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Are Broken Legacy (White) F Seats on Airbus an Ongoing Issue? (Yes)

Are Broken Legacy (White) F Seats on Airbus an Ongoing Issue? (Yes)

Old Jul 7, 19, 12:18 am
  #1  
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Are Broken Legacy (White) F Seats on Airbus an Ongoing Issue? (Yes)

There was this little gem; [Rant] AS First Class Is a Bad Joke and I recently experienced broken F seats on BNA-SFO where both seats on the side I was sitting didn't move at all. FA tried to reset, no dice. On the SFO-BNA return (different tail number) the foot rest would come up and promptly fall down as soon as I put any weight on it.

Yes, yes, it's a #firstworldproblem and yet it's a problem. I paid a P class fare and I expect the seats to work, that's why I pay extra. Submitted a reply to "Alaska Listens" giving them the flight into and the seat numbers. Clicked the button that I would like to hear back. No one gives a ..... It's like they know that I may not make 75K this year.

I get that there is not a lot of enthusiasm for fixing seats that are about to be ripped out and yet I feel no small amount of resentment about this situation.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 2:08 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by MeanwhileBackAtFAI View Post
There was this little gem; [Rant] AS First Class Is a Bad Joke and I recently experienced broken F seats on BNA-SFO where both seats on the side I was sitting didn't move at all. FA tried to reset, no dice. On the SFO-BNA return (different tail number) the foot rest would come up and promptly fall down as soon as I put any weight on it.

Yes, yes, it's a #firstworldproblem and yet it's a problem. I paid a P class fare and I expect the seats to work, that's why I pay extra. Submitted a reply to "Alaska Listens" giving them the flight into and the seat numbers. Clicked the button that I would like to hear back. No one gives a ..... It's like they know that I may not make 75K this year.

I get that there is not a lot of enthusiasm for fixing seats that are about to be ripped out and yet I feel no small amount of resentment about this situation.
How long ago did you send your reply to Alaska Listens? I am not sure those are high priority. You could also call and talk to them or freehand an email and send it off to [email protected] With the latter, you will get an auto-reply with a reference number that will keep all subsequent communication bundled together.

At least the seat was still useable! lol. On my last VX flight the seat beside me had a "do not use" sign taped to it. The functionality of the seat is less important to me. The filthiness is much more of a concern.

James
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Old Jul 7, 19, 9:43 am
  #3  
 
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This seems to be a super common complaint. I totally avoid the Airbus fleet until all the new interiors are installed (sometime in 2023).
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Old Jul 7, 19, 10:41 am
  #4  
 
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This has happened to us , more often this year. . FA in First has the ability to compensate you directly while still in flight. We had issues with seat and IFE . FA tried to help and we both gave up.
I mentioned that I would have to contact customer care for some type of compensation. “ last time this happened, I was given $25 discount code to our mileage accounts”. FA took my hint and showed me how he is able to do it with his onboard device. Codes were in account upon landing. I believe he used Good Samaritan ($25) code.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 11:44 am
  #5  
 
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Unfortunately, this is common and well-documented. AS has stopped making complicated repairs on pre-refurb seats. Back in April, a senior GA said 10% of former VX metal had broken seats that AS is declining to repair. AS has also stopped with the basic leather conditioning that is required to keep the high-quality VX leather clean. I've seen some passengers use the F blanket to cover their very dirty seat.

Here are my previous posts on the topic.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30958994-post164.html

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31026185-post58.html

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31038202-post163.html
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Old Jul 7, 19, 12:02 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by jjmadison View Post
Unfortunately, this is common and well-documented. AS has stopped making complicated repairs on pre-refurb seats. Back in April, a senior GA said 10% of former VX metal had broken seats that AS is declining to repair. AS has also stopped with the basic leather conditioning that is required to keep the high-quality VX leather clean. I've seen some passengers use the F blanket to cover their very dirty seat.

Here are my previous posts on the topic.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30958994-post164.html

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31026185-post58.html

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31038202-post163.html
This is really unacceptable, given that 80% of the Airbus fleet still have these legacy VX seats. It also irritates me greatly that they replaced seats on four of the newest A321neos, instead of prioritizing older A320s. Broken seats make it harder for flight attendants to deliver high quality service when they are forced to deal with pax unhappy with their broken seats. I’ve been on one plane that had a do not occupy sign on one seat, which really sucks when you only have 8 F seats to begin with.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 2:10 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by pcoll View Post
This has happened to us , more often this year. . FA in First has the ability to compensate you directly while still in flight. We had issues with seat and IFE . FA tried to help and we both gave up.
I mentioned that I would have to contact customer care for some type of compensation. “ last time this happened, I was given $25 discount code to our mileage accounts”. FA took my hint and showed me how he is able to do it with his onboard device. Codes were in account upon landing. I believe he used Good Samaritan ($25) code.
FYI - do not take the onboard compensation!

Customer Care is authorized to give higher amounts and several weeks ago I wrote in with an almost identical situation to yours.

