I am wondering if anyone else has this happen to them. I have been flying alot of TWA lately and when I book my flight, I am told the only seats available are middle. When I get on the plane, it has been half empty with several window and aisle seats open. What gives? I am Elite with TWA and think that I should be given better treatment. Looking at UA or AA, they reserve seats in the front of the cabin for their elite members. I am Platinum on AA and Executive Premier on UA. I never get placed in a middle seat. Hopefully AA will integrate their policies soon.
As an Elite 1, I also have access to front-of-cabin coach seating, except for exit rows on the 757s (rows 7 and 8) This is especially nice for any MD80 flights in the unlikely event that an upgrade doesn't come through, and I'm assured of at least a bulkhead row with a ton of legroom.
Some airlines extend this benefit to all Elite tiers, others only to the higher ones. I have noticed the seat maps on ITN to be quite out of sync with how the flight full the flights actually are, but that could be due to a variety of factors. I've also had cases where my travel agent has been unable to assign the preferred-seating in coach, but a call to TWA reveals that those seats are free.
Unfortunately, the lowest level of Elite status rarely gets you very much these days, as the number of Elites keeps growing. I'm just going to enjoy my last few months of free, unlimited upgrades before deciding whether to resign myself to MRTC or take advantage of my comped CO Gold status starting in 2002.
MRTC- More Room Through Coach- AA's new policy of removing a few rows of Y seats to give a few more inches of legroom to all remaining rows in Y. It's like United's E+, except it's not limited to a few rows reserved for Elites/Full fare pax.
Haven't flown on an AA plane since, but I've heard good things about it if one has to be stuck in Y.