Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan
Reload this Page >

Social Distance Seat Blocking (Through 1/6/2021)

Social Distance Seat Blocking (Through 1/6/2021)

Old Nov 27, 20, 9:51 pm
  #676  
Ambassador: Alaska Airlines
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: ANC, SAP
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Priority Pass
Posts: 1,832
Originally Posted by RAD_PDX View Post
You aren't factoring in the fact that more people seem to be paying for F for the extra space. Also, the row blocked for the FA is not factored in. Upgrades are definitely down. Recent flights have reminded me of one of the most important Flyertalk lessons: WFBF
Do you think that's going to significantly change once social distancing stops? I did acknowledge that in my post, BTW.

IMHO, the change from 6.9% available F seats on the 739's to 9% once they remove seat blocking is likely to make no difference whatsoever on upgrades. If anything they might go *down*. Why? FIrst of all, there will be more people on each flight. It's the percentage of F seats, not the absolute number that drives your upgrade chances... There will both be more elites, as well as more non-status passengers willing to buy up. When they eliminate seat blocking, my guess is that an even higher number of Y pax will be motivated to pay for F. Time will tell. May the upgrade force be with you. If I need to fly in Q1 2021, my business will be going to DL - status or not.
Bellerina likes this.
ANC RED-EYE is offline  
Old Nov 27, 20, 11:35 pm
  #677  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: British Columbia
Programs: AS MVPG100K, Marriott Ambassador, Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,382
Originally Posted by ANC RED-EYE View Post
Do you think that's going to significantly change once social distancing stops? I did acknowledge that in my post, BTW.

IMHO, the change from 6.9% available F seats on the 739's to 9% once they remove seat blocking is likely to make no difference whatsoever on upgrades. If anything they might go *down*. Why? FIrst of all, there will be more people on each flight. It's the percentage of F seats, not the absolute number that drives your upgrade chances... There will both be more elites, as well as more non-status passengers willing to buy up. When they eliminate seat blocking, my guess is that an even higher number of Y pax will be motivated to pay for F. Time will tell. May the upgrade force be with you. If I need to fly in Q1 2021, my business will be going to DL - status or not.
While I follow your reasoning, you prior calculations are too simplistic to draw anything of meaning from.

On my FLL-SEA flight on November 10th, there were 31 Elites on the upgrade list & 7 on the standby list. Walk-up fares in Main were $159. Had there not been seat-blocking, there would have been 5 additional upgrades in addition to the 3 that were. It appears only 4 were revenue passengers. Without seat-blocking, AS most likely would have generated more revenue if U space was available and some passengers upfared to K class to apply a GGU. Additionally, 75Ks wanting a seat up front would likely pay for an H or higher fare & MVPGs an M fare or higher for the immediate upgrade into F without GGU availability. Not all flights are at capped capacity either so unblocking middle seats doesn't necessarily mean a 50% increase in passengers in the Main Cabin.

Into March, my upgrade rate was 100%, in September & October, my upgrade rate as a solo traveler was 75% & since then 50% with a companion. Without seat-blocking, I would have been 100% across the board.

The reality is, just as Scott Kirby said, you can't be socially distant on an airplane. While seat-blocking gives you a little more distance side-to-side, you are closer to the people behind & in front of you in Main and slightly further apart in Premium. In the Main cabin, the centre of A to the centre of C is approximately 34". In First, the centre of A to the centre of C is approximately 26" with opportunity to move one way or the other and/or lean away from the other passenger, so effectively the same as a blocked middle in Main.

A mask is required when you can't maintain 6' of separation. If you are seated beside a "spreader" who is wearing a mask, does it matter if you are 18", 26" or 34" apart? I haven't seen any data to suggest more virus is contracted on flights operated by AA or UA as opposed to AS, DL or WN. AS can't indefinitely subsidize your fares for a blocked middle seat. You always have the option of purchasing that middle seat for yourself. That way, AS will still be there for us when this pandemic is behind us.

