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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 Sep 28, 18, 11:25 am
  #361  
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yeah, now is showing the prices
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Old Oct 13, 18, 9:52 am
  #362  
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I did today STR-SKG-RHO. In both cases the load factor was around 60-70%, and the upfront seats were nearly empty. It seems people do not pay for them if they can avoid it.
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Old Oct 16, 18, 2:19 am
  #363  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: ARN, ATH
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Originally Posted by fransknorge View Post
I did today STR-SKG-RHO. In both cases the load factor was around 60-70%, and the upfront seats were nearly empty. It seems people do not pay for them if they can avoid it.
Paying to seat in the front rows, especially in a long flight, is understandable since legroom is considerably larger there (up to row 5 or 6 I think, in A320s).

What I find puzzling though is why seats in rows 8, 9 or even 10 are marketed as premium, and one (non-A3G) may need to pay up to 16 euro to seat there. They offer no extra legroom compared to rear seats, they are closer to the middle of the plane than the front, and if you are flying to ATH (since A3 usually avoid jetbridges) you re getting off much quicker if you are in rows 27 to 30 rather than rows 7 to 10. No wonder so many of those seats remain empty....
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Old Nov 8, 18, 5:19 am
  #364  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Small rant:

I think this is also pretty stupid. Example: first row you can select for free is 14 on A320.. On my recent flights business was two rows, that leaves 60 seats in total that require additional payment - naturally the airline will sell the whole capacity and if these seats are not sold they will allocate passengers to these seats (as 60 seats is approx 30% of the capacity of the plane). On the 4 flights I took last week I noticed that about 95% of these seats were free until ~2-3 hours before departure meaning that not many people actually paid for their seat. In the end the flights were all flights 95% full and lots of "touristy" looking folks were allocated to these seats (hence my suspection of a airport check-in etc..), including, but not limited to a group of six Russians who were seated in the emergency exit row and couldn't speak English which caused them to be swap seats with other people and therefore a delayed departure as this incident took about 20 minutes in total to explain why they need to change seats and reallocating all their belongings to other location.

And the pitch on regular rows is really awful, actually one of the worst I have ever encountered. Perhaps we should just start checking in only at the airport at last minute to get better change of being allocated to one of these seats at the front?

As the previous posters mentioned A3 usually uses bus gates at ATH and use both front and back for disembarkation so sitting just before emergency exit is actually slower to get out than sitting at the back.

A3, please make these "premium" seats available for elites at check-in or maybe at -24 hour mark!
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Old Nov 8, 18, 6:04 am
  #365  
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Originally Posted by Furry View Post
Small rant:
A3, please make these "premium" seats available for elites at check-in or maybe at -24 hour mark!
Please do make this rant official to their customer service. It seems that after a year (?) of this policy introduced by A3, they have not changed anything and the only thing that has happened is irritate their own Gold (and to an extend *G status holders).
Therefore again as I have said repeatedly, drop their customer service an email. I guess if no changes are seen further down the line on this in the coming months or year it is either
- this is not made aware to them by their most frequent flyers
- complains are being ignored as management is trying to hold out and still try and make as much money as possible

I would also recommend those that do suspect or even better if it is clear that these seats are all given out "free" at check-in to random passengers, make a rant to the FA's. Maybe they will add it to their report and see that their own loyal card holders are being penalized....

Cheers!
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Old Nov 9, 18, 2:50 am
  #366  
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Originally Posted by nldogbert View Post
Please do make this rant official to their customer service. It seems that after a year (?) of this policy introduced by A3, they have not changed anything and the only thing that has happened is irritate their own Gold (and to an extend *G status holders).
Therefore again as I have said repeatedly, drop their customer service an email. I guess if no changes are seen further down the line on this in the coming months or year it is either
- this is not made aware to them by their most frequent flyers
- complains are being ignored as management is trying to hold out and still try and make as much money as possible

I would also recommend those that do suspect or even better if it is clear that these seats are all given out "free" at check-in to random passengers, make a rant to the FA's. Maybe they will add it to their report and see that their own loyal card holders are being penalized....

