Airlines Hiding Seats to Make You Pay Premium

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by RestlessLocationSyndrome, Mar 28, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Just came across an article at the following link:
    http://travel.usatoday.com/experts/...lding-seats-so-youll-pay-a-premium/53810316/1

    I know that a large number of us don't really notice this too often as elite travelers but it would be interesting to know if people are encountering this strictly when they book with short notice or if they are also seeing it when booking much farther out.

    Another question would be whether the available seats just open up at the 24 hr check-in window and what they are doing is restricting the ability to select seats in advance.

    Assuming AA/DL/UA are doing this to make money off passengers (not just to hold some seats for elites), they are basically utilizing the practices of super low budget airlines (Allegiant, Spirit) and adding another reason why the general public will be running to fly SW.
     
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  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    While not desireable, I'm not sure it's unethical. Airline seat pricing has always been a game of chance since I first started booking flights.
     
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  3. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    This was in one of the comments:
     
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  4. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Some seats (particularly bulkheads) ARE held back to accommodate families or disabled people, if necessary...
     
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  5. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    haha...yeah, I do not see myself using WN anytime soon! ;)
     
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  6. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    Yeah, on my recent AAward Flight, when booking the seat choices kinda stunk. Was able to get 25D&F on a 737. But I kept checking. About a week before I was able to move up to 13D&F. Then at the 24Hour mark. All the aisle seats toward the front of Coach became available. Heck, I could even move to the Exit Row. (but I hate the Exit Row because the seat part of the seat seems to be shorter than the other seats.)
     
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  7. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    The headline on that article in USA Today, is "are airlines withholding seats so you'll pay a premium?
    The headline on that article in USA Today, is "are airlines withholding seats so you'll pay a premium?"
    To me, the answer is a resounding YES! By checking back later, which you really shouldn't have to do, and see that better seating has opened up, pretty much answers that question. It 's a case of 'the early bird doesn't get the worm." So to say, it isn't unethical, I can't think of a better word for it.
     
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  8. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I've noticed that sometimes a UA flight will have very few open seats, and then the day of travel suddenly half the plane is empty (it also works the other way around). But generally I haven't had trouble finding a nice seat near the front of E+. Of course, I don't pay for it.
     
  9. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Perks of elite status... ;)
     
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  10. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I'm not sure it's unethical, but it's certainly dishonest.

    They're basically creating an artificial shortage to make people think that the number of seats is more limited than it really is, all in the name of maximizing profits.

    It's a business after all, but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt if there was more transparency.
     
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  11. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Ditto! +1:)
     
  12. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Agree. It would be nice to see an open structure with a ‘stated’ price based on purchase date and refund ability.
    Simply price out different tiers and the associated cost.
     
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  13. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    With the airlines today following the policy of "we only sell transportation, not specific seats" I ALWAYS check every few days what seats I am in. And it usually benefits me. A flight where we had decent seats (2 side on an MD-80 toward the front of coach, I checked about two weeks before the flight and we were moved to two middles about 5 rows apart on the 3 side back by the lav. Fortunately there were two together back to the front that I moved us to. But the originals were now occupied by a single in the window.

    Always keep checking up until you leave for the airport.
     
  14. NYCAdventurer

    NYCAdventurer Gold Member

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    AA designates emergency exits seats and many aisle/ window seats as "preferred plus" and "preferred" which are available for elites for free but non elites will have to pay unless flying full fare economy. If better seats are available the day of the flight these seats should be available at no extra charge.
     
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