Under airport control 3 days in advance?

 
Old Nov 28, 12, 5:23 pm
  #1  
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Unhappy Under airport control 3 days in advance?

We're traveling LAX to PVG in a few days booked in Y, waitlisted for a Business Class upgrade. I'm EXP, wife is Gold.

Today I was trying to swap seats between my wife and myself, in the same row so that in case one of us was upgraded, the other person would still have an aisle seat.

Instead being able to swap seats what happened was I got an error message stating that our seats could not be assigned, but that we did have a reservation. Seats would be assigned at the airport.

A call to the EXP Line indicated this flight was under airport control!?! I was told the flight was 93% full in coach.

I've heard of airport control 1 day ahead, but three days in advance?

Even more odd, the EXP agent said that someone grabbed one of our seats (the aisle seat) and that this person had our same seat assignment since the 5 days ago.

We were rebooked, but the new seats are not as good and when you check at aa.com they do not show up; they still show as unassigned.

This brings up three issues:

1. What is the furthest out a flight goes to airport control and why so far out?

2. Is there anyway to tell in advance when a flight is under airport control?

3. How can someone have had our same seat since the 5 days ago when I just attempted to make these seating changes an hour ago?

Insights appreciated.
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Old Nov 28, 12, 5:59 pm
  #2  
 
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There are a number of poorly trained AAgents on the EXP desk right now and it sounds like you've encountered one of them.

I doubt that the flight is actually under airport control yet, but when all seats other than those typically reserved for airport assignment are taken you will get to a position where you cannot get a seat assignment in the normal way and you will have to wait until the flight is really under airport control before you can get a seat.

As for losing your previous seats, I'd be inclined to call again and see if you can get an AAgent who has more experience and can see what has really happened.

No certainty that you can get those seats back though, but it has to be worth trying.
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Old Nov 29, 12, 11:09 am
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Aren't there also some seats that open right at 24hrs? Not sure which seats on the 777 but if that's the case then being on the phone with an agent at 24:01 to go may be a good bet too.
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Old Nov 29, 12, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by Upgraded! View Post
Aren't there also some seats that open right at 24hrs? Not sure which seats on the 777 but if that's the case then being on the phone with an agent at 24:01 to go may be a good bet too.
As an EXP the OP will already have access to thsoe seats, it sounds like he needs the ones that typically remain blocked like the bulkhead seats at the front of the Y cabin.
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Old Nov 29, 12, 12:23 pm
  #5  
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Thanks for the replies!

The first EXP AAgent I spoke with was the one who informed me about the "airport control." She did manage to contact someone (placing me on hold) to get a window/aisle pair, but further back in the 2nd Y class cabin.

When I re-checked my seating assignment at aa.com and saw the seats were still displaying "unassigned," I called back to confirm that I still had the new, inferior seats as opposed to seats being truly unassigned.

At first, the second EXP agent couldn't see the new assignment, but after some digging around, found that indeed I did have the new seating assignment. As for regaining the original seats, that was a lost cause.

The second agent told me detailed information as to how many were on the UG list, how many open seats there were, what position I was in-- in the several years I've been EXP, I've never been given such detailed information!

Generally I'm told "well, there's a handful" or less than a "handful" (handful appears to be a common EXP unit of measure). When I've specifically asked what position I've been on the UG list, I've been told that they don't have access to that information, can't see, etc.

This experience is making me leery of future last minute seat changes because of the possibility that future seat changes may not be accepted due to Airport Control vaporizing my original seat assignments and throwing me into an unassigned pool.

There should be a way when seats are under airport control one still retains the original seats, but just cannot switch to new seats.
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Old Nov 29, 12, 12:25 pm
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I had the same thing happen to me on a lhr-lax flight a few weeks back. Went under airport control about 5 days before departure. I could not move my seat.
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Old Nov 29, 12, 12:37 pm
  #7  
brp
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Originally Posted by Globehopper View Post

Today I was trying to swap seats between my wife and myself, in the same row so that in case one of us was upgraded, the other person would still have an aisle seat.
This can be risky since you usually won't know who is actually ahead of whom on the list. It can go either way, and seems fairly random. So, it could be the window or the aisle person who gets the upgrade.

Our new strategy is to pick two aisle seats nearby to prevent this. Since we get upgraded a very high percentage of the time, the risk of having us in the two separate seats is slim. We also split PNRs prior to 100 hours for domestic, and "close in" for international.

Cheers.
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Old Nov 29, 12, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by chanp View Post
I had the same thing happen to me on a lhr-lax flight a few weeks back. Went under airport control about 5 days before departure. I could not move my seat.
Right, you generally can't change seats, but OP said he lost seats. I don't know why that would happen unless there was a change of equipment. Even then, if the same aircraft type (with same seating), AA should give you the same seats
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Old Nov 29, 12, 1:06 pm
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If you are EXP, a strategy in the future may be to give your wife the "good" seat, and you take the "bad" seat, so that if you are upgraded, your "bad" is the seat that goes back into the gene pool.

However, MrsDallas49er, a newly minted EXP, after being double deep dark diamond platinum at DL for ever, and I have a unique solution to this problem of dual spousal seating that may not work for most:

Even after 23 years together, we do not enjoy flying together, because we travel so much separately, and are so used to traveling alone. So that when we travelled together in the past, all we did was irritate/infuriate each other. Thus, now while we may travel to a common destination, it will be by by different routes. And once a seat is booked, we rarely change it except for upgrades.

(For those who are interested, rock, paper, scissors, 2 out of 3, determines who books 1st. And if you are not interested-please feel free to keep your opinion to yourself, move on, and reserve your sniping for someone somewhere else ! It works for us.

Last edited by Dallas49er; Nov 29, 12 at 2:19 pm
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Old Nov 29, 12, 2:12 pm
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Dallas49er, your solution has worked keeping the two of you together for 23 years. Congratulations! And thanks for sharing.
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Old Nov 29, 12, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Zaynab View Post
Dallas49er, your solution has worked keeping the two of you together for 23 years. Congratulations! And thanks for sharing.
Not to mention making the airport experience for thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, so much better! (sarcasm) Minimal police involvement is a GOOD thing.!
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