Unable to choose seats on AA flight.

 
Old Jul 12, 14, 2:22 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Tampa, FL and Northumberland, England
Programs: BAEC Bronze; IHG
Posts: 372
Unable to choose seats on AA flight.

Next week I will travel DUB-JFK on AA metal. It's part of a larger trip booked through US, all other flights on the intinery are on US metal. When I initially made the booking I was assigned a seat, I then had to call back almost immediately to make a small change to the return leg of the journey, when I made this change I was essentially rebooked and wasn't assigned a seat on the AA flight. The agent I spoke to said I needed to contact AA to select my seat as he was unable to do it on his system.

I called AA straight away and the agent I spoke to said she couldn't select a seat for me because the route was pending a change in aircraft so no seats could be assigned (all a bit strange considering I'd initially been assigned a seat and having changed my booking less than half an hour later was suddenly unable to get one). I left it a week or so, called again and this time I was told I could only choose a main cabin extra seat and pay between $60 and $80 for the privilege. I was advised to wait a few days and call again. I called today and this time I was told AA could assign my seat but because I'd booked with US, I would be charged $25 to do this (none of the previous agents had told me this), however, only one seat in the entire cabin was available (other than MCE). With this in mid my logic made me decide if there was only one seat available, why pay when this is likely to be the seat I'll be assigned at check in. The agent also told me that the stories I'd been told by previous agents about changes in aircraft etc were a load of rubbish.

Does the fact that only one seat is showing as available indicate that this will be a full flight? Or have seats been blocked off for some reason for release closer to check in? I've never come across this problem before with AA. I've always been assigned a seat at time of booking , no matter how my AA flights have been booked, whether with Aa, a travel agent or through another OW airline. Also, the seat that was available was 31B, I don't like middle seats and if other options are unlikely to open up I may be persuaded to pay for a MCE window seat rather than risk having a middle seat for a 7 1/2 hour flight.
pipsi is offline  
Old Jul 12, 14, 3:14 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: JFK > LGA >> EWR
Programs: AA EXP 1.2mm, Kimpton IC, Starwood Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,176
It's likely that the flight is sold out, or even oversold. If you don't select a seat now, you will be assigned one at check-in. This is reasonably likely to be an MCE seat (for free) or one that was reserved for elites (given that nearly all the mediocre/bad seats have been taken by non-status passengers). I would recommend either paying for a desirable MCE seat now, or not choosing any seat and playing the lottery at check-in. Choosing 31B guarantees you a seat that's worse (or the same as) whatever you would get on the day of the flight. If you post (or PM me) the flight number and date, I can check to see which seats are being held for elites.

You should also check back 24 hours ahead of the flight, when certain previously blocked seats may go up for grabs.
SJC AA is offline  
Old Jul 12, 14, 3:23 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Tampa, FL and Northumberland, England
Programs: BAEC Bronze; IHG
Posts: 372
Sounds like I'll be better off just hanging on until check in, it can't get much worse than 31B.

The flight number is 291 on July 19th. Thank you so much for digging a bit deeper for me.
pipsi is offline  
Old Jul 13, 14, 9:11 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: JFK > LGA >> EWR
Programs: AA EXP 1.2mm, Kimpton IC, Starwood Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,176
Originally Posted by pipsi View Post
Sounds like I'll be better off just hanging on until check in, it can't get much worse than 31B.

The flight number is 291 on July 19th. Thank you so much for digging a bit deeper for me.
22D is available (saved for elites) as well as 31B.

33 (yes, 33) MCE seats are available, 18 of them saved for elites (rows 10-13 and 17).

It's safe to say that if you don't pick a seat now, you stand an extremely good chance of getting MCE for free.

Let us know how it works out.
SJC AA is offline  
Old Jul 13, 14, 9:45 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Tampa, FL and Northumberland, England
Programs: BAEC Bronze; IHG
Posts: 372
Originally Posted by SJC AA View Post
22D is available (saved for elites) as well as 31B.

33 (yes, 33) MCE seats are available, 18 of them saved for elites (rows 10-13 and 17).