James
Flying for Fun is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 12:07 am
  #678  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Programs: AS MVPG
Posts: 2,180
Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
Without seat-blocking, I would have been 100% across the board
Removing seat blocking means more people onboard. Some of which may book those now available F seats. And some may book and be higher on the upgrade list. Almost certainly, the same ratio of people would be booking, there's no reason to expect only no-status Y passengers would take all those currently empty seats.

I can't believe there is still debate about how distance between people is a factor in the spreading of this virus. Crazy, at this point if people doesn't think it matters than I don't think anything is going to convince them. Thankfully airlines so far are doing the right thing, let's see if Alaska continues to do so until it's safe for everyone to travel freely again.
kileysmom likes this.

Last edited by alphaeagle; Nov 28, 20 at 12:22 am
alphaeagle is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 12:22 am
  #679  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SEA (the REAL Washington); occasionally in the other Washington (DCA area)
Programs: DL PM 1.4MM; AS MVPG 75K
Posts: 19,340
Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
... Without seat-blocking, AS most likely would have generated more revenue if the prospect of U space was available and some passengers upfared to K class to apply a GGU. ...
sorry to be pedantic, but I have to offer this “fixed that for you” observation
jrl767 is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 2:11 am
  #680  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: British Columbia
Programs: AS MVPG100K, Marriott Ambassador, Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,382
Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
sorry to be pedantic, but I have to offer this fixed that for you observation
Tedious! I think the greatest irony is when someone admittedly pedantic "fixes" things erroneously. Some things never change.

James
Flying for Fun is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 8:45 am
  #681  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP Gold 100K
Posts: 2,192
Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
While I follow your reasoning, you prior calculations are too simplistic to draw anything of meaning from.

On my FLL-SEA flight on November 10th, there were 31 Elites on the upgrade list & 7 on the standby list. Walk-up fares in Main were $159. Had there not been seat-blocking, there would have been 5 additional upgrades in addition to the 3 that were. It appears only 4 were revenue passengers. Without seat-blocking, AS most likely would have generated more revenue if U space was available and some passengers upfared to K class to apply a GGU. Additionally, 75Ks wanting a seat up front would likely pay for an H or higher fare & MVPGs an M fare or higher for the immediate upgrade into F without GGU availability. Not all flights are at capped capacity either so unblocking middle seats doesn't necessarily mean a 50% increase in passengers in the Main Cabin.

Into March, my upgrade rate was 100%, in September & October, my upgrade rate as a solo traveler was 75% & since then 50% with a companion. Without seat-blocking, I would have been 100% across the board.

The reality is, just as Scott Kirby said, you can't be socially distant on an airplane. While seat-blocking gives you a little more distance side-to-side, you are closer to the people behind & in front of you in Main and slightly further apart in Premium. In the Main cabin, the centre of A to the centre of C is approximately 34". In First, the centre of A to the centre of C is approximately 26" with opportunity to move one way or the other and/or lean away from the other passenger, so effectively the same as a blocked middle in Main.

A mask is required when you can't maintain 6' of separation. If you are seated beside a "spreader" who is wearing a mask, does it matter if you are 18", 26" or 34" apart? I haven't seen any data to suggest more virus is contracted on flights operated by AA or UA as opposed to AS, DL or WN. AS can't indefinitely subsidize your fares for a blocked middle seat. You always have the option of purchasing that middle seat for yourself. That way, AS will still be there for us when this pandemic is behind us.

James
Whoa, careful with all of that logic James. Some people need to be spoonfed the truth.
Flying for Fun likes this.
RAD_PDX is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 2:19 pm
  #682  
Ambassador: Alaska Airlines
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: ANC, SAP
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Priority Pass
Posts: 1,832
Originally Posted by RAD_PDX View Post
Whoa, careful with all of that logic James. Some people need to be spoonfed the truth.
like the "truth" that the public can and should easily get N95's, and could easily have them fit tested?
ANC RED-EYE is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 2:28 pm
  #683  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP Gold 100K
Posts: 2,192
Originally Posted by ANC RED-EYE View Post
like the "truth" that the public can and should easily get N95's, and could easily have them fit tested?
I guess we can rehash this if you want.

I said that fit-tested was obviously best, but I don't think I said it was easy for the public to do this. I did, however, say that a few basics in terms of mask-wearing will get you a long way.

