Old Dec 3, 18, 10:11 pm
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: SEA
Programs: DL FO, Hilton/Marriott Gold, Accor Silver
Posts: 2,021
Originally Posted by jjmadison View Post
Heads up: Alaska has removed row 16 from Airbus A319 planes in the new config (see screenshot). I learned this the hard way.

On the day of my flight, I found I had been moved from a PC window to a middle seat in the back of the plane. No alert of seat change was sent.

I called CS and they said this is the first they’ve seen of this problem. After 15 min to check with their supervisor, they informed me that row 16 has been removed from **some** AS planes and that unfortunately there was nothing they could do.

Then it got messier…. the same problem that affected FT flyers during the screwy reconfig last month occurred here—the app ticket would not show a seat. At the airport, the digital machines errored when trying to print a ticket, and the Elite agent could not print a ticket with a seat. She eventually printed a blank ticket and handwrote my seat number.

The ticket problems also affected the upgrade waitlist. There were 7F open that morning, and I was #4 on the list. When I got to the curbside agent, there were 2F open and I was told I was “top of the upgrade list”. When I got to the gate agent 10 min later, they said “sorry, First is full”.

Thanks to the FT community here, I knew how to handle that. The junior agent said there was nothing she could do, so I politely explained to the senior gate agent that I was certain there was a mistake and asked them to look at who was upgraded. Sure enough, they saw two MVPs had received upgrades and my MVPG status was skipped over by the upgrader. The senior agent moved one MVP out of First and gave me the seat I was supposed to receive.

Afterwards, we discussed the debacle I’d experienced. The gate agent explained that AS has chosen to have no row 16 on A319 flights. In my case, there had been a swap from an A320 to an A319. That meant all six of us in row 16 were placed in the far back in middle seats. The agent confirmed that the AS software does not handle seat swaps properly and when tickets get stuck in limbo, it means the upgrade processor breaks as well.

If anyone from Alaska is listening, having no row 16 causes unnecessarily stress for elites. At the very least, there should be an attempt to accommodate elites at the time of the aircraft swap. Even better would be keeping row 16 on all planes, even if it’s not a PC row. I’d much rather be in a normal window without PC service than placed in a middle seat in the back of the plane.

For FT flyers on Airbus planes: I recommend avoiding row 16. On these transcon Airbus routes, I find A319’s are swapped in 10-20% of the time.

Note: For those interested in the flight details, this was Flight AS1126 SFO-BWI on Dec 2, 2018.
Ouch. AS's seat numbering system has worked pretty well for them over the years--on the 737s, row 6 has always been the Y bulkhead, 16 and 17 have always been the exit rows, and 15 has always been the limited-recline--or non-reclining? I've never actually sat there--row immediately in front. Before the A319s, they hadn't had a mainline plane with only one overwing exit row since the 737-200s. This is going to be big pain during equipment swaps until whenever the 319s are retired.
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