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PSA: Beware booking Row 3 on new A319/320 First Class

PSA: Beware booking Row 3 on new A319/320 First Class

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Old Feb 1, 19, 9:13 pm
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PSA: Beware booking Row 3 on new A319/320 First Class

I was booked on apparently the 1 reconfigured Virgin bird out of LAX today. Got upgraded several days prior but didn't check seat until check-in, row 3. All good until an equipment swap.

Flight was changed to the normal Virgin layout and AS merely took all row 3 folks and placed them into coach. In my case, a middle seat. As a 75k Million I wasn't too thrilled about it. Not as much the downgrade but the end result.

Spoke with AS Customer Service on phone before departure and just clueless service. Submitted my situation to someone else to determine response. Way to empower your people.

Couple of thoughts...before you reply I should've just booked First to begin, dude on phone said it was an automated process where everyone in row 3 was reseated in coach. So potentially someone in row 3 who bought a F fare was sent to the back. And if you're going to downgrade F passengers, find them better seats. Take some lackey out of a window or aisle who has no FF account or status and move them to a center seat. To me pretty simple customer service but apparently lost on AS...

Anyway, best to avoid a row 3 in first class on Airbus for many months until they're uniform to avoid swaps and automatic downgrades.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 9:37 pm
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Isn't this the same thing that happens when a 739 is switched to a 738? I avoid row 4 for that reason, too.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 9:43 pm
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Thanks for the heads up! Knowing AS is a "minor leaguer" pretending to play in the big league, I am not surprised to see how they handle the situation depicted by you. But before we all condemn AS' actions and dish our negative judgement to AS (well at least mine), I am curious what the Big 3 would do in situations like this (aircraft swap last minute, resulting in less F seats, and have to bump F pax to coach, including diehard elites, but especially paid F pax) They might have no other alternatives but did the same way AS did. Can anybody share some experiences on other airlines with us? Thanks!
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Old Feb 1, 19, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by BW Flyer View Post
Thanks for the heads up! Knowing AS is a "minor leaguer" pretending to play in the big league, I am not surprised to see how they handle the situation depicted by you. But before we all condemn AS' actions and dish our negative judgement to AS (well at least mine), I am curious what the Big 3 would do in situations like this (aircraft swap last minute, resulting in less F seats, and have to bump F pax to coach, including diehard elites, but especially paid F pax) They might have no other alternatives but did the same way AS did. Can anybody share some experiences on other airlines with us? Thanks!

UA offers to rebook you on any available F seat on another flight, or refunds the fare difference between the fare paid and the lowest published fare available on the date of purchase or a refund of the upgrade price (miles/cash/certificate). In addition, UA also offers a $200-500 certificate based on flight length as compensation.

I think the biggest difference is that GAs are empowered to hand out the $200-$500 certificate on the spot, as well as rebook into any available inventory (and UA has a lot more options to rebook passengers on, with 6 hubs). During an F oversell situation, I was even endorsed from UA to LH (FRA-IAD) once, and my girlfriend has been endorsed over from UA to AS during a domestic F oversell situation to get her home in her booked class of service on time. That goes a long way towards smoothing over the situation on the ground. Then, the refund of fare difference/upgrade happens later to make the customer whole.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 11:59 pm
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Given that this a n=1 situation right now, Iím surprised they arenít blocking row 3 on a the reconfigured aircraft until the day of departure.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 12:21 am
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1128? My 1129 today got switched too.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 3:25 pm
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I sure hope they fix this as this will be an issue for more than a few years.....the 2 months of the PC renumbering was painful to say the least.....
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Old Feb 2, 19, 3:38 pm
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Right on. Exactly what AS should be doing. Pretty basic stuff.

When DL was taking the 320 down from NW's F16 to F12 and then back up again to F16, both times they had a period where all 320 flights were capped at 12.

Originally Posted by sltlyamusd View Post
Given that this a n=1 situation right now, Iím surprised they arenít blocking row 3 on a the reconfigured aircraft until the day of departure.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 4:50 pm
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I'm guessing the fault isn't exactly customer service. It's an open secret that Alaska has some of the worst IT in the industry - likely customer service is not allowed to move pax and once the switch is done (by an automated process) their hands are tied, i.e. you called in with a coach ticket, and an agent can't just push you up to first or re-arrange the cabin for you.

Still, it's something they should be able to handle better.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 6:01 pm
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Exactly why in October LAX-ORD i booked row 2.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 7:19 pm
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But did u get your chocolate or free drink and a digi player? Kidding aside this was rough and I’m not sure how I would have personally handled this situation.

I go out of my way to only choose a last row FC seat if the only other choice is 1C or 1D
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Old Feb 3, 19, 1:47 am
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Originally Posted by KnownasEric View Post
I'm guessing the fault isn't exactly customer service. It's an open secret that Alaska has some of the worst IT in the industry - likely customer service is not allowed to move pax and once the switch is done (by an automated process) their hands are tied, i.e. you called in with a coach ticket, and an agent can't just push you up to first or re-arrange the cabin for you.

Still, it's something they should be able to handle better.
Eh, don’t think that’s true. Very recently - like last week - I was upgrade to Premium Class on an FAISEA flight then about an hour before takeoff saw I was downgraded to regular economy. Called AS asked what’s up, turns out I was upgraded to First at some point, removed from first and put back in regular economy and back on the Premium upgrade list. AS fixed everything and put me back in my first class seat in a full cabin. It took less than 10 minutes. I don’t think a US3 carrier would have done that.
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Old Feb 3, 19, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by MAH4546 View Post


Eh, donít think thatís true. Very recently - like last week - I was upgrade to Premium Class on an FAISEA flight then about an hour before takeoff saw I was downgraded to regular economy. Called AS asked whatís up, turns out I was upgraded to First at some point, removed from first and put back in regular economy and back on the Premium upgrade list. AS fixed everything and put me back in my first class seat in a full cabin. It took less than 10 minutes. I donít think a US3 carrier would have done that.
If you mean that you don't think a US3 carrier would have such terrible IT that this type of situation would arise, I'd somewhat agree, although all the CRSs have bugs. If you mean that you don't think a US3 would have reinstated your F seat (with F available) after an invol downgrade, then I completely disagree.

As Channa would say, a lot of AS' reputation of having "great customer service" is PNW customers having unnecessarily low expectations, allowing AS to easily exceed them. In the rest of the country, customers would be complaining about the crap IT that caused 10 minutes wasted on the phone, even after the satisfactory resolution of the problem.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 3:05 pm
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Been reading about this problem with AS a lot. I have an upcoming flight departing MCO on 739. I am in row 3, should I have any concern? I am guessing it wont be switched to a smaller aircraft, prime route and it will be one of the spring break weeks.

Row 1 is open but I am not a fan of bulkhead seats usually.

Thanks
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Old Feb 4, 19, 3:14 pm
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I feel that we have seen this movie already so we know how it ends.
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