Obsessive Seat Selection

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MSYgirl, Nov 9, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    7,567
    Status Points:
    6,510
    [not an article] :p

    You book your flight, you choose your seat, calculate the EQMs (admit it, you do), but then, you log in every day to check and see if a better seat comes available. Perhaps you prefer a window, aisle, or middle seat. First, business, economy+, or economy cattle, it's your priority to get the seat you want or one you think is better. You check (almost) every day to snag your desirable position on the pressurized metal tube in the sky.

    I'll be the first to admit -- I do this. Do you?
     
  2. Garp74

    Garp74 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,335
    Likes Received:
    9,638
    Status Points:
    7,525
    Of course I do. My normal flight pattern involves a Sunday IAD->SEA leg which is always jam packed with 1Ks and generally one GS. Upgrades are very difficult to get. (e.g. got one last week, #3 with one seat left today.). I obsess over rows 20 and 21. I don't care about the recline - I'm trying to snag the seat least likely to have a middle seat partner. So I watch it every day and then every few hours to try and predict what's going to happen, then change accordingly. Earlier, before I reached UA Platinum, I obsessed over row 7 on the SEA->IAD leg because it had the most legroom on the plane. (Now I'm generally able to book it before anyone else, so I don't have to worry about it. That and I get upgraded for most of the return flights due to lower 1k load factor.)
     
    dstober, Newscience and MSYgirl like this.
  3. FetePerfection
    Original Member

    FetePerfection Silver Member

    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    981
    Status Points:
    700
    Hi my name is Fete and I am an obsessive seat selector.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    Yes, absolutely! Perhaps the better question (with fewer responses on Milepoint) is who doesn't? :rolleyes:
     
    dstober and Denro like this.
  5. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    1,420
    Status Points:
    810
    My name is clscholes and I have been an obsessive seat selector ever since I took a flight from LAX-SYD in the middle of 5 seats as a 6'3" man with long legs.
     
    dstober, MX, Newscience and 2 others like this.
  6. Mirror74

    Mirror74 Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,623
    Likes Received:
    7,818
    Status Points:
    6,625
    Not really... I usually select C or Y+ seats right away... Y seats are usually equally crappy no matter where you seat, just try to avoild middle seats...
     
    MX and Newscience like this.
  7. ella
    Original Member

    ella Silver Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    602
    Status Points:
    620
    I don't check on a daily basis, but several, several times before ..... ok, yes, I check daily. I try to guess which is more likely to have an empty middle seat next to it. Don't care about recline, so the main goal is to get an empty middle seat.
     
    MSYgirl, jwsky, Mirror74 and 3 others like this.
  8. jwsky
    Original Member

    jwsky Silver Member

    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    443
    Status Points:
    520
    I do it for sure. In many cases my seat is much improved by flight day. The seat guru web site is also helpful here.
     
    MSYgirl, Mirror74 and Newscience like this.
  9. dc_traveler
    Original Member

    dc_traveler Silver Member

    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    237
    Status Points:
    445
    I check at least once a day from when upgrade windows open. If I am upgraded (happening less and less often), it's good to be able to pick the seat, but even if I am not, often a more desirable seat opens up.
     
    dstober, MSYgirl, ella and 3 others like this.
  10. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    7,567
    Status Points:
    6,510
    I was going to post the question that way, but --

    -- oh wait ---

    I bet while I've been reading MP, that seat I wanted opened up.

    -- runs off to check seat chart --

    Obviously, I got sidetracked. :rolleyes:
     
  11. dstober

    dstober Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    8,369
    Status Points:
    6,925
    Hello, my name is dstober, and I am an obsessive seat-checker. I have been seat-checker free since...oh, damn...
     
  12. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    Me.

    I've been trying to book through Travelocity for the extra UR mall points and although the site sometimes lets you make a seat selection, even when it does it frequently doesn't seem to transfer to the carrier. Then, I forget to go on-line with the carrier to confirm. Last week I had a couple of flights on UA flight numbers but Lufthansa metal that I bought via Travelocity -- it took me days just to get the record locator for Lufthansa to see the seat map, and there were only middle seats available. On the outbound I managed to get a window seat (I asked every single agent at check-in and the gate until someone "found" a seat). On the return, I went on-line a couple of days before and snagged the only window seat, only to find myself in a middle seat when checking in.
     
    Newscience likes this.
  13. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    LarryinNYC,
    It appears that you are an excellent candidate for one of the seat/reservation management tools described in many other Milepoint posts! My personal experience is that LH is a very customer-friendly airline. That said, the savvy airline customer has to do their part! My LH flights are always booked through the UA website. And so, as soon as I have my UA confirmation, I must contact UA in order to get my LH reservation #, and then to reserve/hold my seats on LH. I can't/don't rely on others to do this for me. But, if for some reason, my seat was "switched", I'd certainly talk with those nice folks at LH! :) Wishing you only the best travel experiences. :)
    Newscience
     
  14. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    I did that, but was then unable through several days of trying to log on at Lufthansa. When I got through to them (limited calling hours) they were able to help me log on to their site (there are numerous places you should be able to log on with last name and locator, but only one actually works). They did not offer to do the seats with me on the phone (and I didn't ask) and when I checked the seat chart on-line there were no good options. At EWR they had a great deal of difficulty understanding what I was asking for -- they though I was asking to be upgraded to business when instead I wanted to know if anyone else getting upgraded to business had opened up better seating in economy (I also had to deal with an agent who was very suspicious of my attempt to credit the flight to Aegean because 1) it isn't an airline and 2) isn't in Star Alliance -- but that all got worked out).

