Blocking middle Seats?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Mike Reed, Apr 5, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    When did AA start blocking middle seats on 737's BEHIND the MCE rows? The MCE folks have middle seat passengers while I'm in 16, non MCE, and have a blocked middle for several rows behind me on both sides. Is it related to crew requirements for fewer passengers? See pics below.

    A quick search via iPhone on MP revealed no other thread.

    image-1780224537.jpg

    image-1438942018.jpg

    As a side point, I'm a little miffed that even with open F and MCE seats I'm in Y. I know I'm standby... and I'm getting home early. It's the principle of the thing. It's not worth complaining about, but its worth whining about on MilePoint. :)

    Edit: my rowmate just got the battlefield upgrade, so perhaps I bitched too soon. F may in fact be full now with "regular" (non-standby) passengers. :)
     
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  2. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Been quite awhile now.

    And yes, it's related to the passenger load and subsequent number of FAs required. With the MCE reconfiguration reducing the number of seats, the additional 4 seats lost from the blocked middles drops the load to 150. Thus 3 FAs. Having the four seats open and having 154 seats means 4 FAs.
     
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  3. dayone
    Original Member

    dayone Silver Member

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    MCE with a neighbor vs. Y with an empty seat is an interesting choice.
     
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  4. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    I'd take the center empty every time. However, it's no guarantee to get the empty seat that I can tell. Anyone figure out yet if there is a way to verify this configuration? It's hit or miss for me so far.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    FA rules are based on the number of seats installed, not the number available for sale as I understand it. They cannot claim that NN seats are blocked from sale and not staff for them. The 50:1 rule still holds.

    Also, if I'm doing the math correctly based on the data from SeatGuru (yes, I know that's a HUGE assumption), there are only 150 actual seats installed on the MCE config without any seats blocked. Am I missing something or is SeatGuru showing bad data?

    http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/American_Airlines/American_Airlines_Boeing_737-800_MCE_new.php
     
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  6. dayone
    Original Member

    dayone Silver Member

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    The "extra" four middle seats are installed, but there is a hard cover on them so they cannot be used. No chance of them being occupied.

    There is a [better] picture somewhere.
     
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  7. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    In my first post in this thread. :)

    There were more than four blocked. I'd guess at least 8... maybe more.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  8. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    They're definitely blocked from being occupied, not simply blocked from sale by AA.

    I've been lucky and have flown on quite a few of the 737s with MCE so have seen the blocked middles quite often. Below are some pictures I took on my first sighting. Have to disagree with you Mike Reed on the number of blocked seats though. It's definitely just 4. Only the B and E seats in aisles 16 & 17. This is reflected in Wandering Aramean's link to Seat Guru.

    photo.JPG

    photo1.JPG

    Being short, I much prefer the blocked middle seat over the extra leg room in the exit row or MCE. Lateral space trumps for me.
     
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  9. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Nice handful of Eurobiz-style seats there...which Seatguru somewhat pessimistically describes as "standard MCE seats".
     
  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I wonder why they don't charge extra for those seats. Or do they?
     
  11. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    The seats in row 16 are reserved exclusively for elites or full fare Y passengers. The four seats in row 17 are listed as "preferred" seats and available to anyone for a fee.

    The hard part is that not all 737s currently have MCE, so despite picking or paying for the blocked middle seats in row 16/17, you might end up on a non-MCE 737 with standard economy seats without a blocked middle.

    So despite my statement above about how I'd prefer the lateral space over exit row or MCE seats, I'm picking exit row/MCE seats on all my 737 itineraries until AA has full MCE 737s.
     
  12. OceanBreezes

    OceanBreezes Gold Member

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    I sat in row 17 Sunday. Very nice. I also prefer width over legroom...I'm only 5"3. My husband is 6'2" so a more difficult choice for him. He did OK, but would have been more comfortable in a MCE. An extra inch would make all the difference for middle seats....hate the "arm rest" bumping that happens now and the awkward swishing to ensure everyone has room when I am in the middle.
     

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