Proper Treatment of Platinum Member?

Old Aug 28, 05, 10:45 pm
  #1  
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Proper Treatment of Platinum Member?

So I routinely fly from Phoenix to Hartford on a weekly basis. I always make sure I get a seat in the 11th row to be sure I have the leg room that I need (I am 6'5 about 280 lbs) I always call America West at least 3 weeks in advance to confirm my exit row seat.

I show up today and they cannot assign me a seat all of the sudden, so basically my usual 11A seat is now gone, so I get stuck in 15B, middle seat . Probably one of the longest flights I have been on, the flight is at least 4 1/2 hours.

So now that my knees are permanently damaged I get off the plane and wait for my checked bag, I wait and wait and wait. Nothing! They now have lost my bag! They won't have it delivered to me until after lunch time the next day, what a day! Has anyone experienced getting their confirmed seat magically switched at the last minute ? I just reached Platinum status and it has not been a great introduction at all!
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Old Aug 28, 05, 10:58 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by chidija
So I routinely fly from Phoenix to Hartford on a weekly basis. I always make sure I get a seat in the 11th row to be sure I have the leg room that I need (I am 6'5 about 280 lbs) I always call America West at least 3 weeks in advance to confirm my exit row seat.

I show up today and they cannot assign me a seat all of the sudden, so basically my usual 11A seat is now gone, so I get stuck in 15B, middle seat . Probably one of the longest flights I have been on, the flight is at least 4 1/2 hours.

So now that my knees are permanently damaged I get off the plane and wait for my checked bag, I wait and wait and wait. Nothing! They now have lost my bag! They won't have it delivered to me until after lunch time the next day, what a day! Has anyone experienced getting their confirmed seat magically switched at the last minute ? I just reached Platinum status and it has not been a great introduction at all!
How recently did you hit Plat status? More importantly how often do you get F on this BDL flight? You are right..on HP's 'buses row 11 is the coveted reclining exit row. I was screwed out of my exit row seat in January flying from IAD back to phoenix and the gent next to me was about 400 lbs and his shoulders alone were firmly implanted into my seat so I had no choice but to lean for 4.5 hours Honestly, for the next four days I was sore. I drafted a professional and polite email to HP FF, and received a personal, prompt, and professional response that satisfied me.

I guess I don't understand how you lost your initially reserved seat?

Perhaps more details would help me give some more definitive opinions.

Ian
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Old Aug 28, 05, 11:12 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by enviroian
How recently did you hit Plat status? More importantly how often do you get F on this BDL flight? You are right..on HP's 'buses row 11 is the coveted reclining exit row. I was screwed out of my exit row seat in January flying from IAD back to phoenix and the gent next to me was about 400 lbs and his shoulders alone were firmly implanted into my seat so I had no choice but to lean for 4.5 hours Honestly, for the next four days I was sore. I drafted a professional and polite email to HP FF, and received a personal, prompt, and professional response that satisfied me.

I guess I don't understand how you lost your initially reserved seat?

Perhaps more details would help me give some more definitive opinions.

Ian

Hi, I just got Platinum status about 2 weeks ago, but had been getting upgraded to First Class about 40% of the time at Gold status, and was always in a window seat in row 11 if I was never upgraded. They had no explanation for why the seat was switched, but I do have a confirmation e-mail with the seat confirmed and my ticket stub with the dreaded middle seat, so my plan is to draft a letter up showing that something got screwed up and hope that it can be prevented in the future. Thanks for any input on this issue, any letter writing tips?
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Old Aug 28, 05, 11:51 pm
  #4  
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In my experience, this is a rare occurence. I've had the odd problem with a seat here and there in my flying career but I don't even know the last time something like this happened on HP (as opposed to BA, where it happens regularly) and I've been Plat for too many years to count.

Snookums925 would probably know for sure, but I believe that they have the ability in their system to know who changed your seat. I don't know that they'd tell you who or why, but I think if you wrote a nice letter detailing your inconvenience, someone might look into it and the person who did it may get appropriate attention. I'd certainly write and let them know.

I'd be furious if it had happened to me. (Not that being furious would have helped matters, but that would have been a very long 5 hours.) I'd write.
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Old Aug 29, 05, 8:49 am
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I've seen it happen a few times and usually I'm dumb-founded as to why it changed. The most logical reason is that they switched the aircraft and when that happens everyone loses their seats and everyone gets reseated.

I'm sorry that happened, I know how you feel about a middle seat!
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Old Aug 29, 05, 9:06 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Joeypete
I've seen it happen a few times and usually I'm dumb-founded as to why it changed. The most logical reason is that they switched the aircraft and when that happens everyone loses their seats and everyone gets reseated.

