Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage (Consolidated) > US Airways | Dividend Miles (Pre-Merger)
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 12, 12, 5:36 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 78
Strange situation - F seat not needed, can I give it away

I have a flight upcoming PBI->PHL with my wife on an award ticket. We are booked on 2 different PNRs, but both tickets were bought with miles. The trip up we'll be together, but, on the return, I was called away for business, so I won't be using my PHL->PBI ticket, I'll be flying PHL->DFW (the same day, almost the same time) for business instead. Normally no problem, I'll just throw away the 2nd part of my award ticket and call it day.

Problem is, my ticket from PHL-PBI is a FC ticket (purchased with miles). My wife's ticket is in coach, so, obviously, I'd like to give her my seat on that flight (which, otherwise, will go empty).

Is there any way to do this without incurring fees? We'll be checking in the same time, so, I was thinking of checking in for both flights and giving her my FC ticket. However, I know she won't be able to board with that ticket, can she use her ticket to board but sit in my FC seat and show the FA that we "switched"? Or is there a way to "swap names" on an already issued ticket?

Thanks for any help!
mjfink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 6:28 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: CHA/TYS
Programs: The Mac Daddy of Heimlich County (and low-ball status)
Posts: 2,663
how will your seat go empty? next in line for upgrade gets it.

also, you bought yourself a FC tik but not her???
mrredskin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 6:48 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 78
Well, empty from my perspective. If I check-in, I suppose they will go find whoever is next on the upgrade list to take the ticket after they close the door, but, obviously, I'd rather she had the seat (especially since we paid for it).

Yeah, the US Air site was being really screwy that day, FC low was available, but nothing coach but high. So it was cheaper to get the FC ticket than coach, but only for 1 person. So I booked it FC for me and was planning on giving her the seat anyway (when I thought I'd be on the plane).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrredskin View Post
how will your seat go empty? next in line for upgrade gets it.

also, you bought yourself a FC tik but not her???
mjfink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 7:00 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PHL
Programs: USAirways Chairman's Preferred, Hyatt GP Diamond
Posts: 1,893
Wow, this is a hard one !

You'd think that there would be a work-around, but right now I don't see it.

In fact, I think you will almost have to do a little stage-play (assuming the timing of your PHL-DTW flight permits):

Check in and board together first, smiling at GAs and FAs and making it clear that although the F seat is in your name, of course your wife is going to use it ...

Get her settled in F and move toward the back, when -- gosh, you can hardly believe this, but you just got buzzed / paged for [your excuse goes here] and you need to leave the flight. And as you sigh, and apologize, and gather your stuff, you pull the GA (and/or FA to the side) and say, "This is bad enough as is -- you'll leave her up front, right?" (Plan B: You say nothing and hope that your earlier uxorialness elicits the proper reaction from the other players).

Then you dash off to the DFW gate (which I don't think needs to feature in the boarding and de-boarding drama).

Life's short. If no one comes up with a better solution, give it a try.
Biggie Fries is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 7:14 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 78
Or I guess I could just have my wife board with my ticket. They don't check IDs anymore at the gate, I wonder if they really look at the names on the tickets at all? Problem is, that's a dangerous game, she needs to check luggage, if she checks it under my name (which, we can do, because we'll be at the ticket counter together), and doesn't pull off boarding with my ticket, the luggage will be unloaded. And the reverse it also true, if she uses her ticket to board the luggage has to be in her name...

What we need is another friend on this flight who wants an exit row seat.

I think the safest thing is, I'll check in for both flights and have her board with her boarding pass and sit in my seat. Yes, the GA computer will show the seat empty, but I'm not sure the FA will go up and check with them if FC has a person sitting in every seat. Worst case, she gets up and gives the seat to the person who's next on the upgrade list, right? She can just claim that I missed the flight.
mjfink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 7:15 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Programs: US Airways Gold Preferred, Hertz #1 Club Gold, Marriott Rewards Silver
Posts: 693
Whenever I board a plane and they scan my boarding pass, that's all they do. They never check for ID. Why can't your wife just use your boarding pass to get on the plane? I know technically they can check for ID, but I don't think it ever happens. And if it does, she can just say whoops and show her the coach ticket and board with that.
__________________
Check out my travel blog at www.BetterThanATravelGuide.com
GNRMatt is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 7:17 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 78
Actually, upon further thought, I just need to change my first name to something like "Sean" or "Pat" that doesn't have an implied sex. Or, I guess I could have her board (and check) with my ticket and just calmly say to the gate agent "I'm in the transition". This flight is heading to S. FL after all.
mjfink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 7:18 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 78
Well, that would be the best possible solution, but, it's dangerous. It means we'll have to check the luggage under my name; if she doesn't pull it off the bags will get unloaded and it'll be a real mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GNRMatt View Post
Whenever I board a plane and they scan my boarding pass, that's all they do. They never check for ID. Why can't your wife just use your boarding pass to get on the plane? I know technically they can check for ID, but I don't think it ever happens. And if it does, she can just say whoops and show her the coach ticket and board with that.
mjfink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 7:30 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Programs: US Airways Gold Preferred, National Executive, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,716
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjfink View Post
Or I guess I could just have my wife board with my ticket. They don't check IDs anymore at the gate, I wonder if they really look at the names on the tickets at all? Problem is, that's a dangerous game, she needs to check luggage, if she checks it under my name (which, we can do, because we'll be at the ticket counter together), and doesn't pull off boarding with my ticket, the luggage will be unloaded. And the reverse it also true, if she uses her ticket to board the luggage has to be in her name...

