Old Jun 26, 17, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post
The airlines block seats for gate assignment so that they can accommodate small children, passengers with disabilities, etc. Those seats look taken on the web site and apps but they are actually available for use in such situations.
I wonder if this is more common with non-U.S. carriers and/or with long-haul aircraft.

In the U.S., I've both done OLCI and arrived at physical check-in with our family split up and there's nothing the airline can do. This is usually with me having some type of elite status as well. (Granted, kids are older and sometimes we just fly seated separately...it's not that big of a deal.) I get the sense that a lot of seat-blocking for gate assignment is a thing of the past.

When I've flown European carriers, even with no status and on the bottom fare basis with no advance seat assignments, they've always gotten us all seated together. I've braced for receiving 4 middles...or even IDB...but it has not happened.
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