I'm sorry that happened, I know how you feel about a middle seat!

Yes, that is true, indeed that happened to me once when they switched out a plane, but this aircraft was the same exact one I take each week, Airbus A320, so America West needs to explain, of course no one at the gate could at the time.
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Old Aug 29, 05, 12:45 pm
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In my experience, when HP changes equipment, the system sometimes appears to dump all of the pre-reserved seat information and allocate the seats at (near) random.

This random reassignment is not consistent - upgauging to a 757 has never resulted in me losing a first-class seat. Sometimes downgauging does it, as the cabin shrinks from an Airbus to a 737. Other times it appears to have no effect. Last week I went from 2A to 22D on a downguage, for instance.

Usually the HP folks explain it to me if I bother to go to the counter instead of just running through the kiosk.

As a Plat, the best way I know to deal with the suddenly-changed seat assignment scenario is to hold off checking in online, go to the counter and talk to a live person.

NOTE: Although annoying, AA does this occasionally, and Alaska does as well. NW appears to use a random-number generator for seat assignments (not really, but it is far worse there than HP). The one difference I notice is that HP in recent years has always tried to explain it, been cheerful and helpful about it, and generally made an annoyance less annoying. Sometimes the gate folks just don't know the reason, however.

Still, nothing says "ouch" like a cross-country ride in the middle seat in coach. I feel your paid, chidija.
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Old Aug 29, 05, 7:32 pm
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Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World
In my experience, this is a rare occurence. I've had the odd problem with a seat here and there in my flying career but I don't even know the last time something like this happened on HP (as opposed to BA, where it happens regularly) and I've been Plat for too many years to count.

Snookums925 would probably know for sure, but I believe that they have the ability in their system to know who changed your seat. I don't know that they'd tell you who or why, but I think if you wrote a nice letter detailing your inconvenience, someone might look into it and the person who did it may get appropriate attention. I'd certainly write and let them know.

I'd be furious if it had happened to me. (Not that being furious would have helped matters, but that would have been a very long 5 hours.) I'd write.
Depending when the flight was, we would be able to look at seat history and learn how this happened. My personal guess--aircraft swap and the rows didn't match. From that point the system may not have recognized your Elite status. Sorry that happened but like was mentioned above, definetly the exception, not the rule
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Old Aug 31, 05, 1:44 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by snokums925
Depending when the flight was, we would be able to look at seat history and learn how this happened. My personal guess--aircraft swap and the rows didn't match. From that point the system may not have recognized your Elite status. Sorry that happened but like was mentioned above, definetly the exception, not the rule

Thanks for the responses and encouragment, I did write a rather lengthy letter to AW Customer Relations, hopefully some kind of resolution can be reached with the seat mis-hap and my luggage loss.

Snokums: If you do have spare time, my flight was #418, departing on Sunday, 8/28/05 from PHX to BDL. My last name is CHIDICHIMO. I was confirmed in seat 11A, exit row, and got moved to 15B mysteriously. Any help is much appreciated!
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Old Aug 31, 05, 7:04 pm
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Originally Posted by chidija
Thanks for the responses and encouragment, I did write a rather lengthy letter to AW Customer Relations, hopefully some kind of resolution can be reached with the seat mis-hap and my luggage loss.
I'll take a peek tomorrow when I'm at work. I'll let you know if I can find anything.
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Old Sep 2, 05, 6:24 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by snokums925
I'll take a peek tomorrow when I'm at work. I'll let you know if I can find anything.

Great thanks!
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Old Sep 2, 05, 6:43 am
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Originally Posted by chidija
Great thanks!
I took a look at the seat history and unfortunately the travel date was too far in the past. Sorry I couldnt be of more help on this. I would still encourage a letter to Customer Relations nonetheless.
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Old Sep 7, 05, 3:08 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by snokums925
I took a look at the seat history and unfortunately the travel date was too far in the past. Sorry I couldnt be of more help on this. I would still encourage a letter to Customer Relations nonetheless.

Thanks for looking into it, an update on this, I just did receive a phone call from Roger Smith in Customer Relations in regards to the letter I wrote them, of course he had no explanation either, but said it may have been due to an equipment change, of the same air craft, he said at times it happens. He apologized about that and my lost bag. Said a $150 flight voucher will be sent to me. To me that wasn't much for a loyal flyer of America West airlines, thought it should be better, but what other non-stop options do I have from PHX to the east coast, right?
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