Cheers!
I make sure I complain to A3 after EVERY flight now. Everybody doing this is the only way things will be changed.

Having said that, I flew A3/OA 22 times in 2017. So far in 2018 I have flown them only three times. That in itself tells a story and I point this statistic out to them with each complaint. Last week I flew SK instead and I sent them the image from the SK website showing how I could chose any SASGo seat, for free, at the time of booking. Keep complaining people!

For info: my recent DUB-ATH leg was the same experience as many have already described. At T-3hrs only 7 of the 60 paid-seats had been bought and, at that time, there were just four other free seats available - all middle-seats near the back. (I have a screenshot ready for the complaint I am about to write, hehe). At Check-in I asked very politely if, as a Gold, I might be moved to the front. The agent was very nice but he said they were undergoing an audit on that day so he couldn't, but otherwise he would have done. I don't know how much truth there is in that - it's a rather convenient excuse to use without annoying the pax. Onboard I think the front 10 rows were about 50% full, give or take.

One thing I've noticed is that on shorter (domestic) legs, the paid-seats seem to be taken up more often. One might think it's hardly worth paying for the extra 'comfort' on such a short journey but it must be the lower fee (2 euro rather than 8 Euro) that swings this. On my two recent ATH-CHQ-ATH flights, I'd say rows 1-10 were about 75% full even at T-48hr

Yet another data point (sorry for the long post), a friend with no status is flying CHQ-ATH tomorrow. When I checked her in, there were many (30+) free seats showing available and yet she has been allocated the exit row for free. Strange.

Last edited by Knobbgb; Nov 9, 18 at 3:31 am
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Old Nov 9, 18, 4:29 am
  #367  
 
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I am Aegean Gold. In domestic flight if rows 3 or 4 are free, I would prefer to book so I could have more space. The 2 euros I will pay, I will drink 2 Coca Cola at the lounge, or take a couple of water with me, so I get even with them.
When I do check in, the most common seat I get is somewhere infront, and the middle, again most common is B. So even if I get 3B and want to change to C, I must pay. I can't understand how their system works.
For international flights, I check in, and a couple of hours before the flight I control if there is a better seat available and the system gives it for free.
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Old Nov 13, 18, 12:38 am
  #368  
 
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There are even more confused situations happening with the new system: I was traveling with family in September on SPU-ATH-CHQ. At SPU check-in we were given row 5 seats for the second leg. At boarding in ATH the ground crew tried to force us to seat in the back since we didn't pay for the seats. As the situation was really embarrassing (the crew was almost yelling at us in front of the crowd) I gladly complained and after 2 minutes they "arranged the same seats for us".
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Old Nov 13, 18, 12:49 am
  #369  
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Originally Posted by Chr04 View Post
I am Aegean Gold. In domestic flight if rows 3 or 4 are free, I would prefer to book so I could have more space. The 2 euros I will pay, I will drink 2 Coca Cola at the lounge, or take a couple of water with me, so I get even with them.
.
But with me it's about the principle, not the 2 Euro cost! And on domestic legs I usually consume enough in the lounge to 'get even' for the whole cost of the flight!


At boarding in ATH the ground crew tried to force us to seat in the back since we didn't pay for the seats.
Wow, that really surprises me. Should a gate agent really be able to see into your booking to know how much you paid? Or why would they care so long as there wasn't a clash of seat allocation with someone else? Were the rest of the paid seats totally full? The cynical part of me thinks this was maybe some agent wanting to 'upgrade' their friends for free and you were in the way.
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Old Nov 13, 18, 6:35 am
  #370  
 
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I agree with Knobbgb that this is really weird. The BP is simply scanned when boarding and, to my knowledge, the info on it does not include payments, etc. Moreover, unless the scanner beeps (in which case thay might go check on their computer monitor), they have no way of knowing any "details". Finally "almost" yelling is a behaviour I've never encountered by either A3 (years ago) or Goldair ground agents. Strange!
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Old Nov 13, 18, 10:13 am
  #371  
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Originally Posted by Knobbgb View Post
Wow, that really surprises me. Should a gate agent really be able to see into your booking to know how much you paid? Or why would they care so long as there wasn't a clash of seat allocation with someone else? Were the rest of the paid seats totally full? The cynical part of me thinks this was maybe some agent wanting to 'upgrade' their friends for free and you were in the way.
They can see in the system if your preferred seat is Paid / Unpaid (seen it on my own when boarding at OTP )
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Old Nov 13, 18, 11:16 pm
  #372  
 
