I am a frequent flyer on UA from EWR->LHR and usually fly out once a month. and just recently I noticed a trend that I find a bit disturbing. On a flight I took this past weekend from EWR->LHR, I noticed that during check-in and then before boarding (using mobile.united.com to look at seat plans), there were a whole section of exit rows (the 3 seats on the left side, rows 21D,E,F) did not show up on the seating plan. These were the exit rows that are actually part of two rows of exit rows (i.e. row 20 is also exit row, but they don't recline whereas row 21 does and so are the better selections). In any case, when I boarded the plane, it turned out those 3 exit row seats were completely empty for the flight. Since I was a 1K member and was allowed to pick exit aisle seats if they were available, I asked about changing to those seats and was allowed to do so. Later on in my return flight back from LHR->EWR, again there were no exit rows available (i.e. 21D,E,F was all blocked out again) but when I board the plane, it was again empty. I later spoke to a United agent and he said that yeah, they block those 3 seats out in case they have crews that need to fly on the flight. But for whatever reason, they don't release it even before flight is taking off so that for those of us who are always looking for a better seat assignment, it would become available for us to grab. In this situation I was seated close enough to the exit row seats to see that they were available and ask to change seats, but it's disturbing that the most premium seats (that are supposedly available to elite passengers when available) are left empty for the flight. So on the one hand, I understand that if they need to fly out crews, they want them to be well-rested. I had on a few occasions when flying biz first from EWR->LHR and vice-versa, had an empty seat next to me only to then be taken by pilot/co-pilot who take turns having their 3-4 hour catnap. Which is fine except when they do their shift and have to straddle over me (I always take aisle seats) so the other person can take the seat. In that situation I realize that since biz first would have been empty, it make sense to have the pilot/co-pilot get a decent rest as they probably do travel quite a bit and need to be well-rested. But I hadn't notice that they were doing this now for exit aisles seat. So I begin checking for future flights out from EWR->LHR and sure enough, on all the ones I checked, exit rows 21 D,E,F are never available. I remember even as late as last October, whenever I make a booking, all the exit rows were available (or at least 21D or 21F would be available). And now on the 3 different flights I tried to test-book, none of these 3 exit rows are available. So am I being unreasonable here in being peeved that one of the supposedly perks of being a elite traveler (ability to choose exit aisles seats) is now being reduced since they wanted to make it available for crews that may or may not show up?