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Old Aug 27, 04, 2:57 pm   #1
mgi
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Premier Coach Seating on Lufthansa for United Premier Exec

I am a United Premier Exec (Star Allaince Gold). I have an upcoming trip booked in Coach on Lufthansa. When I called to request an exit row/bulkhead seat on the flights, the agent advised me that those are held for Lufthansa Premier's only. Wanted to check if that is indeed the policy or if I should call again and try another agents...Sadly the Lufthansa agents are not as great as the United Premier Exec Desk.
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Old Aug 27, 04, 3:15 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgi
I am a United Premier Exec (Star Allaince Gold). I have an upcoming trip booked in Coach on Lufthansa. When I called to request an exit row/bulkhead seat on the flights, the agent advised me that those are held for Lufthansa Premier's only. Wanted to check if that is indeed the policy or if I should call again and try another agents...Sadly the Lufthansa agents are not as great as the United Premier Exec Desk.
I have sat in exit row seats for LH, (as UA1K) but this situation was a little different. My wife and I checked in to a UA international flight (at SFO) connecting to a LH inter european flight. We were given boarding cards for both flights. We didn't ask for exit rows, and we were plesantly surprised when we boarded our LH flight and found us in a nice roomy exit!

So the bottom line is that you CAN sit in an exit row without being a LH premier, but getting LH to put you there might be a different story...
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Old Aug 27, 04, 3:24 pm   #3
 
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As I understand it, based on posts in the LH forum and from my own experience, LH reserves bulkheads and exit rows for day-of-check-in. Families with little one get bulkheads, exit rows are FCFS (first come, first served). However, many seasoned LH flyers get these seats through early (web) check-in or by having an angel at LH (I know that sounds hard to believe), or perhaps through more nefarious means?

As a 1P flying on LH you rate just a notch above "pond scum", no personal offense intended. I am a 1K and a LH M&M SEN so I am just two notches above pond scum.
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Old Aug 27, 04, 3:27 pm   #4
 
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Trust me, even being a Senator (top tier, Gold) with Lufthansa doesn't give me any right to a bulkhead or exit row seat being preallocated. LH elites will normally get these on the day, though it is entirely open to the airport staff to allocate you there. Using the *A Gold / First Class check in will help in this regard.

You can ask for a bulkhead seat to be pre-allocated, but be warned that you may find yourself moved to accomodate families with babies, regardless of status.

If it's any comfort, this works the same in the other direction. Only UA elites are allowed to get exit rows pre-allocated on UA flights.
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Old Aug 27, 04, 3:29 pm   #5
 
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RE: Premier Exec seating

I am Premier Exec and fly LH all the time. (an all LH itinerary) You can ask for an exit row seat at check in, and theoreticaly you're supposed to be able to get it as *G. I get it about 50% of the time, but I've given up asking beforehand. Good luck!
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Old Aug 27, 04, 3:33 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transpac
As I understand it, based on posts in the LH forum and from my own experience, LH reserves bulkheads and exit rows for day-of-check-in. Families with little one get bulkheads, exit rows are FCFS (first come, first served). However, many seasoned LH flyers get these seats through early (web) check-in or by having an angel at LH (I know that sounds hard to believe), or perhaps through more nefarious means?

As a 1P flying on LH you rate just a notch above "pond scum", no personal offense intended. I am a 1K and a LH M&M SEN so I am just two notches above pond scum.
Web check in on LH does NOT let you choose a seat - you get pre-allocated one of the computer's choice. As a status holder you may get pre-allocated a seat further forward than a non-status holder, but no guarantee. Using telephone check-in (numbers available on the LH website) is a much better bet, as you can choose the seat over the phone.

No matter which *A member is concerned, you always get better treatment from your "home" carrier than with other members.
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Old Aug 27, 04, 4:47 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by House
Web check in on LH does NOT let you choose a seat - you get pre-allocated one of the computer's choice. As a status holder you may get pre-allocated a seat further forward than a non-status holder, but no guarantee. Using telephone check-in (numbers available on the LH website) is a much better bet, as you can choose the seat over the phone.