What we need is another friend on this flight who wants an exit row seat.

I think the safest thing is, I'll check in for both flights and have her board with her boarding pass and sit in my seat. Yes, the GA computer will show the seat empty, but I'm not sure the FA will go up and check with them if FC has a person sitting in every seat. Worst case, she gets up and gives the seat to the person who's next on the upgrade list, right? She can just claim that I missed the flight.
If the GA computer shows the seat empty, then the ticket could be cancelled and someone else next on the upgrade list, or a standby (who would otherwise be entitled to be upgraded- not just anyone) would get the seat- not your wife.

Just get her to board the plane with your boarding pass, keep your fingers crossed that she doesn't have to show the boarding pass for any reason once she's on board, and next time, get HER the FC seat.
NYCommuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 7:45 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PHL
Programs: USAirways Chairman's Preferred, Hyatt GP Diamond
Posts: 1,893
Quote:
Originally Posted by GNRMatt View Post
Whenever I board a plane and they scan my boarding pass, that's all they do. They never check for ID. Why can't your wife just use your boarding pass to get on the plane? I know technically they can check for ID, but I don't think it ever happens. And if it does, she can just say whoops and show her the coach ticket and board with that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjfink View Post
Well, that would be the best possible solution, but, it's dangerous. It means we'll have to check the luggage under my name; if she doesn't pull it off the bags will get unloaded and it'll be a real mess.
Having already offered up my drama, I have to say that I like GNRMatt's, and I'm not sure what the problem is. Why dangerous? It's just another version of my stageplay, except more of the action is taking place off stage. You both checked in, although not on the same PNR (see way below). You're a power couple with busy lives. Speaking of which: Good grief, you got called away. Except that no one has to say anything about this, unless for some reason the boarding pass scenario goes awry, in which case your wife just says, "Sheesh, sorry about that ... We had checked in when he got called away to [lame excuse goes here]" And if she still wants to go for the FC seat at this point, she can go, "Oh, wait ... does this mean that we, I mean I, no longer have the seat in First ?" and hope for some cross-gender gallantry or within-gender empathy depending on where the GA is situated gender-wise.

The virtue of this drama is that even if the GA finds the reason that your wife is standing there with his and her boarding passes to be dopey, your wife can always roll her eyes and say, "Well, that's what he told me ..."

But none of it will ever come to that because couples and families go through boarding with crossed boarding passes, or one holding them for all, all of the time .... It doesn't mean that the GAs never notice it, only that it would hardly trigger anything other than a shrug and a mostly white lie (see above, if she still wants to go for the seat).

Also, why does the luggage have to be checked under your name ? I thought you were traveling under different PNRs ? She checks in under her name and PNR. You under yours. Sure, she may have to pay to check her bag, but seems worth it for a good chance at an FC seat.
Biggie Fries is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 8:05 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Programs: US Airways Gold Preferred, National Executive, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,716
One issue here: if you have 2 tickets under your same name- one from PHL-DFW, one from PHL-BWI, isn't there a risk that one of them will get canceled?

I would avoid putting my frequent flyer number into one of them-the paid one, I guess, or would put a United number into that one.
NYCommuter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 8:07 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 78
Well, the bags have to be under someone's name (we're both elite on US Air, so it doesn't matter who). If it's my name, and my wife can't board with my ticket, they will unload the bags. If it's her name, and she is successful boarding with my ticket, again, they'll unload the bags. I agree that the theater might be a good option, but, no matter what (I would assume) they are eventually going to figure out that one of us is not on the flight and unload the bags for that person (assuming their are any). That's why checking them under her name and having her use her own boarding pass (but trying to sit in my seat) would be the safest option. Or, maybe she could just had the GA both boarding passes and hope that she doesn't look too hard to find out where the other person is.

Maybe the best option is to get up to the gate with her and act like I'm on the phone. Have the GA scan both of us and tell her "I'll be right down, I just need to finish up this call" and then get myself lost in the crowd. The only thing; the count won't be right, so I wonder if that might cause more trouble for everyone else on the plane while they try to figure it out.

