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Old 10-12-2012, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Cottonwood CA
336 posts, read 950,095 times
Reputation: 304

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My wife and I recently flew across the country for vacation. Prior to the trip I had made the reservations on Travelocity (or perhaps it was Orbitz). As part of the reservation process I was relatively certan that I'd chosen seats positioned just in front of the wing. However, when we got to the airport, we found that we'd been assigned seats nearer the back of the aircraft. Same thing occured on the returning legs of the trip. We fly so infrequently that contesting the seat assignment doesn't occur to us while were at the ticket counter. Only becomes an issue as we board the plane-in the last boarding group!

Now, my wife abhors sitting in the back of the plane-not because the ride or the service is is any different, but because it seems to take an eternity to deplane upon arrival. (It's likely that at least part of her angst is due to her smoking habit) 'Course the really troublesome part for me is trying to convince her that I don't choose seats at the tail, but we somehow end up with them. But when we got home I was unable to get back to the online pages where I'd actually reserved the seats, so I couldn't prove my point.

Now, I'd like to know is if others have had similar "reserve here" but "get seated here" experiences. I'd also like to know what can be done about it-if anything to keep from getting the "back of the plane" seat assignments.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,326 posts, read 45,072,962 times
Reputation: 12982
If you don't fly much, generally you don't get a very good seat. When I flew for work a lot, usually if I didn't get the upgrade to 1st, at least I got a decent seat near the wing. Anymore not so much.

Also true if you paid less for the ticket you tend to get bumped to the back.

Best way to avoid it is to avoid flying. Sometimes flying around the middle of the week helps, but in my experience there are no good flights anymore.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:56 PM
 
15,799 posts, read 9,556,498 times
Reputation: 68374
You can go to the airline website anytime after you've booked your flight and choose or rechoose seats. You also have a chance to do that when you check in online within 24 hours of your flight. There are exceptions to that but, generally, and especially for domestic travel, that's how it works. I've changed my seat around several times for one flight before.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:16 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,719,544 times
Reputation: 13024
The seats near the front of the plane or in the exit rows are either reserved for frequent flyers or require an up-charge.

Book directly with the carrier and pay the extra fee (usually $5-25 per ticket) and you'll sit in the front of coach.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:10 PM
 
14,295 posts, read 24,073,069 times
Reputation: 20153
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Best way to avoid it is to avoid flying. Sometimes flying around the middle of the week helps, but in my experience there are no good flights anymore.
Or you THE airline that does not assign seats ...
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:14 AM
 
2,615 posts, read 5,324,434 times
Reputation: 5278
1. You can print the reservation for your purchase. If you reserved seats it will show up there. 2. Travel services always say that specific seats aren't guaranteed. Even when purchasing with the airline things can change (the aircraft, for example).
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:23 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
4,123 posts, read 4,761,857 times
Reputation: 3273
We always choose our seats when we make reservations. However, I learned my lesson several flights ago when we got to check-in and the airline had changed our seats. I was told we can request which seats we want, but are never guaranteed those seats. I was stuck in a middle seat for an 8 hour flight and I've always chosen an aisle seat.

So, I now check and recheck that we still have the seats we've chosen at booking, including when we do online check-in.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
4,123 posts, read 4,761,857 times
Reputation: 3273
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
If you don't fly much, generally you don't get a very good seat. When I flew for work a lot, usually if I didn't get the upgrade to 1st, at least I got a decent seat near the wing. Anymore not so much.

Also true if you paid less for the ticket you tend to get bumped to the back.

Best way to avoid it is to avoid flying. Sometimes flying around the middle of the week helps, but in my experience there are no good flights anymore.
Avoid flying? That's fine if you never leave your country. I live in the UK and my family is in the US. My husband's family is in Australia. And we also visit friends in Uganda.

There are good airlines, they just aren't US-owned. Emirates is an excellent airline. Even in cattle class the meals are good and you get excellent service.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 11,831,602 times
Reputation: 4425
I think your best option is to book directly with the airline, choose your seats during the reservation and then print off your confirmation to show at check-in. Some airlines will charge you more for choosing your own seat (how dare you?) but I think it's worth it. I do transatlantic flights and the thought of being stuck in a middle-of-row seat for 9+ hours horrifies me.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Harbor Springs, Michigan
2,292 posts, read 2,655,204 times
Reputation: 4586
When you book through Expedia, Orbitz or any of the online agencies you aren't always given a chance to book seats, you can't go to the airline as you don't get an airline confirmation code so they airlines assign lesser seats to these bookings, they call it batch booking. Also people who book through these agencies are less likely to be bumped up to the nicer seats.
I've started booking directly through the airlines, I've found the prices are competitive and for our next flight actually cheaper than the online agencies were quoting, this way you have an airline confirmation code so you can choose seats.
Not flying for us is not an option, we live in Alaska and our choice would be 4 days driving the AlCan highway to get to the Lower 48 or flying ... flying wins out everytime even though it is horribly expensive.
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