No matter which *A member is concerned, you always get better treatment from your "home" carrier than with other members.
Sorry for the mis-statement. I knew there was a way LH M&M members could check in early and snag exit row seats. For some reason I thought that it was web check in but now realize it is via the telephone.
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Old Aug 27, 04, 5:34 pm   #8
 
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It might be worth trying a different agent as I think "cross-pollination" on Star carriers is increasing. Not sure how strict LH is but Air New Zeland also reserves exit rows for its Premier members, but recently let me snag one in advance with United 2P. (Although I was actually at the city ticket office and was looming over the agent at my usual 6'6" ). Speaking of which, if you are tall, I've found that a politely worded fax to the airline explaining that you are among that freakish percentage of the population that is over six feet has always secured me an exit row. Even on United when I didn't have status.
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Old Aug 27, 04, 5:53 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcg1000
It might be worth trying a different agent as I think "cross-pollination" on Star carriers is increasing. Not sure how strict LH is but Air New Zeland also reserves exit rows for its Premier members, but recently let me snag one in advance with United 2P. (Although I was actually at the city ticket office and was looming over the agent at my usual 6'6" ). Speaking of which, if you are tall, I've found that a politely worded fax to the airline explaining that you are among that freakish percentage of the population that is over six feet has always secured me an exit row. Even on United when I didn't have status.
I am 1.98m and this has gotten me jack do-do with regards to an exit row seat in Y on LH prior to check-in (note that I am a Senator on LH M&M). Prior to making 1P and 1K, I did not have any luck pre-confirming an exit row in Y, and I was tall then. Couldn't anyone send a fax saying they were tall? Nothing the OP posted indicates that they might be talll, freakishly or otherwise.
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Old Aug 27, 04, 10:13 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transpac
Couldn't anyone send a fax saying they were tall?
I'm just telling you what usually works for me although I must admit I've only flown Lufthansa in business class so have never had to grapple with their bureaucracy.
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Old Aug 27, 04, 10:31 pm   #11
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On a somewhat related note, is it possible to get advance seating on an intra-Europe LH flight (LHR-FRA)? I called UA and they said all intra-European seating is airport-assigned and they couldn't (wouldn't) give me a seat ahead of time.
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Old Aug 27, 04, 11:31 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahasamatman
On a somewhat related note, is it possible to get advance seating on an intra-Europe LH flight (LHR-FRA)? I called UA and they said all intra-European seating is airport-assigned and they couldn't (wouldn't) give me a seat ahead of time.
That is true - no pre seat assignment on intra Europe routes except for premium cabins. There are some exceptions for destinations in Russia but for all other routes it's not possible.
And yes, it is hard even for a SEN to get any particular seat. I normally ask for non-exit rows (because of the 1.98 guys next to one...) and even those are hard to get.
There is another thread on how hard it is to get the seat blocking working on Lufthansa.
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Old Aug 28, 04, 4:26 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahasamatman
On a somewhat related note, is it possible to get advance seating on an intra-Europe LH flight (LHR-FRA)? I called UA and they said all intra-European seating is airport-assigned and they couldn't (wouldn't) give me a seat ahead of time.
No. The reason for this has traditionally been that the seats in the cabin can be converted, by means of pulling a few levers, from 5 across (Business Class) to 6 across (Economy class - same seat pitch). This allowed the airline to keep selling expensive business class seats until the last possible moment, and moving the divider curtain with economy further and further back (on some flights you can see 15+ rows of business class on an A320).

If they were to preallocate seating in economy they would lose the flexibility, or alternatively those allocating seats would often find themselves bumped to a middle seat at the back. So most European airlines (BA, Aer Lingus, Air France, KLM, LOT, Spanair and many many others) solve the problem by not pre-allocating seats in coach/economy to anyone, regardless of status.

Some airlines are starting to be more flexible in this regard. BMI now allow seat assignments in coach, but half of their agents don't seem to know about this yet. SAS will let you pre-allocate on some routes, but not on others. Austrian will usually let you get a seat assigned at the time of booking.

The way to get a good seat with LH is to telephone check in (anytime on the day of travel), or check in at your originating airport in the US (because you effectively check in 9 to 12 hours before everyone else). Most German airports will also let you check in for LH from 7pm the evening before if you have an early flight the next day.
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Old Aug 28, 04, 9:32 am   #14
 
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I have had good success getting exit row seats at checkin in the USA, even when the first segment is on UA.

I've found it slightly more difficult however securing an exit row seat for the return flights to the US. Often it seems the connecting pax from India/S. Africa etc. get these when they checkin much earlier.
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Old Aug 28, 04, 10:21 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin
I've found it slightly more difficult however securing an exit row seat for the return flights to the US. Often it seems the connecting pax from India/S. Africa etc. get these when they checkin much earlier.
Absolutely true. You should try living in Europe, where we get the problem no matter what time of day we travel!
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