Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus > United Mileage Plus (Pre-Merger) [closed to posting]
Sign in using an external account

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 1, 08, 9:33 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: DCA
Programs: USAirways Silver, United, Continental & Delta
Posts: 34
Seat assignment foolishness

An associate and I were flying IAD TPA and return. Our return itinerary did not have a seat assignment. Interesting in that we were flying on a refundable full fare ticket. My travel office told me I would get the seat assignment upon check-in. Okay...

24 hours prior to launch I went online to download our boarding passes. Still no seat assignment. 18 hours prior still no seat assignment. 6 hours prior still no seat assignment. Each time I tried to click through the seat assignment process, I was asked if I wanted to upgrade to Economy Plus. No. I paid a refundable full fare ticket. I'm not upgrading anything.

At the airport I went to the kiosk. Same deal. No assignment unless you pay more to upgrade. An attendant noticed my frustration and asked if she could help. She told me my seat would be assigned at the gate. Why couldn't I have the seat assignment NOW? I explained I was not flying on some cheapo ticket and would like to be treated as a full fare paying customer. She was powerless to help.

At the gate, both my associate and I received Economy Plus seating. The whole experience was unpleasant and in my mind unprofessional. Full fare ticket holders should not be treated like that.
crarmstrong is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 9:39 am   #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: MBS (and rarely DTW)
Programs: UA 1P, HH Gold, CGI Plat, Mariott Gold
Posts: 8,357
Quote:
Originally Posted by crarmstrong View Post
Full fare ticket holders should not be treated like that.
You are right.... they should be given an assignment ASAP. Unfortunately, it is NOT UA policy.

Furthermore, you were lucky to get E+ seating (also not UA policy).

I think it is "stoopid" that a full fare ticket should not be recieve both of what I mention.... but then again, I guess thats why I don't run an airline.

FWIW, If I was on a (non elite) full fare refundable ticket, and not assigned a seat when checking in (at the airport)... I would have walked the ticket over to another carrier.
__________________
Cpt O'Hagen: "I swear to God I'm going to pistol whip the next guy who says, Shenanigans." -Super Troopers

Last edited by jhayes_1780; Nov 1, 08 at 10:03 am. Reason: my response was poorly worded
jhayes_1780 is online now  
Old Nov 1, 08, 9:41 am   #3
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Greater DC
Programs: UA plus
Posts: 12,939
Not really sure what your issue is - likely you purchased near travel time. The seats available for assignment prior to check-in for a non-elite were already taken. Every airline reserves seats for airport assignment. The airline in the interim pushed buying an E+ seat which could've been assigned during the period approaching travel, but you didn't want to buy. It's a business - makes total sense.

When you got to the gate, they assigned the seats still available which included E+ seating - you got a better seat than you purchased for no additional money.

Just to be clear - you realize your ticket didn't entitle you to E+, right? Because it absolutely did not - full fare or not!
GoingAway is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 9:43 am   #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: ORD
Programs: United 1K MM, Hilton Silver
Posts: 1,686
Economy Minus was probably full. You were presented a choice, pay for E+ and get a seat assignment or take your chances.

Is your objection that full fare should get E+?
Miles Ahead is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 10:34 am   #5
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: DTW
Programs: DL - PM, UA - ex1K, AA - exPLT, HH - GLD, PC - PLT
Posts: 4,767
Full fare used to get E+, not anymore.

I can see how it can be frustrating, but it's how UA treats it's GM. In the end, if you have no seat assignment before the gate, you're almost certainly going to get E+ for free. You just won't know what seat.
CPMaverick is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 10:39 am   #6
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: exUA1K, UA MM, lifetime UA1P, AA MM, HH Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 3,062
An interesting gamble that UA is engaging in with a pax holding a full fare refundable ticket.

Whenever this pax has enough of the game, he/she can bail on the ticket and buy from another carrier and UA gets nothing!
roberto99 is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 10:48 am   #7
gre
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: IAD, DCA (I wish)
Programs: UA-1K
Posts: 3,675
You got more than you paid for. Where's the gripe?
__________________
Oh Kitty, you've still got Eric. He's still sort of a baby ... I'll make him cry if you want - Red
gre is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 10:57 am   #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SAN
Programs: AA EXP / UA MM Gold
Posts: 1,180
Yabbut....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhayes_1780 View Post
FWIW, If I was on a (non elite) full fare refundable ticket, and not assigned a seat when checking in (at the airport)... I would have walked the ticket over to another carrier.
Nothing wrong with walking over to another carrier (if you have the time, routes & skeds are compatible, fares are comparable), but you may be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Yup, you might get an assigned seat, but at that late hour it may well be a middle, etc. In the OP's case, he made out much better, BUT if it makes you feel better, walk on....
nzpilot is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 11:08 am   #9
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Greater DC
Programs: UA plus
Posts: 12,939
Quote:
Originally Posted by roberto99 View Post
An interesting gamble that UA is engaging in with a pax holding a full fare refundable ticket.

Whenever this pax has enough of the game, he/she can bail on the ticket and buy from another carrier and UA gets nothing!
I don't see a gamble here - it's a business and all activity was done according to their rules. If the OP wants a seat assigned beforehand, then they should buy their ticket earlier when the seats are more likely to be available.

The OP seems to be a nervous traveler and wants everything just so prior to day of travel. It's sometimes difficult to accomplish these days with reduced capacity and increased loads. Live with it or stay home - this is not limited to UA by any means.
GoingAway is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 11:47 am   #10
gre
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: IAD, DCA (I wish)
Programs: UA-1K
Posts: 3,675
OP implies a sense of entitlement ("better treatment") that UA does not bestow on any E pax (whether full fare Y or discounted L). For better treatment a non-status pax must buy a premium seat.