As for easy to obtain, it took us a while to get there but I think we all reached a consensus in the end. While they are "easy to obtain", they are not "easy to obtain without buying from someone selling them against the wishes of the manufacturer" or "easy to obtain while not adversely affecting the limited supply available to medical professionals".
RAD_PDX is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 2:31 pm
  #684  
Ambassador: Alaska Airlines
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: ANC, SAP
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Priority Pass
Posts: 1,832
Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
While I follow your reasoning, you prior calculations are too simplistic to draw anything of meaning from.

On my FLL-SEA flight on November 10th, there were 31 Elites on the upgrade list & 7 on the standby list. Walk-up fares in Main were $159. Had there not been seat-blocking, there would have been 5 additional upgrades in addition to the 3 that were. It appears only 4 were revenue passengers. Without seat-blocking, AS most likely would have generated more revenue if U space was available and some passengers upfared to K class to apply a GGU. Additionally, 75Ks wanting a seat up front would likely pay for an H or higher fare & MVPGs an M fare or higher for the immediate upgrade into F without GGU availability. Not all flights are at capped capacity either so unblocking middle seats doesn't necessarily mean a 50% increase in passengers in the Main Cabin.

Into March, my upgrade rate was 100%, in September & October, my upgrade rate as a solo traveler was 75% & since then 50% with a companion. Without seat-blocking, I would have been 100% across the board.

The reality is, just as Scott Kirby said, you can't be socially distant on an airplane. While seat-blocking gives you a little more distance side-to-side, you are closer to the people behind & in front of you in Main and slightly further apart in Premium. In the Main cabin, the centre of A to the centre of C is approximately 34". In First, the centre of A to the centre of C is approximately 26" with opportunity to move one way or the other and/or lean away from the other passenger, so effectively the same as a blocked middle in Main.

A mask is required when you can't maintain 6' of separation. If you are seated beside a "spreader" who is wearing a mask, does it matter if you are 18", 26" or 34" apart? I haven't seen any data to suggest more virus is contracted on flights operated by AA or UA as opposed to AS, DL or WN. AS can't indefinitely subsidize your fares for a blocked middle seat. You always have the option of purchasing that middle seat for yourself. That way, AS will still be there for us when this pandemic is behind us.

James
I'm not sure any meaningful conclusions can be drawn from your hypotheses either. It's a simple fact of math: the more passengers, the more competition for upgrades. COVID has had a tremendous impact on both leisure and business travel, so hard to say on any given route how many elites will be represented; it's also hard to say how sales will go on a given route. If there is little demand and they are only selling half or 2/3 of the Y seats to begin with, then sure, there may be more upgrades once seat blocking ends. OTOH, there might also be discounted F seats for sale, and the general public may decide they're paying for F since AS isn't going to be blocking middle seats in Y.

Good luck to you in your quest for upgrades.
kileysmom likes this.
ANC RED-EYE is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 2:36 pm
  #685  
Ambassador: Alaska Airlines
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: ANC, SAP
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Priority Pass
Posts: 1,832
Originally Posted by RAD_PDX View Post
I guess we can rehash this if you want.

I said that fit-tested was obviously best, but I don't think I said it was easy for the public to do this. I did, however, say that a few basics in terms of mask-wearing will get you a long way.

As for easy to obtain, it took us a while to get there but I think we all reached a consensus in the end. While they are "easy to obtain", they are not "easy to obtain without buying from someone selling them against the wishes of the manufacturer" or "easy to obtain while not adversely affecting the limited supply available to medical professionals".
-they are not easy to obtain legally from a reputable source. The N95s being sold are mostly being sold on the black/gray markets. There are also a tremendous number of counterfeit masks being sold, even to medical professionals.
-your advice that the general public should obtain and get fit tested for an N95 was simply impractical, reckless, and unethical. It's disappointing that anyone would even suggest such a thing.

