Saver fares and switching seats

Old Aug 30, 19, 10:41 am
  #31  
 
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Not directly related, but I have my first Saver fare coming up and I was wondering what the optimal check in strategy is. On Delta, I know you want to wait until the last possible second to check in. Is Alaska the same or does it not really matter?
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Old Aug 30, 19, 12:44 pm
  #32  
 
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I wouldn't recommend trying to be the last person to check in; from AS policy on Overbooked flights:
In addition to our volunteer program, we have invested in sophisticated computer systems that forecast passenger loads, which reduces the number of customers who are involuntarily denied boarding. When a volunteer is not found, we will deny boarding to the last customer(s) who checked in on time. Monetary compensation, as outlined below, is offered on Alaska Airlines flights. These amounts are predetermined by the DOT regulations established for all major US airlines.
Involuntary bumps aren't exactly common but if getting to your destination on-time as planned is important for this trip, I'd recommend checking in early and not rolling the dice.
I don't know if check-in time is the only factor (I'd hope elite status comes into play) but being on a Saver Fare certainly can't help the situation
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Old Aug 30, 19, 1:23 pm
  #33  
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Even considering the (small) IDB risk, I would be interested in whether there's a seat-assignment advantage to checking in late. Say, 1 hour prior to departure (as you're about to enter the security queue, for example) instead of at T-24.

My only experience with a basic economy type fare is on United. I've flown once as a family of four, where they assigned all four of us together in E- about 48 hours prior to departure, but then the GA moved us all to E+ (without our asking for it) at the gate. The second time I was again assigned a seat 48 hours prior to departure, an E+ middle, and the GA moved me to E+ aisle. (For that one, I politely asked and wouldn't have grumbled if she'd said no.) This is with UA Silver status...basically like a base-level MVP.
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Old Aug 30, 19, 1:33 pm
  #34  
 
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IDB risk is small I agree. I guess what I'd do is check the seating chart just ahead of the T-24 window on AS or EF. I guess the logic would work something like:
- If the flight is looking very full, but there's some random single seats towards the front (probably middles) then if you check in late, I guess your odds of getting assigned one of those seats increases.
- If the flight is only moderately full, then odds are they're going to stick you the Saver section at the back... but maybe you can select between Saver seats at that time and at least grab a window or aisle? (I think? You can select within the Saver group, right?)

Anyway, let us know how the brave experiment of flying Saver works out I've not yet been willing to try it in the name of science.
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Old Aug 30, 19, 2:09 pm
  #35  
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On a recent flight there was an a/c swap from an A320 to A319.

There was a family that ended up like popcorn due to this. The agent first mentioned they were in saver, so tough luck. When the pax informed the GA they had been seated together until the swap, she asked for a couple other folks to help rearrange some of the family.
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Old Aug 30, 19, 2:25 pm
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Since there are essentially 3 levels of seating in coach now it seems to me that it should be
- if all members of your party are seated in PE then it is ok for a GA or FA to ask if swapping of seats could occur in that section.
- if all members of your party are seated in main cabin (not saver and not PE) then it is ok for a GA or FA to ask if swapping of seats could occur in that section
- if all members of your party are seated in Saver fare seats then it is ok for a GA or FA to ask if swapping of seats could occur in that section
(asking does not mean you must swap)
What is not ok is to ask someone from PE to move back to main or saver seats without at the very least tried to maintain the seating of the other passengers choices (which can often be a cost difference). I am not sure why it is ok for a passenger to pay for a PE seat and then be required to move to the back in favor of someone that did not pay for that section. It does cost more to fly with others, there is no way around that.
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Old Aug 30, 19, 7:24 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by QT31415 View Post
Small rant- the last few flights I’ve taken have been preceded by requests from gate agents for me (single traveler) to trade seats for “families with children” who need to sit together. At first I assumed it was last minute ticketing that kept them from sitting as they wanted, but after overhearing the last family, I suspect that they’ve taken advantage of the new saver fares to not preassign their seats. I just gave up 6D for 22B and am not happy about it, but the alternative was sitting beside a young mother with an infant and a toddler and feeling guilty the whole flight.

Whats your response to seat trade requests? Ive also traded for families to sit together in the past only to have the parent sit in my premium seat and the child remain with another family member elsewhere. Usually I’m mild mannered but I think I need to set boundaries....
I'd not give up PE for back of the bus, but I'd willing swap if I was back of the bus.

If someone knowingly purchased the most inexpensive seats, why should they be surprised that they will be sitting in the middle, getting on last, and have no overhead space? But also if you are responsible parent/human being you'd also not try to take advantage of the system, nor should you travel seperated from your children even up to teen age, but that is just my opinion
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Old Sep 17, 19, 7:47 pm
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
Just say no, without guilt or remorse.

When planning travel, families should budget airfare just like lodging, meals and activities. This means selecting fares that allow everyone in the party to sit together. Airfares are at all time lows (adjusted for inflation), airline credit cards bring additional savings (free checked bags, companion passes). If the incremental cost to reserve seats in advance exceeds the budget, then consider another location, shorter trip, or leave the kids home with family - my wife and I tended to favor the latter when our kids were young.

What's next: families demanding free upgrades to minivans or premium SUVs when renting sub-compact cars? 2 bedroom suites when booking a standard room with one double bed?

I had a situation where a couple with a "lap child" (kid was definitely over 2 years old) somehow talked there way at the gate in to first class on a flight KOA-SAN a few years back, mother attempted to bully me in to moving to row 1 - bulkhead - not going to happen ("you were a kid once"). Prior to departure, I spoke with the ground supervisor, voiced my concern, mother refused the offered of an empty row (3 adjacent seats) in Y+. Kid was disruptive during the entire flight, miserable experience for the parents - I enjoyed 3 movies on the tablet, wearing noise reduction headphones. Wrote about the experience to Alaska Listens, received a voucher worth approximately half of my first class ticket.
Absolutely right on this!

I buy specific seats (more expensive) because I am 6'5" tall and being in the back is miserable that I will almost pay anything to not have to do it.

I take personal responsibility for my situation and deal with it. I do not expect someone shorter than me to move from a seat with more legroom. I often feel that expectations are changing for the worse these days.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 4:07 am
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by nearlysober View Post
I wouldn't recommend trying to be the last person to check in; from AS policy on Overbooked flights:

Involuntary bumps aren't exactly common but if getting to your destination on-time as planned is important for this trip, I'd recommend checking in early and not rolling the dice.
I don't know if check-in time is the only factor (I'd hope elite status comes into play) but being on a Saver Fare certainly can't help the situation
To an extent check in time is the ONLY factor. Before that comes seat assignments. If you have a Pre-reserved seat and check in 20 seconds before the cut off, 99% of the time you’ll be fine. If you don’t have a seat assignment at check in and none are available (blocked seats, overbooked, etc) you get put on a list that is sorted by check in time. At this point fare and status mean nothing. There’s a line for seats and you’re at the back of it.

As for waiting to check in on a saver fare in hopes to be seated together, this does nothing except put you lower on that list if you don’t have seat assignments yet. Saver fares include the warning that they are not recommended for groups of two or more. To buy the ticket you must acknowledge that, and for large groups that want to be seated together, they should be aware of the restrictions or purchase a fare that includes seat assignments that meet their needs.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 11:53 am
  #40  
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Originally Posted by brettsir View Post
... Saver fares include the warning that they are not recommended for groups of two or more. To buy the ticket you must acknowledge that, and for large groups that want to be seated together, they should be aware of the restrictions or purchase a fare that includes seat assignments that meet their needs.
in the rush to buy the cheap (Saver) fares when they’re available, that’s all well and good ... the problem arises at the airport, weeks or months later, when the pax have most likely forgotten about those restrictions

I know I delete the “Get ready for your trip to XXX” emails that generally show up a week or so before departure without opening them, but they might be a good mechanism to remind people who have Saver tix about the seating restrictions ... a big bold red reminder during the OLCI process as a memory jogger wouldn’t hurt either
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