End result - (2) x $100 for each pax on I fares. SEA-SFO
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Old Jul 7, 19, 7:22 pm
  #8  
 
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Same situation on my flight last week from LAX to ORD. The 2D seat (my preferred seat) failed to recline and the FA has to manually maneuver. After two times I just stopped. I like eating In The upright position so he had to adjust me back up. Prior to this I had to literally roll out of the seat which was reclined with leg rest up before being able to go to the restroom.

I wrote a comment in Alaska listens and gave the worst rating for the services (but excellent for the people). No response, I suspect Alaska “listens” but didn’t communicate with me that they received.

This is a huge reason why I don’t prefer window seats. If my seat would have been reclined the FA would have been awkwardly positioned to manually recline my seat and I would not have been quite as elegant In Rolling out of my seat to go to bathroom.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 7:33 pm
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Seems like AS is getting an extraordinarily easy pass on this handing out $25-$100 comps for selling tickets into equipment they have intentionally disregarded needed and known maintenance. JFK/EWR-SFO are 6 hour block time flights where AS is already running distinctly inferior equipment every single other carrier in J; it needs to work.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 9:15 pm
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Originally Posted by sltlyamusd View Post


This is really unacceptable, given that 80% of the Airbus fleet still have these legacy VX seats. It also irritates me greatly that they replaced seats on four of the newest A321neos, instead of prioritizing older A320s. Broken seats make it harder for flight attendants to deliver high-quality service when they are forced to deal with pax unhappy with their broken seats. I’ve been on one plane that had a do not occupy sign on one seat, which really sucks when you only have 8 F seats to begin with.
I agree it's unacceptable and irritating. The fact is, AS management is fully aware of this problem and has made a strategic decision to leave their F product in disrepair. After this happened to me 2x earlier this year and I subsequently learned of management's official position of not repairing VX seats until cabin replacement occurs, I stopped flying AS when corporate pays for F.

I know from gate agents and flight crew friends that they are also frustrated by this. It puts them in a terrible position with Alaska's higher paying customers and they are left absorbing customer frustration (which would wear on anyone over time).

It's like seeing a once-beautiful sports car that's never had regular maintenance and is a clunker as a result, or a mangy dog whose owner clearly neglects it. It's tragic and makes you want to step in. A little regular maintenance and care would go a long way.

Last edited by jjmadison; Jul 7, 19 at 9:21 pm
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Old Jul 7, 19, 9:53 pm
  #11  
 
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The first two times I flew in the VX 1st seats was pre-Alaska purchase and one time mine did not work and the VX FA had to return it to it's upright position. The Second trip my daughter was seated next to me and if I recall correctly her seat was completely non-functioning. I liked VX. I like Alaska. These seats have been an issue for a long time and I personally was never a fan of the "big white seat". Others, including many business friends, swear by the darn things and still miss VX....to each their own.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by rowsign View Post
The first two times I flew in the VX 1st seats was pre-Alaska purchase and one time mine did not work and the VX FA had to return it to it's upright position. The Second trip my daughter was seated next to me and if I recall correctly her seat was completely non-functioning. I liked VX. I like Alaska. These seats have been an issue for a long time and I personally was never a fan of the "big white seat". Others, including many business friends, swear by the darn things and still miss VX....to each their own.
Sure, the (former) white seats take a little getting used to, and yes they do have issues now and then (like any luxury item with 100+ moving parts), but that's manageable with regular service. Most of the reclining issues can be fixed with a little lubricant and sometimes a new motor swapped in quickly by someone familiar with the seat design. A specialized seat mechanic was on call in each airport, even east coast outposts (so yes, extra cost, but anyone buying the VX fleet had to know this was required for those fancy seats). My understanding from GAs is those mechanics have since been let go, which is a contributing factor to seats being left broken.

For frequent fliers, features such as the back massager (controls hidden in armrest), adjustable lumbar support, custom-moldable headrest (a big deal for those of us over 6 feet looking to snooze), and extra-long footrest with enough room, even in the bulkhead, are valuable features worth paying a premium for. As a bit of a clean-freak, it's the dirt and grime on the leather that bothers me the most. I haven't yet resorted to putting the blanket on top of the seat, but will probably start doing that. I am tempted to bring some of the leather wipes I have for my BMW which would remove some of the unsightly discoloration, but I'm betting the last year of neglect has left the leather permanently damaged and beyond easy repair.

Since fleet interior refurbs are continuing to lag behind schedule, I'd advise anyone flying AS F on an airbus series to be prepared for issues.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 2:31 pm
  #13  
 
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Obviously, the letdown is biggest when you're flying in F and something is broken... but if you're flying in a non-refurb airbus in any seat, you should be expecting something to do be broken. My flight last week, I think half the interior was held together with tape.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 3:07 pm
  #14  
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I didn’t notice any speed tape in the cabin on N843VA SEA-IAD last Sun night, but the wifi was inop ... will be curious to see the state of the jet when I return on Fri
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Old Jul 9, 19, 5:59 pm
  #15  
 
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The footrests are the best thing ever if you have short legs.

Two upgrades ago my seat mate in 1D had a non-reclining seat and the FS tried to adjust it manually.

When available and operational those those seats are the best.

It it would be very disappointing indeed to be flying upfront in a malfunctioning seat.
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