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Originally Posted by jonatan View Post
There are even more confused situations happening with the new system: I was traveling with family in September on SPU-ATH-CHQ. At SPU check-in we were given row 5 seats for the second leg. At boarding in ATH the ground crew tried to force us to seat in the back since we didn't pay for the seats. As the situation was really embarrassing (the crew was almost yelling at us in front of the crowd) I gladly complained and after 2 minutes they "arranged the same seats for us".
Originally Posted by GBobon View Post
They can see in the system if your preferred seat is Paid / Unpaid (seen it on my own when boarding at OTP )
I can confirm that GAs can see if one's seat has been paid for. A similar event happened to me some days ago.

Last week I was booked at the last minute on ARN-ATH. The colleague who was to travel to ATH couldn’t go since her child was admitted to the hospital. I was informed about it the previous evening, and only received my booking details that morning on my way to the airport. I was automatically assigned seat 5E. Normally I prefer window seats, but given the pitch on A3’s back seats, I would go for any seat that offers more legroom. At that point all window seats in rows 3 to 6 were already occupied, so I stayed with 5E and set alerts on expertflyer.

While in the lounge and about 45 mins before departure I received an alert that 4A was available. I attempted to purchase it (unlike ATH, seats do not become free before departure in ARN) but I got a message that my transaction could not be processed. When I tried again, check-in was no longer available, and expertflyer couldn’t project the seat map since it was “under airport control”.

At the gate my BP beeped red. At first I thought that I would be given a new BP for 4A but alas. The GA told me that I had selected a paid seat that I hadn’t paid for. The problem was that this was about 5E, not 4A, which was not available! I explained to him the situation but he was adamant that I needed to pay for my seat (“The system shows that you need to pay. It’s not up to me.”) In order not to cause a scene I asked to be moved to a free seat, but he informed me that it was a full flight, and there were no free seats available. When I said to him that I did not intend to pay for a middle seat that I was automatically assigned, his rude answer was “Then you are not flying” ("Då åker du inte"). Trying to keep my composure I simply replied that this was fine by me. After threatening me a couple more times that I would be left behind, and me ignoring him, he called his supervisor to whom I reiterated my situation. She finally checked me in and said that everything was fine, this was not my fault, and I didn’t need to pay anything (which is the closest thing to an apology one can get in the service sector in Sweden nowadays…).

No harm done in the end, but this was just another unnecessary "confused situation" caused by a sloppily designed (or sloppily implemented?) system...
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Old Nov 14, 18, 4:06 am
  #373  
 
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That's interesting - I wonder how this plays out with the strategy for changing to an upfront seat without paying, as mentioned further upthread.

I recently tried it and I indeed got an upfront window seat (I think 4A) in my electronic boarding pass on my flight VIE - ATH. However, at the gate they announced that there was an aircraft change (A321 instead of A320) and therefore lots of people got their seats changed. They also called my name and told me: Sir, there was an aircraft change and we have a new seat for you. Got the new boarding pass that showed.... 4A

And the flight was not full at all...
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Old Nov 14, 18, 7:36 am
  #374  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Currently I've got 4 flights booked on A3 (flights 841 and 7908 on the 23rd and 7901 and 840 on the 25th).

For all of them EF (the free version) is showing the majority of seats as blocked (not occupied) with only a handfull occupied seats. I can't access seat maps online or in the app since two flights were upgraded and the other two were waitlisted...

Is there a problem reporting data to expertflyer or are all the flights completely booked out in Y? Without seeing the seat map I'm loathe to call in regarding selecting a seat on the waitlisted segments

Last edited by frogster; Nov 14, 18 at 8:16 am Reason: typos
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Old Nov 14, 18, 7:54 am
  #375  
 
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Is it possible that EF (incorrectly) shows the paid seats as being blocked?
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