You know, all this thinking about the system made me realize something pretty fundamental, this system is terribly flawed. I'm pretty sure that with enough thought I would figure out a way to do this 100% of the time, which could, in essence, separate a flyer from their checked luggage (which I thought was the cardinal "no-no" sin in flight security, even though, as we all know, the crazies are more than willing to fly with bombs strapped to them, let alone in checked luggage.

IMHO, the best possible option here is for me to change my name so Sean. Then I'd never have this problem again. The security of the entire flight system in dependent on people having sexually identifiable names. That makes me feel great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggie Fries View Post
Also, why does the luggage have to be checked under your name ? I thought you were traveling under different PNRs ? She checks in under her name and PNR. You under yours. Sure, she may have to pay to check her bag, but seems worth it for a good chance at an FC seat.
mjfink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 8:10 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 78
I sure as he** hope not. I know that they will cancel you if you miss a leg in a multi-hop, but I've never heard of them cancelling you for having 2 tickets before. This whole thing is a legitimate problem, I bought the PBI->PHL as a roundtrip ticket and fully intended to fly it. Then I fought out I needed to be in Dallas on Monday and bought another ticket PHL-DFW-CLT-PBI. Not trying to game the system at all with my purchases of these tickets, just trying to game it and get my wife the better seat that I paid for when booking.

In hindsight, I should have put the FC ticket in her name, I just wasn't thinking it all the way through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCommuter View Post
One issue here: if you have 2 tickets under your same name- one from PHL-DFW, one from PHL-BWI, isn't there a risk that one of them will get canceled?

I would avoid putting my frequent flyer number into one of them-the paid one, I guess, or would put a United number into that one.
mjfink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 8:52 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PHL
Programs: USAirways Chairman's Preferred, Hyatt GP Diamond
Posts: 1,893
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjfink View Post
Well, the bags have to be under someone's name (we're both elite on US Air, so it doesn't matter who). If it's my name, and my wife can't board with my ticket, they will unload the bags. If it's her name, and she is successful boarding with my ticket, again, they'll unload the bags. I agree that the theater might be a good option, but, no matter what (I would assume) they are eventually going to figure out that one of us is not on the flight and unload the bags for that person (assuming their are any). That's why checking them under her name and having her use her own boarding pass (but trying to sit in my seat) would be the safest option. Or, maybe she could just had the GA both boarding passes and hope that she doesn't look too hard to find out where the other person is.

Maybe the best option is to get up to the gate with her and act like I'm on the phone. Have the GA scan both of us and tell her "I'll be right down, I just need to finish up this call" and then get myself lost in the crowd. The only thing; the count won't be right, so I wonder if that might cause more trouble for everyone else on the plane while they try to figure it out.

You know, all this thinking about the system made me realize something pretty fundamental, this system is terribly flawed. I'm pretty sure that with enough thought I would figure out a way to do this 100% of the time, which could, in essence, separate a flyer from their checked luggage (which I thought was the cardinal "no-no" sin in flight security, even though, as we all know, the crazies are more than willing to fly with bombs strapped to them, let alone in checked luggage.

IMHO, the best possible option here is for me to change my name so Sean. Then I'd never have this problem again. The security of the entire flight system in dependent on people having sexually identifiable names. That makes me feel great.
Yeah, I should have been more clear about this .... If you check in other threads, you will see that for domestic travel, no one is doing a same flight passenger-baggage match anymore. Or at least that is what I have been reading, and given the speed with which planes are turned around and the number of missed connections, it's pretty easy to believe.

It is true that a missing passenger on an international flight will trigger a stoppage to unload the bag, but supposedly the thinking is that the better examination of checked luggage has obviated this necessity domestically (although the logic here is not strong).
Biggie Fries is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 12, 9:11 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 78
<Sigh>

That's just great to know, one of the few security measures that, IMHO, probably actually did something is one of the first to go.

So, I could just walk up to the airport tomorrow, check a bag, walk out, and expect it to show up at my ticketed destination? That's interesting to know, with baggage fees as high as they are today, it might make sense for others to book me a ticket so that I can check 3 bags for them. Or, book for other people, check their bags and help them get upgraded.

Brilliant system, you have to wonder who the brains are behind all this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggie Fries View Post
Yeah, I should have been more clear about this .... If you check in other threads, you will see that for domestic travel, no one is doing a same flight passenger-baggage match anymore. Or at least that is what I have been reading, and given the speed with which planes are turned around and the number of missed connections, it's pretty easy to believe.

It is true that a missing passenger on an international flight will trigger a stoppage to unload the bag, but supposedly the thinking is that the better examination of checked luggage has obviated this necessity domestically (although the logic here is not strong).
mjfink is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

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 9:03 pm.