Would the OP have prefered to be assigned the infamous 29E at purchase? What difference does it make when your seat is assigned if you lack status to improve it if you don't like it? With a full plane a GM has to expect the worst.

E+ is a beni of UA status, just like the use of premium lines and increased baggage allowance. OP was lucky that the GA gave it to him.
__________________
Oh Kitty, you've still got Eric. He's still sort of a baby ... I'll make him cry if you want - Red
gre is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 11:51 am   #11
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: SNA
Programs: UA Million Mile Nobody, Marriott Platinum Elite, SPG Gold
Posts: 24,507
Quote:
Originally Posted by gre View Post
You got more than you paid for. Where's the gripe?
The gripe might be that his full fare ticket netted UA more money than someone on a cheapo ticket who then bought an E+ seat for an additional $100 or so. UA is playing a big gamble that that full fare revenue won't walk away. I certainly would if I didn't get a seat assignment in the best available seat for full fare.
flyinbob is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 12:14 pm   #12
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Greater DC
Programs: UA plus
Posts: 12,939
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinbob View Post
The gripe might be that his full fare ticket netted UA more money than someone on a cheapo ticket who then bought an E+ seat for an additional $100 or so. UA is playing a big gamble that that full fare revenue won't walk away. I certainly would if I didn't get a seat assignment in the best available seat for full fare.
Then don't fly a US based (or maybe even any) airline at this point -they ALL are charging something for the 'better' seats these days, even B6.
GoingAway is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 12:24 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 1k, AA, DL, Marriott Plat
Posts: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by crarmstrong View Post
An associate and I were flying IAD TPA and return. Our return itinerary did not have a seat assignment. Interesting in that we were flying on a refundable full fare ticket. My travel office told me I would get the seat assignment upon check-in. Okay...

24 hours prior to launch I went online to download our boarding passes. Still no seat assignment. 18 hours prior still no seat assignment. 6 hours prior still no seat assignment. Each time I tried to click through the seat assignment process, I was asked if I wanted to upgrade to Economy Plus. No. I paid a refundable full fare ticket. I'm not upgrading anything.

At the airport I went to the kiosk. Same deal. No assignment unless you pay more to upgrade. An attendant noticed my frustration and asked if she could help. She told me my seat would be assigned at the gate. Why couldn't I have the seat assignment NOW? I explained I was not flying on some cheapo ticket and would like to be treated as a full fare paying customer. She was powerless to help.

At the gate, both my associate and I received Economy Plus seating. The whole experience was unpleasant and in my mind unprofessional. Full fare ticket holders should not be treated like that.
You make several points in your note....
  • IAD TPA... this is a TED Route, so refundable full fare entitled you to one seat somewhere on the airplane. Since there isn't a real "Fare Class" difference between E+ and E-, UA did just what any business would do - tried to make some more money.
  • Where I work, we select seats during our self-reservation process. We're discouraged from use of the travel agent if our online system will do. These assignments always fall off the record . While it's an extra step, I go to the airline's site and take care of it there. I also ensure my UA MP Number is on the record on the airline's site; this always, for USAirways, involves a call to have them change it to UA's. Again, a slight bit more work but it keeps me from being frustrated when I get my MP Statement or look on line, and on US puts me in boarding group 1.
  • You didn't mention what happened after you declined the opportunity on line to buy into E+; did it proceed to tell you that seats weren't available for assignment or did it offer you E- seating? Just curious, as I haven't had to do this in a long time.
  • E+ is generally used as either a revenue producing opportunity (it is after all still an Economy Class Seat) or reward for premium members. Don't know what level of UA flyer you are, but only UA's more premium flyers have access to E+ seating without question prior to takeoff or launch .
  • Others have suggested taking your ticket and walking over to another carrier. UA is the only *A carrier serving TPA IAD non-stop. You might've been able to get US to take you via CLT or PHL. They would have likely tried to charge you an upgrade fee to sit in First, on each leg, or left you back in Economy - where there's *no* chance for E+ and you're charged for just about all the drinks.
UA took a calculated risk that a Full Fare Y class ticket holder might just walk; their algorithms and decision trees could surely be tuned to notice that a UA non-elite member on this fare class should be given E+ automatically as a sweetener, and a message displayed or printed to say "hey, look what we did for you" as an enticement for the next time you're planning travel.
jbrevard is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 1:10 pm   #14
gre
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: IAD, DCA (I wish)
Programs: UA-1K
Posts: 3,675
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyinbob View Post
... I certainly would [walk awa] if I didn't get a seat assignment in the best available seat for full fare.
I guess you'll be seeking alternate transport to flying because I don't think any (US-based at least) carrier automatically gives full fare pax "the best available seat" (like exit rows?).
__________________
Oh Kitty, you've still got Eric. He's still sort of a baby ... I'll make him cry if you want - Red
gre is offline  
Old Nov 1, 08, 1:17 pm   #15
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: COS
Programs: AA-Gold, UA-1K, PMUA-0.95MM, COUA-1.4MM-lite, COUA-1.0MM-BIS
Posts: 11,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingAway View Post
The OP seems to be a nervous traveler and wants everything just so prior to day of travel. It's sometimes difficult to accomplish these days with reduced capacity and increased loads. Live with it or stay home - this is not limited to UA by any means.
No need to stay home. When willing to pay full fare, one has many choices of airlnes. One of them would have given OP a seat assignment.
__________________
Robert Crandall on American Airlines: it's a great company that does important work. But airlines are not an investment.
mre5765 is offline  
 
 
 

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:03 am.