Seats showing as assigned, but later used to accomodate upgrades

 
Old Jan 24, 08, 9:22 am
  #1  
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Seats showing as assigned, but later used to accomodate upgrades

I had been waiting for an upgrade to clear on my ORD-DFW flight later today. Typically, it clears a couple days out; however, this one was coming down to the wire. When i checked seat availability on EF it showed all of the seats taken except for row 3.

I called AA 4 hours prior to departure and resubmitted my request. It cleared right away and i was confirmed in a seat that had been showing as being taken on EF.

My question... will AA block out certain seats that will be later used for accommodating upgrades? I had presumed that if the seat was shown as being assigned, someone actually had it. This is the first time I've seen a seat blocked out on EF and then was subsequently assigned to that particular seat.

Thanks
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Old Jan 24, 08, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by auditd0rk View Post
I had been waiting for an upgrade to clear on my ORD-DFW flight later today. Typically, it clears a couple days out; however, this one was coming down to the wire. When i checked seat availability on EF it showed all of the seats taken except for row 3.

I called AA 4 hours prior to departure and resubmitted my request. It cleared right away and i was confirmed in a seat that had been showing as being taken on EF.

My question... will AA block out certain seats that will be later used for accommodating upgrades? I had presumed that if the seat was shown as being assigned, someone actually had it. This is the first time I've seen a seat blocked out on EF and then was subsequently assigned to that particular seat.

Thanks
Someone could have cancelled exactly at the same moment. with the thousands and thousands of transactions occurring every day, it can and does happen.
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Old Jan 24, 08, 9:34 am
  #3  
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Your mistake is relying on the seat map for seat availability. AA will not block seats for upgrades, but they do block some seats for airport assignment. Also, the seat map is very fluid, as passengers make reservations, change seats or cancel reservations.

If you are trying to gauge upgrade availability, the only reliable source is an availability tool like expertflyer.com. The seat map is misleading.
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Old Jan 24, 08, 9:39 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
Your mistake is relying on the seat map for seat availability. AA will not block seats for upgrades, but they do block some seats for airport assignment. Also, the seat map is very fluid, as passengers make reservations, change seats or cancel reservations.

If you are trying to gauge upgrade availability, the only reliable source is an availability tool like expertflyer.com. The seat map is misleading.
I think the OP did use EF, although I was confused by the mention of the seatmap. However, the question is still valid: if the seat was blocked for airport assignment, how did the OP clear into it?

I like the fluidity explanation better.
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Old Jan 24, 08, 9:40 am
  #5  
brp
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Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
Your mistake is relying on the seat map for seat availability. AA will not block seats for upgrades, but they do block some seats for airport assignment. Also, the seat map is very fluid, as passengers make reservations, change seats or cancel reservations.

If you are trying to gauge upgrade availability, the only reliable source is an availability tool like expertflyer.com. The seat map is misleading.
I agree with this last statement with regard to empty seats- counting empty seats on a seatmap is irrelevant for knowing how many seats are available for sale.

However, I've found the seatmaps to be generally accurate for occupied seats. I've even looked before and after picking/switching a seat, and the seatmap accurately (and immediately) reflects that action. So, I do have confidence in the "taken" seats.

That said, blocked seats also show as "taken,", and I'm sure that that was what was at play here. It really was listed as "taken," just not occupied by a person.

Cheers.
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Old Jan 24, 08, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
However, I've found the seatmaps to be generally accurate for occupied seats. I've even looked before and after picking/switching a seat, and the seatmap accurately (and immediately) reflects that action. So, I do have confidence in the "taken" seats.
This is exactly why I posed the question... I've always found EF to be accurate and I thought it was a bit weird. As long as no one else is assigned to the seat, I'm not complaining
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Old Jan 24, 08, 2:51 pm
  #7  
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Wouldn't straight F inventory give you some insight into this question? If it shows F4 and you only see 2 open seats on the map, then there must be 2 that are blocked for one reason or another. (Opposite of trying to use the seat map to judge inventory.)
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Old Jan 24, 08, 3:08 pm
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I've seen the first/biz class seatmaps on some of my flights seemingly change by the minute in the ~3 hours prior to departure. I assume that it's due to passengers changing plans (earlier or later flights or cancellations, etc) and/or passengers checking the seatmaps and re-arranging themselves (couples/families trying to reunite, etc). A few times I've seen fewer open seats on the seat map than indicated by availability tools like EF.
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