Re-accommodated by AS from 6A to a middle seat

Old Aug 26, 19, 12:59 am
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Angry Re-accommodated by AS from 6A to a middle seat

When I checked in to a flight this evening I was moved from 6A to a middle seat on the same flight. When I inquired with AS they said it was for someone with a service animal.

I know you can be moved in 6B and C if someone with a disability needs the seats, which I fully understand. However, is it common practice to be moved from 6A for a service animal? It appears AS doesn't view giving me a middle seat as problem. I specifically booked this flight over others because 6A was open.

Also to add to my confusion, someone on the upgrade lists shows being upgraded to 6A?

I am having second thoughts about my loyalty to AS but wanted to make sure I was being fair to AS before deciding if I want to move on.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 3:45 am
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Originally Posted by 737fan1 View Post
When I checked in to a flight this evening I was moved from 6A to a middle seat on the same flight. When I inquired with AS they said it was for someone with a service animal.

I know you can be moved in 6B and C if someone with a disability needs the seats, which I fully understand. However, is it common practice to be moved from 6A for a service animal? It appears AS doesn't view giving me a middle seat as problem. I specifically booked this flight over others because 6A was open.

Also to add to my confusion, someone on the upgrade lists shows being upgraded to 6A?

I am having second thoughts about my loyalty to AS but wanted to make sure I was being fair to AS before deciding if I want to move on.
I wouldn't say it is common. What middle seat did they move you to? Downgraded to Main? Did you pay additional for the Premium seat? Upgraded to Premium? What fare class were you flying on? What is your Elite Status? Were you moved before or after boarding? Who gave you your updated boarding pass? Was it the gate agent or the FA that moved you? Were you the only passenger moved or were 6B and/or 6C also reaccommodated? Was 6B and/or 6C already assigned to passengers with disabilities or mobility issues. Did you contact AS to express your concern? If so, what was the outcome? No seat is guaranteed and anyone can be moved for operational reasons, even from F. Was the passenger with the service animal traveling alone or with someone else also offering assistance?

It is hard to comment when the question appears to be one-sided and not all the facts are disclosed.

James
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Old Aug 26, 19, 5:33 am
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Missing some detail.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by 737fan1 View Post
I specifically booked this flight over others because 6A was open.
Even without more information, this was clearly a poor decision on your part. When you select 6A, you are prompted that you may be moved to accommodate someone with disabilities, ie. there isn't a 100% guarantee of sitting there even if you select the seat.

I've selected flights simply because 2A was available for example, but in this case, you picked a flight based on the availability of a seat which AS has every right to move you from.


Edited to redact inaccurate information.

Last edited by RAD_PDX; Aug 26, 19 at 8:49 am
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Old Aug 26, 19, 8:30 am
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Originally Posted by RAD_PDX View Post
Even without more information, this was clearly a poor decision on your part. When you select 6A, you are prompted that you may be moved to accommodate someone with disabilities, ie. there isn't a 100% guarantee of sitting there even if you select the seat.

I've selected flights simply because 2A was available for example, but in this case, you picked a flight based on the availability of a seat which AS has every right to move you from.
Uh...thats an inaccurate statement. 6B/C provides that warning, 6A is not a seat reserved for someone with disabilities. If the upgrade processor specifically shows that someone was upgraded into 6A as well, I most definitely would be having a long and hard discussion with AS about compensation, especially if you paid for that seat. I really wish people would stop being this submissive to airlines with the attitude of well..as long as you are on the plane that is all that matters. It's the only real industry I know of where we allow this happen. Doesn't happen at concerts, theaters, never had it happen on Amtrak. You pay for a seat, it should be yours. The only folks that should be subject to this game of musical chairs is those on Saver Fares, or those with very specific circumstances. And I'm sorry, but if you have a disability, that is on you to alert the airline when you book your ticket, not at the gate, and expect the airline to inconvenience others. The airlines have a far greater chance to make sure everyone involved is happy far in advance. And for the love of god...I really wish we had a national certification body for service animals. I love my dog, but this level of I have to have him on the plane in any manner possible is getting crazy. I've seen so many dogs on the plane lately that were "Service" animals, that by the very lack of training and behavior were not. /End rant
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Old Aug 26, 19, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by rune87 View Post
Uh...thats an inaccurate statement. 6B/C provides that warning, 6A is not a seat reserved for someone with disabilities. If the upgrade processor specifically shows that someone was upgraded into 6A as well, I most definitely would be having a long and hard discussion with AS about compensation, especially if you paid for that seat. I really wish people would stop being this submissive to airlines with the attitude of well..as long as you are on the plane that is all that matters. It's the only real industry I know of where we allow this happen. Doesn't happen at concerts, theaters, never had it happen on Amtrak. You pay for a seat, it should be yours. The only folks that should be subject to this game of musical chairs is those on Saver Fares, or those with very specific circumstances. And I'm sorry, but if you have a disability, that is on you to alert the airline when you book your ticket, not at the gate, and expect the airline to inconvenience others. The airlines have a far greater chance to make sure everyone involved is happy far in advance. And for the love of god...I really wish we had a national certification body for service animals. I love my dog, but this level of I have to have him on the plane in any manner possible is getting crazy. I've seen so many dogs on the plane lately that were "Service" animals, that by the very lack of training and behavior were not. /End rant
Thank you for pointing this out. The majority of my flying happens to be on Horizon/Skywest E175s where 6A is in fact designated an accessible seat and prompts you with the "This seat is designated for individuals with qualified disabilities. If you select this seat, you may be reassigned to a different seat to accommodate a passenger with disabilities." message.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by rune87 View Post
And I'm sorry, but if you have a disability, that is on you to alert the airline when you book your ticket, not at the gate, and expect the airline to inconvenience others.
Do we know that travelers with disabilities don’t already do that? And does AS have a magic tool to prevent misconnects and rebookings for these travelers?

I hope we hear back from the OP with more info.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post


Do we know that travelers with disabilities donít already do that? And does AS have a magic tool to prevent misconnects and rebookings for these travelers?

I hope we hear back from the OP with more info.
Honestly...based on the number of "issues" I've seen at boarding gates, something tells me most "service" animal owners don't. This doesn't apply to those that live with what I would call the true disabilities. Mobility, Vision, Hearing. I've talked with friends that deal with these and even they know they have to reach out to the airlines in advance. Those with service animals...not so much. Oh hey...bringing a service dog along. You are going to just take care of me right? I guess my overall rant is really more directed to those folks that have taken to abusing the service animal loophole. And it is. It's rather obvious if the animal is well trained as a service animal vs the house pet and someone has "anxiety". And out of the last 7 dogs I've seen on planes as "service" animals, only one acted as a true service animal. He walked with his owner, was unfazed by anything going on around him, and promptly curled up under him once seated. Those are the folks I feel bad for. Everyone else, go take a pill for the flight. It's not fair to your fellow passengers, and it's sure not fair to the dog that stressed out by the flying experience because they weren't trained to handle it. So I guess in summary, I feel bad for those with true disabilities, not those faking it.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 9:35 am
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Technically, AS can move any person from any seat they want to, for any reason, regardless of prior warning. Now as to what the customer's impression is going to be is another story. If this affected a downgrade from Premium to Main, then I would suggest seeking compensation.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 3:55 pm
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Originally Posted by dmodemd View Post
Technically, AS can move any person from any seat they want to, for any reason, regardless of prior warning. Now as to what the customer's impression is going to be is another story. If this affected a downgrade from Premium to Main, then I would suggest seeking compensation.
You are correct on reassignments. The OP said that he chose this particular flight because 6A was available. Intuitively, that would suggest he either paid for the Premium seating, paid for a fare that would have allowed a complimentary immediate upgrade or had sufficient status that the fee was waived at the time of booking. None of those scenarios were disclosed.

If he had indeed paid for the Premium seat and was reaccommodated to a Premium seat then he received what he should have. No compensation required. He may not have liked the middle seat but seat assignments are not guaranteed.

If he had indeed paid for the Premium seat and was not reaccommodated to a Premium seat then a refund of fees paid to purchase the Premium seat is sufficient to make him whole. No further compensations should be expected.

In the case of a complimentary upgrade or a fee waiver for status there is no fees to be refunded. Since seat assignments are not guaranteed for operational reasons, loss of that seat is not compensatory.

Now having said that, many Elites would agree that an inquisitive letter to AS Customer Care outlining the events as you saw them to ascertain what happened in the particular instance is usually met with an explanation and a voucher. If the "approach" is to be inflamatory and demand compensation, the result is most often commensurate.

I am always a little ired when posters try to garner support while disingenuously not providing all the details. Hence the barrage of questions to this OP.

James
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Old Aug 26, 19, 6:13 pm
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Was it a true Service animal? If so I can see this happening. If it was an Emotional Support Animal it is yet another case where someone who doesn't want to pay a fee for their animal got to displace someone. Something really needs to be done about ESA's. Something like they need to be certified and trained like a service animal. If the animal is really providing this kind of service for your disability then you need to go through the process like any other person who needs a true service animal. And sorry, the animal needs to be able to really provide a service, not be a squirrel you happen to like. This is the most abused thing in aviation.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
You are correct on reassignments. The OP said that he chose this particular flight because 6A was available. Intuitively, that would suggest he either paid for the Premium seating, paid for a fare that would have allowed a complimentary immediate upgrade or had sufficient status that the fee was waived at the time of booking. None of those scenarios were disclosed.

....

I am always a little ired when posters try to garner support while disingenuously not providing all the details. Hence the barrage of questions to this OP.

James
OPís FT profile lists AS 75K status.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
You are correct on reassignments. The OP said that he chose this particular flight because 6A was available. Intuitively, that would suggest he either paid for the Premium seating, paid for a fare that would have allowed a complimentary immediate upgrade or had sufficient status that the fee was waived at the time of booking. None of those scenarios were disclosed.

If he had indeed paid for the Premium seat and was reaccommodated to a Premium seat then he received what he should have. No compensation required. He may not have liked the middle seat but seat assignments are not guaranteed.

If he had indeed paid for the Premium seat and was not reaccommodated to a Premium seat then a refund of fees paid to purchase the Premium seat is sufficient to make him whole. No further compensations should be expected.

In the case of a complimentary upgrade or a fee waiver for status there is no fees to be refunded. Since seat assignments are not guaranteed for operational reasons, loss of that seat is not compensatory.

Now having said that, many Elites would agree that an inquisitive letter to AS Customer Care outlining the events as you saw them to ascertain what happened in the particular instance is usually met with an explanation and a voucher. If the "approach" is to be inflamatory and demand compensation, the result is most often commensurate.

I am always a little ired when posters try to garner support while disingenuously not providing all the details. Hence the barrage of questions to this OP.

James
It's very rare that refund of the fee paid makes one whole. The customer chose to pay the fee because that person perceived the difference on comfort, etc. to be worth at least the amount of the fee, but in most cases, the worth is strictly more than the fee. It's not the case that most people purchasing special seats are indifferent between the bad seat without a fee and the good seat with a fee.
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