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Old Nov 7, 11, 1:25 pm   #1
 
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Seat selection on Hawaiian Airlines

Hi, I've recently booked an award ticket using AA miles on Hawaiian Airlines. The travel is almost a year out, in Sept 2012.

Using ExpertFlyer, I can see which seats are open for selection, but the odd thing is, most of the seats are already "occupied" or designated as "premium" only. I find it hard to believe that a flight almost one year out is already full, so I'm guessing HA is blocking seats right now for some reason... and I'm pretty sure its true because every date around that time period shows the same seats blocked off. I've selected row 21 on the 767 (one of the few seats still open), but I'd much rather sit somewhere further in front by the window (and not over the wing) so I can have a better view.

Has anyone had any experience with choosing seats so far in advance? When does HA usually make the bulk of the seats available? I looked at random seat availability from Jan - Sept and noticed not a lot of options available either.

EDIT: Hmm... even weirder, I made a dummy booking on HA website, and definitely way more seats are available. And I don't have any status with Hawaiian.

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Last edited by glu800; Nov 7, 11 at 1:41 pm.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 10:55 am   #2
 
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I dont know if it makes a difference but HA does not fly the 767-400ER. HA flies the 767-300, A330-300 and the 717-200. Maybe it is something screwy with the seatmap.
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Old Nov 16, 11, 12:27 am   #3
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Can you use the HA record locator to bring up your reservation on HA's web site and change seats?
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Old Nov 16, 11, 1:50 am   #4
 
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Seems like one of those "work the system" problems. Try to get a good seat on the HA website. If that fails, call AA and see if they can get you a better seat. If that fails, call HA and see if they will do it.

Repeat that once every few weeks until you get the seat you were hoping for.
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Old Nov 17, 11, 6:54 pm   #5
 
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Don't have any official knowledge but based on booking lots of HA flights (mainly inter island) they tend to block several rows of seats, especially the ones immediately behind first class for special needs (medical, unaccompanied minors, extra assistance) passengers.

They also book for tour groups. These seats may open up close in.

I have minor status on Hawaiian and am usually able to get moved up when checking in--it's up the agents. Ask quietly and nicely. Good luck!
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Old Nov 17, 11, 8:05 pm   #6
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I have seen that when doing web or kiosk check in, there are sometimes empty (non-premium) seats available to switch to, even as a non-status passenger.
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Old Nov 20, 11, 5:22 pm   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjl View Post
I have seen that when doing web or kiosk check in, there are sometimes empty (non-premium) seats available to switch to, even as a non-status passenger.
Another nod for checking in during web check-in and seeing previously blocked off seats available for selection.
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Old Apr 27, 12, 12:57 pm   #8
 
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Hawaiian has 3 rows of bulkhead seats in economy for the Hawaii-mainland flights. These "premium" seats with extra leg room are available for $35 each way at online check-in 24 hrs. before scheduled departure. According to a gate agent I asked, at least the first level of elite do not get these seats for free unless no one buys them.

But like you, I have been puzzled by the fact that even if I buy my ticket months in advance it is has been impossible for me and wife to get regular economy seats that are window aisle in their 2+4+2 seating. We've only been able to book into the central section with seats 4 abreast.
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Old Apr 27, 12, 1:30 pm   #9
 
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Also as I explained in an old thread, in the case of a 767 aircraft, HA flies 3 different seat configurations based on the door configuration (blame Boeing for offering so many door configs LOL). This is so because over the years HA aquired their 767's from different leasing sources.

Anyways, HA's 767 seat configurations are 1) 3 aircraft with 18F/234Y, 2) 4 aircraft with 18F/241Y, and 3) 9 aircraft wth 18F/246Y.

Because specific aircraft are not allocated to a specific flight until the 24 hour mark, HA can only allow for seat assignment the seats that are common across all 3 767 seat configurations namely 18F and 234Y (the seat config with the lowest seat count). This is in addition to the "premium" seats and blocked seats for specific purposes mentioned by others.

At the 24 hour mark before departure, a specific aircraft is allocated to the flight and the non-common seats are opened up in the system. Hence as discussed lots, the online check in is good if you want the good seats.
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Old May 2, 12, 9:06 pm   #10
 
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Online check in 24 hours in advance is a great opportunity to get the premium seats. On the A330 routes, row 11 A/B, 11 H/J are some of the best economy seats on the plane (they are in a mini cabin with only three rows and have extra leg/knee room). The problem is that these seats frequently get snatched up shortly after online check in opens up at the 24 hour mark. As an elite member, you are able to get a complimentary, space available upgrade to a premium economy seat which can be done at the gate, but it is sometimes safer to just pay the $35 if there is a specific seat you want. (On the 767's, row 11 is also a good bet, but it doesn't offer as much legroom/knee room as on the A330's)
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Old Jun 5, 12, 1:34 pm   #11
 
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Just bought my ticket and on HA1 from LAX I see it's a 767. Any suggestions for seats here?

For my return flight HA2 i was able to get row 12 which I hope is in that little mini cabin on the A330.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 2:11 pm   #12
 
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I just flew from SAN-HNL and back. It was a pain to get a seat assignment. You have to checkin 24 hours in advance to get a seat. What is that. Overall, the flight experience as good, and they feed you.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Jan 28, 13 at 5:21 am. Reason: moved from JFK thread; not topical there
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Old Jan 27, 13, 5:05 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazoo_2 View Post
I just flew from SAN-HNL and back. It was a pain to get a seat assignment. You have to checkin 24 hours in advance to get a seat. What is that. Overall, the flight experience as good, and they feed you.
So, if you don't check in 24 hours in advance you have to stand?
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Old Jan 27, 13, 10:15 pm   #14
 
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I guess so. Good thing I checked in online! :-)
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Old Jan 28, 13, 7:50 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazoo_2 View Post
It was a pain to get a seat assignment. You have to checkin 24 hours in advance to get a seat. What is that. Overall, the flight experience as good, and they feed you.
Advance seat assignments may depend on route, but your generalization is not universally correct. I booked an AA award with some HA segments and got seats with a two-minute call to HA. HA online would recognize both the AA pnr and the AA ticket number but did/does not allow online seat assignment, even with the HA pnr.
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