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Old Jul 16, 12, 5:46 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SEA
Programs: AS MVPG, NEXUS
Posts: 109
MVPG flying on AA, trying to change seats

I'm an AS 75k... I have an itin purchased through my company's travel agency, three AA flights and one AS flight. Traveling on my AS FF#.

Tried to go to AA.com to select my seat... the reservation showed my AS FF#, but wouldn't let me change seats. Tried calling AA on the phone, they told me they could change it but because it was booked via agency, it would cost $25 to change! I pointed out that as an AS elite, I should have the ability to select my seat, but they wouldn't budge.

Called AS helpline and asked if there was anything they could do to help. Spoke with the very helpful Laura, who originally didn't think she could do anything to help, but then decided to try calling AA on my behalf. She convinced them to try removing my FF# from the account, then readd it. Magically, my status appeared and the AA agent she was speaking with was able to change my seat for free. *THANKS LAURA!*

So I still can't go back to AA.com and make changes, but I'm OK as long as I have my aisle seats.

Two questions -1- has anyone had any luck dealing with AA directly in a situation like mine and getting seats changed? 2- Is there something else I can do to make it so I can just change it myself online?

It looks like this AA-AS "Partnership" is very similar to the early days with DL. But if you just have to remove and add your FF#, I guess that's a good start.
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Old Jul 20, 12, 7:35 am   #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownnet View Post
I'm an AS 75k... I have an itin purchased through my company's travel agency, three AA flights and one AS flight. Traveling on my AS FF#.

Tried to go to AA.com to select my seat... the reservation showed my AS FF#, but wouldn't let me change seats. Tried calling AA on the phone, they told me they could change it but because it was booked via agency, it would cost $25 to change! I pointed out that as an AS elite, I should have the ability to select my seat, but they wouldn't budge.

Called AS helpline and asked if there was anything they could do to help. Spoke with the very helpful Laura, who originally didn't think she could do anything to help, but then decided to try calling AA on my behalf. She convinced them to try removing my FF# from the account, then readd it. Magically, my status appeared and the AA agent she was speaking with was able to change my seat for free. *THANKS LAURA!*

So I still can't go back to AA.com and make changes, but I'm OK as long as I have my aisle seats.

Two questions -1- has anyone had any luck dealing with AA directly in a situation like mine and getting seats changed? 2- Is there something else I can do to make it so I can just change it myself online?

It looks like this AA-AS "Partnership" is very similar to the early days with DL. But if you just have to remove and add your FF#, I guess that's a good start.
You correctly notice "growing pains" in the new connection. Although one airline's agents can sometimes directly book seats on the other, there is a much easier way which works either by phone or online:

1. Call either airline. (You must talk to a real person for this)
2. Ask for both the AA pnr and the AS pnr (booking locator). Be sure you mark which is which.
3. To change AA seats, call or logon to AA, give the AA pnr, change the AA seats.
4. To change AS seats, call or logon to AS, give the AS pnr, change the AS seats.
5. After you are done, the itinerary automatically updates on both websites.

I am PLT with AA and will travel to YVR on codeshare flights next week. This works like a charm.

And my status allows me to pick seats such as exit rows, etc.
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Old Sep 10, 12, 7:42 am   #3
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 8,297
I just booked a flight on alaskaair.com (marketed by AS, operated by AA) and added my AS MVP # at time of booking. Tried to select exit rows but could only see the standard seating on AA.com/Alaskaair.com (No preferred or Preferred+ showing). Called AA and they said the same thing about me "booking through an outside agency", whatever that means. With my AS MVP #, AA was going to charge me to select exit rows.

Even weirder, the AA agent removes my AS # and adds my AA Gold #.. still couldn't select exit row for me w/o some kind of charge.. again, due to "outside agency booking" nonsense. Went online and selected the exit row seats myself after that.

What kind of partnership is this??
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Old Sep 10, 12, 2:13 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izzik View Post
I just booked a flight on alaskaair.com (marketed by AS, operated by AA) and added my AS MVP # at time of booking. Tried to select exit rows but could only see the standard seating on AA.com/Alaskaair.com (No preferred or Preferred+ showing). Called AA and they said the same thing about me "booking through an outside agency", whatever that means. With my AS MVP #, AA was going to charge me to select exit rows.

Even weirder, the AA agent removes my AS # and adds my AA Gold #.. still couldn't select exit row for me w/o some kind of charge.. again, due to "outside agency booking" nonsense. Went online and selected the exit row seats myself after that.

What kind of partnership is this??
I run into this problem constantly, it is extremely annoying. For whatever silly reason, AA has decided to charge people a fee to assign a seat, unless you book through American Airlines. The fee applies for Alaska and even American elites when calling a res agent. For me, the solution is asking my travel agent to select my seat on every single reservation, which is silly. It is definitely an AA problem, not an Alaska problem. I never have this problem on Delta, where I am able to select preferred seats immediately after entering my AS MP# in the reservation.

