, they made minor schedule changes to the flights. We recently took the trip and I noticed a couple of things. Our plane was completely booked and 1) there was a flight that departed almost the exact time we originally had, which caused me to think it was just added in April after they filled one plane, and 2) there was at least one family on board that was not seated together. They were all spread out. Mostly it was resolved by people changing seats, but in the end Mom was sitting near us and away from Dad and the two kids. But that's all I know about it. They could have been re-routed. At any rate, I thought to myself that I'd make sure I had seat assignments in the future or at least find out how to ensure that our seats will be together. Perhaps it is first come, first serve?
claire_bluesky is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2006, 05:22 PM
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budget4me, that's a Seinfeld episode - the rental car one. lol
claire_bluesky is offline  
Jun 25th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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I am a travel professional with extensive experience in airline reservation systems.
I am also a frequent traveler, with an average of 52 flights per year.
I only fly AA and I do everything I can to secure a seat at the time of booking.
Generally AA opens all seats but bulkhead and the last row.
Then there are the premium seats, which may represent 10-15% of the total number of seats.
The rest are pretty much available until they are all reserved. AA does not do this 60% thing... thank goodness. I will do just about anything to avoid a middle seat.
I am not nearly as worried about denied boarding as I am being stuck in a middle seat. In fact, I have waited at an airport 2 hours extra because they only had a middle seat available on the flight I wanted to jump on last minute.
You going to the Willie Nelson Picnic?
TxTravelPro is offline  
Jun 25th, 2006, 12:19 PM
  #14  
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TxTravelPro, the Willie Nelson picnic sounds like fun, but we're just going down there to hang out.

Thanks again for all the replies!
sunny16 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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TxTravelPro, I hate the middle seat - and the window seat. My husband and I take turns with the aisle seat. I just dangle my feet in the aisle, although I have to keep an eye out for passers-by.

It's so clastrophopic anyway, but when the seat in front of me is reclined, I can barely stand it. I like to pull my legs up and cross them some to change my position but that can't even be done. The seats are too close and it's driving me crazy. What's next?
claire_bluesky is offline  
Jun 25th, 2006, 03:34 PM
  #16  
 
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We have reservations with AA next week, and have the same situation on both the outgoing and returning flights. They are connecting flights each, one leg of each way we cannot get a seat assignment. -- TxTravelPro, based on your comments, I am a bit concerned (it's a holiday weekend after all).

sunny16, I have actually only had difficulty with that (thus far) on Delta Airlines. I have been stranded on connections in Atlanta, and bumped at the gate in Orlando. Other airlines, I have not (yet) had an issue.

We are both traveling on a holiday weekend. It would be interesting to see how each fares. Would you please post your experiences when you return from Austin. I'll do the same. Here's hoping we are both just fine!
sludick is offline  
Jun 25th, 2006, 03:50 PM
  #17  
 
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sludick-I travel quite often for business and use AA frequently. Often I can't get a seat assignment for at least one leg of the flight if not the whole flight. I have never had a problem on AA getting a seat when I checked in.
paula1470 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2006, 03:51 PM
  #18  
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Will do, sludick! I look forward to hearing how your flights went. Best of luck!
sunny16 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2006, 06:10 PM
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sludick, where did you buy your tickets?
I may be able to help you out with your seat situation...
email me at [email protected]
TxTravelPro is offline  
Jun 26th, 2006, 11:05 AM
  #20  
 
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Why, thanks for that offer, TxTravelPro! (I just love all you guys!)

sludick is offline  

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