It's safe to say that if you don't pick a seat now, you stand an extremely good chance of getting MCE for free.

Let us know how it works out.
Thanks for looking into it for me.

Yes, I think I will wait until check in in the hope of a free MCE seat. I usually try and check in as soon as it opens online (mainly because most of my flights are usually BA so with my current status, free seat selection also opens for me at this time) but under the circumstances and bearing in mind my connecting flights are all on US metal and I have seats already assigned I think I will wait as there is no rush or incentive to OLCI bang on t-24.

Thanks again for checking out the seat plan.
pipsi is offline  
Old Jul 13, 14, 9:46 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Tampa, FL and Northumberland, England
Programs: BAEC Bronze; IHG
Posts: 372
Oh, and I will of course report back once my seat is assigned.
pipsi is offline  
Old Jul 13, 14, 10:37 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: JFK > LGA >> EWR
Programs: AA EXP 1.2mm, Kimpton IC, Starwood Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,176
Originally Posted by pipsi View Post
Yes, I think I will wait until check in in the hope of a free MCE seat. I usually try and check in as soon as it opens online (mainly because most of my flights are usually BA so with my current status, free seat selection also opens for me at this time) but under the circumstances and bearing in mind my connecting flights are all on US metal and I have seats already assigned I think I will wait as there is no rush or incentive to OLCI bang on t-24.
I agree with this plan.

And if you check in elsewhere and are not given an MCE seat, it can't hurt to ask the gate agent at DUB whether anything better is available. In all likelihood it will be.
SJC AA is offline  
Old Jul 18, 14, 9:32 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Tampa, FL and Northumberland, England
Programs: BAEC Bronze; IHG
Posts: 372
Just a quick update; check in opened this morning but I haven't used OLCI yet. The opening of check in seemed to open up seats held for elites for anyone to choose. 22D came up as available but checking again later on showed it had been taken, 31B is now the only seat available in coach which isn't a MCE seat. Of the ten seats in total available 5 are window seats (all in MCE), so hopefully I can get one of those when I do eventually check in. I was hoping that MCE would become available to book for free once OLCI opened but they are still attracting a charge. I'm not sure if they will become free once 31B is taken or whether I'll just have to check in at the airport.

Quick question; if I do check in at the airport can I still use a mobile boarding pass on my iPhone?
pipsi is offline  
Old Jul 18, 14, 12:36 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Tampa, FL and Northumberland, England
Programs: BAEC Bronze; IHG
Posts: 372
What I was hoping for has happened. All free coach seats have been taken so only MCE seats are now available. I checked in on the AA app and have been assigned 15A which is good because I wanted a window seat. From looking at seat guru it appears this is one of the MCE rows without AC power which I would have preferred but u don't want to push my luck by fiddling around to try and swap at this stage.

I don't seem to be able to get my boarding passes within the app, I'm wondering whether this is because my last connecting flight is more than 24 hours away. I'll try again once I'm within 24 hours. I like using mobile boarding passes as I find it easier (and also like to collect them on my phone) so I'd prefer them to getting paper ones at the airport.
pipsi is offline  
Old Jul 18, 14, 1:05 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: JFK > LGA >> EWR
Programs: AA EXP 1.2mm, Kimpton IC, Starwood Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,176
Congrats on the seat. It may be that AA won't issue a boarding pass into the US without checking your passport/visa/ESTA (at the airport).
SJC AA is offline  
Old Jul 18, 14, 2:22 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Tampa, FL and Northumberland, England
Programs: BAEC Bronze; IHG
Posts: 372
Originally Posted by SJC AA View Post
Congrats on the seat. It may be that AA won't issue a boarding pass into the US without checking your passport/visa/ESTA (at the airport).
I was required to submit all of my passport details during online check in. Also, US immigration is in Dublin so I would have thought that from that perspective it wouldn't be an issue because one has to essentially cross the US border to board the flight. Also, as I have bags to drop my passport and visa could be checked then.

From posting elsewhere it seems it could be to do with the fact that my final connecting flight hasn't opened for check in yet. On the other hand it may be because I've booked with US.

I'll post an update when I know the reason.
pipsi is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: