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What is the best or easiest way to see how full a flight is?

What is the best or easiest way to see how full a flight is?

Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 03:10 AM
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What is the best or easiest way to see how full a flight is?

Can anyone give me suggestions on finding out how full a flight is? We would like to keep an eye on the fullness of an earlier flight to see if it would be worth trying to get on it that morning (standby). If it's getting too full, we may just have one of our party go early (buying that fare) instead of all five of us.
Thank you!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 03:21 AM
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Simplest way is to call the airline and ask - they may not tell you the # of open seats though, but I've found that they will tell me if there's no chance to go standby that day if a flight is full.

Some airline (i.e. AA) websites all you to check the availability of seats on any flight as a simple web inquiry.

Another way is to start to go through the booking process - you can try to book seats for 5 or 10 people and see if you can actually make a reservation. Just be sure to stop before you get to the credit card # part!!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 03:34 AM
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On Delta's site you can actually click on a check seat availability icon once you have the flight pulled up...It's like you are booking the ticket, but like J62 said, stop before you get to the credit card part.

I just now looked to see how full our flights are to Hawaii which is still 3 weeks out..and it is like 95% filled.

Good luck.
 
Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 05:14 AM
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You will have to pay a fee to standby for an earlier flight on most airlines I believe. Maybe $100.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 05:21 AM
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Same day standby on Continental there is no fee.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 05:31 AM
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Same day stand by on American was no fee, a few weeks ago when I did it.

T.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 07:59 AM
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Call the airlines and ask; they'll tell you. The website seating charts often have seats held back so do not give an accurate picture.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 08:18 AM
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iceeu2: You can't trust Delta's site - they "screen out" extra seats towards the front of the plane for Medallion and Platinum members that may try to purchase seats at the last minute. We've planned many times on getting a bump after watching the seating choices fill up to find out when the plane is ready to load that there are still plenty of seats open and they are accepting stand-bys.....what a bubble buster!!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 09:44 AM
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Interesting to know about no fee standby. I guess it is just USAirways that is trying to wring all the money they can.
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Old Apr 24th, 2005, 05:04 PM
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www.orbitz.com shows a "choose seat" option when pricing flights. You can tell how full a flight is that way.
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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I disagree with all of the above. I just returned from Calif. and flew standby on my outbound flight (from JFK. I called American that morning and was told the flight was full and that it was probably not a good idea to go standby. The internet seat check also indicated that there were no seats available. So I took a chance anyway, and when I checked in at the self check kiosks, they told me there were 4 seats available. I went to the gate, and got on. So, I still think the best way is to go to the airport and check, yes its a crapshoot, but you never know.
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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Well of course there's always no shows for flights, and there always will be, but you can never count on it I have tried to fly stand by many times and never got on the flight also.

Each particular airline has it's own rules about which seats will show availibility. For example, America West will block off more seats on the reurn flight even when they are availible. I don't know why.

But for a GENERAL idea you can use Orbitz. Also, Orbitz shows seats reserved for platinum or medallion members. Also, not all airlines allow standby for free. The OP never mentioned which airline they were using.
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 09:40 AM
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Another way on American is with your your six letter reservation code (if you didn't make your reservation on their webside then use www.aa.com and "my reservations" and your six letter reservation code to list your trip) then go into your reservation as if you were going to choose your seats or change your seats and see what is still available. It is of course all subject to seats reserved for "premium" customers, no shows, etc. Some routes this is more or less predictable (for example I would expect that Hawaii flights get less last minute changes than New York flights).
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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 09:15 AM
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Travelocity has a new service that allows you to see the seat maps for most flights and which seats are open and available...I use it a lot to see how full a flight is...
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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 09:51 AM
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Folks, NEVER trust the seating charts on airline or travel websites. It's not even close to reality.

Airlines DO NOT want to let the whole world know what their loads are for competative reasons. Seating charts will only give you a close estimate, but it's NOT a true reflection of how empty/full the flights are.

The best way is to check loads, but that won't tell you the story either. The loads show availibility according to different fares. So it may look like this:

F4 J5 I3 Y7 H7 M7 Q7 S7 N3 and so on. You have to know the fare codes, but even then you will not know what the "real" count is because the #7 represents the maximum number the booking systems will display, not the actual number, so if if there are 10 M fares available you can't tell because unless it goes under 7 it will always show 7. Also the coach fares may overlap each other. So if the airline sells 5 M fares some of the cheaper Q or S or N fares may also disappear.

So there really is no way for an average John or Jane to know the actual loads. With time some of the frequent flyers figure out a system that allows them to guess pretty close. Combining seating charts and fare availibilty charts, available on some websites gives them a good but not accurate picture.

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Old Jun 19th, 2005, 01:56 PM
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What I'd like to know, is this:

We made reservations Jan. 6th for July to HI. Requested seats together, extra leg room, if available and seating on the left.
Why did they put somone else next to DH. instead of ME?? (two seats on the left, so someone's NOT with their party either!).

They put me 5 rows back! (next to someone ELSE who obviously is not with THEIR party!

This happened to a co-worker on her honeymoon! People did work it out...but why should they HAVE to? Belle.
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Old Jun 19th, 2005, 02:31 PM
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For competitive reasons? No.

I work for an airline in the US and we can look up on our computer system the actual # of seats open, reserved, etc. on any airline in the world. So it has nothing to do with that. It has more to do with not wanting the general public to know how full a flight is. If a terrorist wanted to take down a flight, he/she wouldn't want to take down an empty 757, they would want a full one.
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Old Jun 19th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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UMassCanuck07,

As an employee you can see the accurate loads.

Not so for the general public, but it's fairly easy for anybody to predict the a US-London flights in mid-summer will be packed. Same for flights to Florida during springbreak, etc.etc. Any terrorist just like anybody that travels on a regular basis knows that. But this is not a discussion about how light or heavy the loads will be. It is about the actual loads.

Not posting the actual loads to the public is done for competative reasons only. Nothing to do with terrorism.
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