But I'm glad you are such a proponent for "the truth."
ANC RED-EYE is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 2:43 pm
  #686  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP Gold 100K
Posts: 2,192
Originally Posted by ANC RED-EYE View Post
-they are not easy to obtain legally from a reputable source. The N95s being sold are mostly being sold on the black/gray markets. There are also a tremendous number of counterfeit masks being sold, even to medical professionals.
-your advice that the general public should obtain and get fit tested for an N95 was simply impractical, reckless, and unethical. It's disappointing that anyone would even suggest such a thing.

But I'm glad you are such a proponent for "the truth."
Nice! Keep adding modifiers to my statements and then marking them as invalid... It's very impressive!

I don't blame you for what you believe, or hold it against you. I empathize with you, but I won't back down in defending the truth.
anteater likes this.

Last edited by dayone; Nov 29, 20 at 7:08 pm Reason: Redact personal comment.
RAD_PDX is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 2:53 pm
  #687  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: SEA (Transplant from MCO, HNL, and DEN)
Programs: AS MVP Gold 100K
Posts: 229
Originally Posted by alphaeagle View Post
Removing seat blocking means more people onboard. Some of which may book those now available F seats. And some may book and be higher on the upgrade list. Almost certainly, the same ratio of people would be booking, there's no reason to expect only no-status Y passengers would take all those currently empty seats.

I can't believe there is still debate about how distance between people is a factor in the spreading of this virus. Crazy, at this point if people doesn't think it matters than I don't think anything is going to convince them. Thankfully airlines so far are doing the right thing, let's see if Alaska continues to do so until it's safe for everyone to travel freely again.
Are you saying that more people will decide to fly once the empty middle seat policy expires? People on FlyerTalk may chase status and upgrades, but the average casual flyer selects their seat based on cost, not upgradability. People already have the option to buy first class tickets, but they choose not to. i doubt that that will change regardless of how many more first class seats are available.
FloridaFlyers is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 3:13 pm
  #688  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Programs: AS MVPG
Posts: 2,180
Originally Posted by FloridaFlyers View Post
Are you saying that more people will decide to fly once the empty middle seat policy expires? People on FlyerTalk may chase status and upgrades, but the average casual flyer selects their seat based on cost, not upgradability. People already have the option to buy first class tickets, but they choose not to. i doubt that that will change regardless of how many more first class seats are available.
No, that's not what I'm saying. What do you mean they choose not to? They are blocked. You can't choose them, that's the whole point. There will be higher load factors. More people competing for those scarce seats, not the same amount. Really have no clue how this is such a difficult thing to comprehend.
alphaeagle is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 3:19 pm
  #689  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: SEA (Transplant from MCO, HNL, and DEN)
Programs: AS MVP Gold 100K
Posts: 229
Originally Posted by alphaeagle View Post
No, that's not what I'm saying. What do you mean they choose not to? They are blocked. You can't choose them, that's the whole point. There will be higher load factors. More people competing for those scarce seats, not the same amount. Really have no clue how this is such a difficult thing to comprehend.
Which additional people will be competing for those seats? Elites that are flying are already fight for them, and the average flyer will continue to chase the cheapest option available.

Alaska selling middle seats doesn't mean that people are going to magically decide to fly again, and I'd assume that initially, many will choose to fly DL who will continue with the empty middle seat policy.
FloridaFlyers is offline  
Old Nov 28, 20, 3:35 pm
  #690  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Programs: AS MVPG
Posts: 2,180
Originally Posted by FloridaFlyers View Post
Which additional people will be competing for those seats? Elites that are flying are already fight for them, and the average flyer will continue to chase the cheapest option available.

Alaska selling middle seats doesn't mean that people are going to magically decide to fly again, and I'd assume that initially, many will choose to fly DL who will continue with the empty middle seat policy.
Alaska will try to fill up a flight. That's what they do. If it means they can drop a scheduled flight to get a higher load factor on another they will do that. Blocked seats means those seats shouldn't be sold. Once they can be sold, they probably will be. There is zero chance that load factors would remain the same when there is suddenly a huge jump in the capacity of an aircraft with seat blocking removed.

It's a fantasy to think that if you saw an empty blocked seat, that it would have been yours and no one else's. Just not how reality works.
ANC RED-EYE likes this.
alphaeagle is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread