No more select seating for FB Golds?

Old Feb 25, 06, 5:43 am
  #1  
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No more select seating for FB Golds?

Upon calling KLM early this morning for seat assignments on an AMS - ORD I was again given reason to celebrate the fact I'm stupid enough to keep booking this airline. This was the first day seat assignments were possible for this flight, I know the drill, I call early (07.00) and have always been able to get one of the few tolerable coach seats. I was told this morning that all of the exit rows (naturally) and all of the 2 seaters (DE) in the first coach cabin on this 747 combi were blocked. No explanation, just blocked. OK Plats I agree you should have some extra priveleges but blocking ALL of the DE seats is something new. Last year I was definitely able to book these seats. Has anyone else experienced this? I was also told "they have a lot of Gold customers" - so much for making you feel special!
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Old Feb 25, 06, 5:52 am
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There are two possibilities.... either you were talking to an agent who didn't know they job (KLM have quite a few of those), or they have really made a change.

If it's the latter then I wish they had the decency to tell us - they always shout loudly about the tiniest "enhancement" but when they take privileges away from us they try to sweep things under the carpet.
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Old Feb 25, 06, 7:43 am
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I am not sure which reservations desk you spoke with but I just booked two trips to IAH with KLM and was given my prefered select seat on all four segments. I asked the agent as well about an eventual change in this policy and was told that to her knowledge this FB Gold/Plat benefit will not change.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 3:25 am
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix
There are two possibilities.... either you were talking to an agent who didn't know they job (KLM have quite a few of those), or they have really made a change.
Definitely a good chance that the agent you talked to didn't know what they were doing.

Standard Customer Coping Operating Procedure is:

HANG UP AND CALL AGAIN.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 3:46 am
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Originally Posted by Klm is Dead - Long Live KLM
Definitely a good chance that the agent you talked to didn't know what they were doing.

Standard Customer Coping Operating Procedure is:

HANG UP AND CALL AGAIN.
I've called three times now at various times of the day. Same situation. All DE seats in the front coach cabin are blocked. The third rep also thought it was strange and checked with colleagues, but blocked they remain. What a difference it makes dealing with a Continental booking where you select your seats at the time of reservation. This playing games with the KL res crew is truly for the birds!
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Old Feb 26, 06, 3:50 am
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Originally Posted by BJinHolland
I've called three times now at various times of the day. Same situation. All DE seats in the front coach cabin are blocked. The third rep also thought it was strange and checked with colleagues, but blocked they remain. What a difference it makes dealing with a Continental booking where you select your seats at the time of reservation. This playing games with the KL res crew is truly for the birds!
If you are flying on NW metal you can ask for the NW number from the KL reservation and then reserve them online.

Sounds like KL just took another step in the direction of Nigerian Airways...


Pity.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 4:42 am
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Could it perhaps be that someone just screwed up for this particular flight?

I came across something like that once, some years ago... where it turned out that someone had pressed a wrong button which resulted in the select seating section getting blocked off completely - instead of being restricted to Elites, which of course is what should have happened.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 4:48 am
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The problem is that not all reservations agents/counter staff have sufficient access rights to allocate these seats.
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Old Feb 26, 06, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by Klm is Dead - Long Live KLM
If you are flying on NW metal you can ask for the NW number from the KL reservation and then reserve them online.

Sounds like KL just took another step in the direction of Nigerian Airways...


Pity.
The KL number now works on the NW site as well

Edited to correct my bad spelling
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Old Mar 2, 06, 3:55 am
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Originally Posted by ben20
The problem is that not all reservations agents/counter staff have sufficient access rights to allocate these seats.
Supervisor access is required. KLM policy is a bit of a mystery in this respect. For example, Crown Lounge agents at Schiphol do not have supervisor access, whereas all ticket and check-in agents at outstations apparently do.

Johan
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Old Mar 3, 06, 8:53 pm
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Preferred seating

Iīve had quite a bit of trouble with trying to get my preferred seat, on several occasions.

I fly AMS-GRU, GRU-AMS quite a lot, and always try to get a seat on a specific row (itīs a 777).

KLM agents in Holland (on this number: +31 2047 47 747) frequently inform me that the row that I want on my particular flight, is not available. This is a mantra for them. I always get this answer.

However.

I discovered one time that by checking in online 30 hours prior to my flight, I would get my preferred seat that was denied to me earlier my the KLM agent!

Why was I not offered this seat on the phone?

Also, an agent on the Flying Blue Contact phone, told me (on a later flight) that on his computers my preferred row was blocked, but that it was blocked, and perhaps not actually occupied.

In other words, he suggests that KLMs own agents do not know the difference between a blocked seat and an occupied seat.

Either that, or they refuse their Elite members their preferred seat.

This same agent advised me to go to my towns airport (sic) - BGO - and talk to the KLM handling agents there. They would be able to place me on my preferred seat, not him.

Now...am I crazy, or is this a very idiotic system? Why on earth canīt KLM agents in Holland see which rows are free and actually place me on a good seat (being a gold member)? Why do I have to get my car and drive to the airport in order to get my seat?

Iīm flying out of GRU this Wednesday, and talked to another agent in Holland. Today they told me (again) that my preferred row was OCCUPIED - something I doubt, itīs just that they canīt tell the difference between a blocked seat and an occupied seat. But - get this - they offered me select seating, seeing as I was an Elite member.

Sounds great, doesnīt it? Select seating.

However the select seating is in a row with no apparent benefits, other than being in front of economy...

The row I want, is still blocked for me.

What is going on?
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Old Mar 4, 06, 1:04 am
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This same agent advised me to go to my towns airport (sic) - BGO - and talk to the KLM handling agents there. They would be able to place me on my preferred seat, not him.
I was given similar idiotic advice a few weeks ago when online check-in didn't work (this was just after it stopped working for France, and we hadn't yet been told). The agent suggested I should phone NCE Airport to get checked in for my flight.

I really don't think they train them properly any more...
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Old Mar 4, 06, 7:13 am
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Talking

Ok I've asked one of my KL sources from Schiphol Airport:

In the reservations system, agents can reserve seats (of course always subject to changes for operational/safety reasons!). With a regular agent code they can assign only regular seats, so no exit rows and no "select seating area" seats. UNLESS the passenger is GE/PE, then the select seating seats open up and they can allocate them.
The exception is certain exit row seats in the select seating area (like row 9 on the 747), these are available for GE/PE, other exit row seats are issued by the airport only.
A supervisor code entitles the agent to see and allocate more, but not all seats.
The remainder of the seats are "airport-reserved seats" that can only be issued in the check-in system.

In the check-in system there is a similar approach.
A seat is either:
1) available to all passengers,
2) a "select seat" available only to PE/GE/full-fare economy
3) reserved during a reservation
4) blocked

ad 2) select seating seats are marked with a $ in the seat map. Regular agents cannot assign them to other passengers. Those agents with a supervisor code can allocate them to anyone but the system will show that a "non-entitled passenger" is on the seat.
ad 4) blocked seats like the exit rows and sometimes seats at cradle positions, can be blocked by a supervisor, only a supervisor can release them. They are marked with a Z in the seat map.

It took me 20 minutes to understand this all, hope it makes sense!
It there are any KL agents reading this, please correct if I have made an error in the above.
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Old Mar 4, 06, 9:26 am
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Originally Posted by jetfan
The exception is certain exit row seats in the select seating area (like row 9 on the 747), these are available for GE/PE, other exit row seats are issued by the airport only.
A supervisor code entitles the agent to see and allocate more, but not all seats.
The remainder of the seats are "airport-reserved seats" that can only be issued in the check-in system.
Great job, jetfan! I think I understand now. Thanks for talking to your contact and writing the post!

I think my only sentiments now is that the select seating KLM offers their Elite members, is not good enough seeing as some of the best seats in the particular airplane I fly a lot (777) are not availible on the phone while booking the ticket, but does beconme available 30 hours prior to departure (via internet check-in) - to everyone!

Of course I can talk to handling agents on out-stations, but thereīs a lot of hassle involved with this. I donīt understand why the KLM agents on the phone canīt place me in my preferred seat straight away.

WHY are so many good seats blocked, only to be assigned by airport staff?
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Old Mar 4, 06, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by Peer
WHY are so many good seats blocked, only to be assigned by airport staff?
I would guess that it is policy to give as much flexibility as possible to airline staff at the airport as they have to deal with last minute changes and other operational issues. This is probably also why I need to go to the reservation desks at the airport to upgrade my travel agent issued full fare economy coach tickets to business class and pay the fare difference there, something the airline staff accessible by phone are not empowered to do.
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