Frankly I think American's policy is idiotic, since as you pointed out, booking the flight through alaskaair.com counts as an "outside agency". But AA isn't in bankruptcy because they know how to run a business well, are they?
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Old Sep 10, 12, 8:25 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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There are reports on FT of people calling AA web support to assign seats as they can waive the telephone seat selection charge for non AA-issued tickets when the AA website doesn't allow seat selection.
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Old Sep 10, 12, 9:45 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Portland, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tide_from_PAE View Post
There are reports on FT of people calling AA web support to assign seats as they can waive the telephone seat selection charge for non AA-issued tickets when the AA website doesn't allow seat selection.
I have done this a few times but the last trip on AA when I scanned my boarding pass at the gate it kicked out a ticker tape of the previous seat assigned even though it was occupied. Still some glitches I guess and my reward as an MVP Gold having chosen a nice aisle seat in 2nd row if coach was to sit next to the engine from DFW to PDX on a lovely old MD80. I think I still have a headache!
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Old Sep 27, 12, 1:13 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Programs: Fairmont Presidents Club, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Marriott Rewards, Delta Sky Miles,
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I just booked 2 flights on AA, using AA.com. I used by ASGFF# but my status didn't show at first and couldn't choose premium seats. I called the AA Advantage desk and they were very helpful, partnering with a supervisor and the IT department to make the change for me to an exit row.

There seems to be a glitch in AA's system that is causing challenges with seat changes for non AA Advantage Members.
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Old Sep 27, 12, 2:29 pm   #8
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There is an issue with the GDS communicates your Elite #'s to AA.com that has been identified and a request has been submitted to fix it.

There was also an issue with the entry in AA's training manual, so their agents didn't always have the correct information regarding your seat privileges. That should also be resolved so that you can get them assigned over the phone until the GDS issue is fixed.
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Old Sep 27, 12, 2:55 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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MVPG flying on AA, trying to change seats

I had issues with AA
Put in my ASMVPG number
Tried to secure the exit rows, but AA would pre assign seats for me.
I could only change my seats after my purchase status was changed from "purchased" to.........."confirmed" status
I purchased the seats at night, then changed them the next day to exit row seats.
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Old Oct 9, 12, 10:19 am   #10
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: PAC NW
Programs: AS MVPG, SPG Gold, Priority Pass
Posts: 359
Computer Glitch not fixed

Booked an award with BOS-LHR and LHR-LAX operated by AA. Unable to change to preferred (green) or preferred plus (purple) seats online. Called and agent initially said it wasn't possible because of my miles ticket booking class. I explained that as an MVPG that I should have access to these seats, the agent decided to follow up with their help desk. I was transferred to help desk and after about 30 mins the help desk was able to get me in exit row seats. They claimed it was a computer problem.
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Old Oct 11, 12, 9:48 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SEA
Programs: SPG Platinum, MVP Gold 75K, HH Gold
Posts: 212
Still broken

I just spent over 30 minutes (mostly on hold) with AA and got the same explanation that I couldn't select preferred seats because the ticket was booked with an outside agency (which it was--the online booking tool for my work). I kindly insisted that the booking method employed didn't change my status and its benefits. Eventually the agent spoke to her supervisor and between the two of them decided to override the charges manually to give me the seats I wanted. The AA helpdesk was not available, apparently.

I also called the AS partner desk while on hold with AA. The agent told me she had no idea why I couldn't select the preferred seats. Since I didn't have an AS confirmation code for her to look up she simply told me there was nothing she could do. I asked her if she knew why the partnership was not functioning as advertised and she suggested I call AS customer care tomorrow (too late tonight). She did not offer to contact AA on my behalf.
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Old Oct 11, 12, 10:06 pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morerainplease View Post
I just spent over 30 minutes (mostly on hold) with AA and got the same explanation that I couldn't select preferred seats because the ticket was booked with an outside agency (which it was--the online booking tool for my work). I kindly insisted that the booking method employed didn't change my status and its benefits. Eventually the agent spoke to her supervisor and between the two of them decided to override the charges manually to give me the seats I wanted. The AA helpdesk was not available, apparently.

I also called the AS partner desk while on hold with AA. The agent told me she had no idea why I couldn't select the preferred seats. Since I didn't have an AS confirmation code for her to look up she simply told me there was nothing she could do. I asked her if she knew why the partnership was not functioning as advertised and she suggested I call AS customer care tomorrow (too late tonight). She did not offer to contact AA on my behalf.
Wow that sounds rough- but I do appreciate you taking the time and pointing this out to both AS and AA. I'd correspond with both Customer Care and Mileage Plan folks as this is a fundamental issue with the partnership. Good luck
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