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A3 begins charging for advance seat reservations - limited discount for A3*G

A3 begins charging for advance seat reservations - limited discount for A3*G

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Old Feb 16, 18, 5:00 pm
  #136  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 2
Thanks for all your thoughts.

While I have accepted the new charges for seat selection, I was bothered by the fact that they held firm on the charge at the time I checked in for the following two reasons: (1) it's a full flight and they would have released the up front aisle seats anyways; and (2) I don't think consider it to be an upgrade.

Perhaps because the charge is new, they haven't quite worked out the wrinkles yet. If they're going to release the seats anyway, why not give them to your preferred travellers. While I appreciate holding out to the last minute to release the seats may generate additional revenue, I think once you get to the 3 hour mark it's less likely to happen. The risk for Aegean holding out is that these seats will be released to whichever traveller arrives at the check - in counter at the right time. I think this is a missed opportunity by Aegean toward their preferred travellers. Perhaps there could be a proper balance here (maybe at the 3 hour mark the seats could be released to the preferred travellers when the check - in counter for the flight opens).

I don't consider these seats to be an upgrade. These are not premium seats in any way - they are not wider, there's no additional leg room, there isn't better service - seat 6c is no different than seat 26c.
​​​​​​
​​​​​​I don't think there is a sense of entitlement here. These are not business class or premium economy seats, and these are seats that are going to be released anyways. However, if there is, I don't think it's unreasonable for preferred travellers to want to be a step ahead of the crowd for immigration/customs purposes and to pick up their priority bag.

Aegean continues to be my preferred airline when travelling in Europe. I find the staff to be pleasant and helpful generally, especially the on board crew.



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Old Feb 17, 18, 2:58 am
  #137  
 
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ATH-SKG today. Rows 4-10 almost completely empty. Rows 11-toilet completely full. After boarding was complete, pax tried to move to the empty rows, but denied by the FA, who said "the corporate culture at Aegean has changed and you cannot move up." Interesting.
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Old Feb 17, 18, 3:34 am
  #138  
 
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Originally Posted by justforfun View Post
ATH-SKG today. Rows 4-10 almost completely empty. Rows 11-toilet completely full. After boarding was complete, pax tried to move to the empty rows, but denied by the FA, who said "the corporate culture at Aegean has changed and you cannot move up." Interesting.
Interesting indeed justforfun, thanks for reporting it here. It just shows how stupid this new policy is.

In a way it's good that the crew are enforcing the new rules, as this will make it obvious (by the unbalanced distribution of passengers) that the policy is deeply flawed. If passengers started moving themselves willy-nilly then the problem would be hidden. Speaking as a status passenger of course
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Old Feb 17, 18, 10:55 am
  #139  
 
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I remember about fifteen years ago LH started filling Y from the back and putting the divider right in front of Y. The result was everyone was packed in to 3x3 and then there were many empty seats in front of the curtain. Frequent flyers got very annoyed and both let LH know and spent their money elsewhere in numbers - I was one of them.

LH backed off after about six months - so don't complain, book elsewhere including for C which is where it really hurts the bottom line.
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Old Feb 17, 18, 2:52 pm
  #140  
 
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Originally Posted by Chr04 View Post
Aegean is not capable to handle the on board luggages and the items people bring with them, you think that they handle people moving to an exit row because they found an empty seat?
Well see below it would certainly seem that the crew can handle it.

Originally Posted by justforfun View Post
ATH-SKG today. Rows 4-10 almost completely empty. Rows 11-toilet completely full. After boarding was complete, pax tried to move to the empty rows, but denied by the FA, who said "the corporate culture at Aegean has changed and you cannot move up." Interesting.
Thanks for feedback.
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Old Feb 17, 18, 4:45 pm
  #141  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Originally Posted by headingwest View Post
I don't mind sitting at the back, they can stick their charges. I'll be moving myself into other seats - but on different airlines. It'll be A3 for the minumum 4 flights (hopefully upgrading them all) and I won't bother to book any other fights. That's my answer to the problem anyway!

If the seats had been possible to choose for free at check-in I might have softened my attitude a bit, but as it is they can stick it.
Just sent them my complaint:

Dear Aegean Team, I would like to thank you for the excellent service that you have been delivering and express my disappointment over the recent introduction of charged seat selection for Miles+Bonus Gold and Silver members travelling in Economy Class. I am particularly concerned by: 1. No exit row and “up front” seats available for free for Gold members even upon check-in / at the gate, this is least generous treatment of one’s own status members that I have encountered across Star Alliance and SkyTeam 2. Gold and Silver members receiving no priority over non-status passengers in case of overbooked flights / the need to assign “up front” and exit row seats - it is beyond unacceptable that the decisive factor for the seat assignment is the time of check-in rather than the passenger’s Miles+Bonus status Having taken 23 segments segments on Aegean during the past year and a half and having 12 upcoming segments booked before the new policy was introduced, I shall refrain from making new bookings until Gold members have been granted preferential conditions beyond the current 50% discount on “up front” seats.