    For the return, I did claim a seat a day or two in advance but did not take a screen shot or make any record of the selection. When I got to the airport and was in a middle seat I bring the issue up with the gate agent. I think if my seat assignment had been on the original reservation record she might have done something for me but since it wasn't she didn't seem interested at all in helping me -- and, of course, there probably wasn't a better seat left anyway. I know that the system accepted my seat request because after I left the seat map my reservation was updated with the new seat on the screen, but whether that constitutes a guarantee that the seat "made it" onto the reservation, I don't know.

    Not a big issue, and I know I should be more obsessive about checking my seat status.
     
  15. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    LarryinNYC,
    I've bolded in your response above a couple of places where things may perhaps have ended up differently, as you already know! That stated, I mostly fly LH out of IAD. The one time (last year) that I flew LH out of EWR, I was a bit surprised by the bad attitude of the LH personnel working there.
    Perhaps others can weigh in on this, as Milepointers have previously described the "toxic behavior" of UA flight crews based out of IAD, perhaps there's a similarity with the LH personnel based at EWR being "uncustomer-friendly"?
    Newscience
     
  16. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    7,567
    Status Points:
    6,510
    Current obsession: Daily (okay fine, a few times per day) checking my seats for an upcoming int'l flight. On the domestic hops I have 7A with upgrades pending. Then I remembered the first A seat is the first to get bumped in coach for handicap pax (found this out when getting bumped recently), so I keep checking to see if I can move a row back or across to the other side. No luck. The outgoing int'l has the new 77W, and I keep checking for a better window seat in MCE. The return does not have a 77W. I have a nice window seat near the front, but I wonder what happens if the plane is swapped for one of the new 77Ws before my flight. So I keep checking in case they do, because that means the new plane will have MCE where my current 777 does not.

    Sigh.
     
  17. Jaimito Cartero
    Original Member

    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    848
    Status Points:
    770
    No, I select my F or J seat, if available. Then I forget about it. If not available, I do it when checking in. Not a big deal.
     
  18. RCTP

    RCTP Silver Member

    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    370
    Status Points:
    475
    Hi my name is RCTP, and I'm an obsessive seat-checker.

    P.S. Oh it sucks that some airlines do not allow seat changes online but only through call in. E.g. TG.

    And since TG does equipment swaps pretty often (for the past 2 months the equipment used changed from A346>A333>B772>B773>B744), I'll give the local TG office a call to get my seats changed since they seem to always love placing me in the centre blocks.

    Goodness, I'm an aviation geek. I need my window seat!
     
    MSYgirl likes this.
  19. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    7,567
    Status Points:
    6,510
    I'm so excited I have 7A for my domestics with upgrades pending for F, and I finally get to fly in main cabin extra for the flight to London. May not be a big deal to some, but flying in the cattle section for three years - anything is an upgrade. Oh how I wish my people paid for J for int'l. One of these days I'll just use my miles and upgrade. A lie-flat seat sounds like heaven.
     
  20. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Silver Member

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    257
    Status Points:
    450
    As mentioned, I plug in my EQM's in my annual spreadsheet (and one for my wife too), then mark that as "booked," and finally, add a Fill to the row, when the flight has been logged by the airline.

    As for seats, we fly about the same ships on UA most of the time. We have our favorites for most of their configurations, and I try for those. Being able to book early, usually pays off for us - but not always. When we ARE looking for that upgrade, I watch the seating charts almost daily, and then get out my "chicken foot," and other gris-gris, to rub onto the seats (up front), that we want, to ward off paying FC passengers (not many of those any more) from choosing them! I have found that with a proper chant, and swinging a dead possum over my head, three times counter-clockwise, on the night of the Full Moon, that usually works, and we snag those chosen seats. They CAN make a difference.

    Now, UA started throwing us curves, when they merged with Continental. We found ourselves flying on several previously branded CA ships, and the seating was new to us. Some rows that were a draw for us, suddenly were not, and vice-versa. When booking, we now have to try and factor in whether we will get a CA ship, or our more traditional UA ship. Actually, many of those CA ships have some nice touches, and I hope as the fleet is upgraded, some of those little elements make their way into the full UA pool.
     
    MSYgirl likes this.
  21. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Silver Member

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    257
    Status Points:
    450
    We fly UA between SFO & LHR often, and usually are in BC. Fairly recently, UA upgraded their Trans-Atlantic seating on their 777's, and added lie-flats. We were so excited, as the older BC seats were getting very dated. Well, the excitement faded for me, when I fully reclined - the footwell is slightly angled to the right, exactly where my knees fit, and my knees do not bend side-to-side. Bogus! After about the third trip, I found a seat position, that sort of mirrored the old BC seats, and was far from fully lie-flat. That still seems to work well, but in that position, I miss the folding footrest from the old seats.

    On one trip, we flew out of IAH to LHR, and got one of the CA 777's, rebranded to UA. Now, THOSE lie-flats are straight - no bend, and function well in "bed mode." We might just have to change our departure city?
     
    MSYgirl likes this.

Share This Page