I joined M+B in SEP 2017 having been stuck as a LH*S for 9 years (part of that spent in LUX so not much of a choice). I quickly got to like A3 and will miss flying on them as well as the LH lounge at ATH. However, after taking the 12 segments that I purchased before the current enhancement (2 upgraded and 10 booked into an exit row when it was still free), I am not going to make any new bookings. I will have met my goal, reached *G relatively easily, and shall limit my travel on A3 to the 4 annual segments, which I will book based on the 4 e-voucher redemption availability. It is a great paradox to see that LH Group is more generous to all passengers compared to A3 to its own most loyal FFP members.
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Old Feb 18, 18, 9:47 am
  #142  
 
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I think you guys know what is coming ahead right? No more free food and alcoholic drinks after the exit row in A320 and door 2 on A321. This would be just a matter of time. Y+ is coming...I hope not but deep inside I know A3 will follow others at some stage.
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Old Feb 18, 18, 12:30 pm
  #143  
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Except no carrier in Europe set up a Y+ with free food on the first row of economic and BOB back. Only SK did it but they do not have a business class.
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Old Feb 19, 18, 7:55 am
  #144  
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My observations from my first flight on Aegean since the changes came into effect.

17th Feb AMS-ATH, flight pretty much totally full, in both C and Y.
I asked very politely at check-in (as a Gold) if they could move me to one of the front seats (I had reserved 17A a week before). I was told that there were only a middle seat available in either row 5 or 6 and was offered one of these. The agent also offered to move me to a window seat in an exit row for free. In the end I stayed where I was as I'm not so keen on the exit row (smaller window, uncomfortable armrest, flimsy tray table etc). I thought it was positive that the agent was willing to be flexible but I don't know if this is an official stance or not. She said there had been quite a few negative comments about it already and seemed keen to be helpful.
I checked the online seat map several times (+48hrs, +24hrs +4hrs etc. and all the front seats were totally blocked to me at all times, so there seems to be no way of 'sneaking' into one of those seats.
In any case, it's not really the seat that matters - the first few ones have more legroom and it's a little quieter up there, but it's the principle - so getting around this, either by working the system or by nice, professional agents, really isn't the issue.
Also, it's not very scientific, but I noticed that most of the pre-boarders who weren't actually in business class made their way towards the back with me, so it's positive (for us I suppose) that people seem disinclined to bother paying for those seats, at least at this early stage.

One interesting thing that nobody has mentioned is that this will surely spell the end of the (unofficial) free middle seat next to a Gold. Of course, they will fill all those middle seats before they offer anybody a free 'up-front' seat. I actually think that THAT alone will be the biggest downside of this for me. I estimate that I have an empty seat next to me on nine out of ten A3 flights - even when they are 99% full. TAfter Saturday's flight, I am certain that I will miss that more than the legroom.

Presuming the charge principle also applies to OA flights, where I suspect uptake will be even lower for a short domestic flight, how is A3 going to cope with the weight and balance issues which can arise with smaller aircraft?
Also, I find it amusing that,on the ATR aircraft (which, for those who don't realise, board from the rear only), they aught not to be be charging extra for up-front seats but for down-back ones!

Last edited by Knobbgb; Feb 19, 18 at 8:00 am
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Old Feb 21, 18, 8:14 am
  #145  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Originally Posted by Nick David View Post
Just sent them my complaint:

Dear Aegean Team, I would like to thank you for the excellent service that you have been delivering and express my disappointment over the recent introduction of charged seat selection for Miles+Bonus Gold and Silver members travelling in Economy Class. I am particularly concerned by: 1. No exit row and “up front” seats available for free for Gold members even upon check-in / at the gate, this is least generous treatment of one’s own status members that I have encountered across Star Alliance and SkyTeam 2. Gold and Silver members receiving no priority over non-status passengers in case of overbooked flights / the need to assign “up front” and exit row seats - it is beyond unacceptable that the decisive factor for the seat assignment is the time of check-in rather than the passenger’s Miles+Bonus status Having taken 23 segments segments on Aegean during the past year and a half and having 12 upcoming segments booked before the new policy was introduced, I shall refrain from making new bookings until Gold members have been granted preferential conditions beyond the current 50% discount on “up front” seats.

I joined M+B in SEP 2017 having been stuck as a LH*S for 9 years (part of that spent in LUX so not much of a choice). I quickly got to like A3 and will miss flying on them as well as the LH lounge at ATH. However, after taking the 12 segments that I purchased before the current enhancement (2 upgraded and 10 booked into an exit row when it was still free), I am not going to make any new bookings. I will have met my goal, reached *G relatively easily, and shall limit my travel on A3 to the 4 annual segments, which I will book based on the 4 e-voucher redemption availability. It is a great paradox to see that LH Group is more generous to all passengers compared to A3 to its own most loyal FFP members.
Here comes the generic response to my feedback:

Dear Mr. XXX,

Thank you very much for contacting us, regarding our new Seat Pre-selection Service in order to share your comments with us.

Our intention is to make it easier for both our loyal members and the rest of the passengers who choose us to travel, by activating this new service that allows our passengers to preselect the ideal position, which is already being applied by many other international carriers.

Furthermore, we would like to clarify that there are three available types of seats: Up Front, Extra Legroom and Standard Seats. You can always pre-select a Standard Seat for free when traveling in Economy Class and only if you choose one of the Up Front or Extra Legroom Seats in our Airbus fleet, charges apply.

Nevertheless, we would like to assure you that as soon as we received your message, with the related remarks and observations, we have shared them with the relevant department of our company.

Mr. XXX, we would like to thank you once again for taking the time to contact us in order to provide us with your feedback and remain at your disposal for any future assistance you may need.

Yours Sincerely,

[Mod: agent’s name redacted]


As I said earlier, unless there is a change of policy, I shall refrain from making any new bookings and limit my A3 flights to the 4 annual segments booked based on the e-voucher redemption availability.

Last edited by NWIFlyer; Feb 21, 18 at 9:38 am Reason: Remove agent’s name per privacy policy
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Old Feb 21, 18, 8:42 am
  #146  
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Originally Posted by headingwest View Post
I don't mind sitting at the back, they can stick their charges. I'll be moving myself into other seats - but on different airlines. It'll be A3 for the minumum 4 flights (hopefully upgrading them all) and I won't bother to book any other fights. That's my answer to the problem anyway!

If the seats had been possible to choose for free at check-in I might have softened my attitude a bit, but as it is they can stick it.
I guess it was just a passing fancy, then!

Why I'm falling in love with Aegean
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Old Feb 21, 18, 8:47 am
  #147  
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Originally Posted by Knobbgb View Post
Also, I find it amusing that,on the ATR aircraft (which, for those who don't realise, board from the rear only), they aught not to be be charging extra for up-front seats but for down-back ones!
The turbo-prop fleet is exempt from all of this.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 9:21 am
  #148  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Originally Posted by Nick David View Post
Here comes the generic response to my feedback:

Dear Mr. XXX,

Thank you very much for contacting us, regarding our new Seat Pre-selection Service in order to share your comments with us.

Our intention is to make it easier for both our loyal members and the rest of the passengers who choose us to travel, by activating this new service that allows our passengers to preselect the ideal position, which is already being applied by many other international carriers.

Furthermore, we would like to clarify that there are three available types of seats: Up Front, Extra Legroom and Standard Seats. You can always pre-select a Standard Seat for free when traveling in Economy Class and only if you choose one of the Up Front or Extra Legroom Seats in our Airbus fleet, charges apply.

Nevertheless, we would like to assure you that as soon as we received your message, with the related remarks and observations, we have shared them with the relevant department of our company.

Mr. XXX, we would like to thank you once again for taking the time to contact us in order to provide us with your feedback and remain at your disposal for any future assistance you may need.

Yours Sincerely,



As I said earlier, unless there is a change of policy, I shall refrain from making any new bookings and limit my A3 flights to the 4 annual segments booked based on the e-voucher redemption availability.
I was fairly lukewarm about all this at first, but now that all the details have emerged, I am infuriated. A3 is getting rid of everything we love about it. Calling it now: The Gold (re-)qualification threshold will be increased in the not-so-distant future.

In my email to them, I will include a statement like "I know that..." and include all the details in the generic email. Let's see if they answer me with the same thing.

Last edited by NWIFlyer; Feb 21, 18 at 9:39 am Reason: Remove agent’s name from quote per privacy policy
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Old Feb 21, 18, 11:12 am
  #149  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Aegean are rapidly pricing themselves out of certain markets due to what appear to be amateurish revenue management decisions. Alienating A3*G cardholders with cheapskate seating charges is not the only mistake they are making at present: even worse is their recent uncompetitive fare structure relative to competitors. Today, I needed to book a return from TXL to LCA with baggage for fixed dates 31 August - 3 September. Booking with LH Group proved a no-brainer as they wanted €299 for a Classic Economy ticket (including free seat assignment) while Aegean demanded €100 more!. Like Nick David, I will in future be booking only 4 sectors a year with Aegean, instead of 40, and trying to upgrade all of them. Aegean are shooting themselves in the foot.
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Old Feb 21, 18, 11:29 am
  #150  
 
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Keep in mind that being the cheapest is not always the appropriate tactic.

There are routes (and I can imagine LCA is one of them) where pax strongly prefer Aegean over LH. As such the majority of seats on the Aegean flight may have already been booked, while the LH flights may be less busy. In such case they can easily afford (and would be stupid not to) price themselves over LH.

As long as they can fill the flights while using higher fares, they are doing exactly the right thing. Perhaps not what we as pax would like, but for Aegean the company its the way to make money.

Last edited by Xandrios; Feb 21, 18 at 11:35 am
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