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EXP in paid coach, companion in award coach seat strategy?

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Old Oct 21, 17, 10:47 am
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Either below the Ockham stack or below the approach to SDKY
Programs: UA 1MM/*G. AA EXP for 1 more year. Then, who knows?
Posts: 4,706
EXP in paid coach, companion in award coach seat strategy?

I will be traveling later this year for the first time (transatlantic) together with a no-status companion. I'll be on a revenue ticket, and my companion traveling on a saver award ticket using my miles. With award tickets qualifying only for the most basic seats, what strategies are other EXPs using? The EXP holding a seat closer to the front of the cabin, and hoping that the check-in agent might allow the companion the adjacent seat or just both of you going for adjacent seats in the back from the time of booking?
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Old Oct 21, 17, 12:25 pm
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/SAN
Programs: AA EXP, AS MVPG75K, HH/SPG/Marriott Gold
Posts: 776
In the past, EXP agents have been willing to put a companion into an adjacent Y seat to an EXP traveling on the same flight (even on a separate ticket). I had the same scenario earlier this year (me on a revenue ticket, companion on an award), and the EXP agent just asked for my record locator to confirm that we were traveling on the same flight. EXP agents seem to be empowered to do less with each passing day though, and things may have changed even since earlier this year, but it wouldn't hurt to call and ask. I'd even HUCA if they won't do it the first time, but again, the policy may have recently changed.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 2:11 pm
  #3
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The Heartland -- AA EXP 3.5MM, Hyatt Diamond, Avis President's Club
Posts: 5,696
Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag View Post
With award tickets qualifying only for the most basic seats, what strategies are other EXPs using?
Definitely call AA and have your travel companion seated next to you in MCE.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 2:16 pm
  #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO/HBE
Programs: AA EXP, UA 1K
Posts: 301
I travel frequently with friends on long haul routes, and have never had an issue assigning them a seat near me in MCE
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Old Oct 21, 17, 3:02 pm
  #5
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New Orleans (MSY); Jackson (JAN); Shreveport (SHV)
Programs: AA EXP, IHG PLT, Hilton Gold, Amtrak, WN
Posts: 2,189
I didn't know that you could call the EXP line and have a companion seated next to you. That's a really nice benefit!

In the past, I'd simply ask at the desk or at the Admirals Club. I'd check the seatmap in advance and ask the agent if we could all be seated in the same row. Only once has an AAngel asked me to pay, so I just went and asked someone else. Of course, this doesn't always work with full flights...
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Old Oct 21, 17, 7:09 pm
  #6
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: MIA- EZE
Programs: AA EXP, LA Comodoro
Posts: 1,049
Don't wait to get to the airport because by them most of the best MCE will be gone. Call now and link both PNR, if is possible select exit seats, don't forget to report back.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 7:28 pm
  #7
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,235
What the OP is describing out seperate PNRs. Exp agents may have no trouble but other agents Gold, Plat have their computers locked down on what they can do.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 8:43 pm
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/SAN
Programs: AA EXP, AS MVPG75K, HH/SPG/Marriott Gold
Posts: 776
Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
What the OP is describing out seperate PNRs. Exp agents may have no trouble but other agents Gold, Plat have their computers locked down on what they can do.
Yes, and with the transition to Qik and the pending loss of SABRE access, I wonder whether EXP and airport/club agents will lose this ability in the near future (if they haven't already). Earlier this year, EXP agents did still have this ability, though.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 10:40 pm
  #9
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southern California
Programs: WN CP, AS MVP Gold 75K, AA PLT, UA Silver. Marriott/SPG Platinum, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,483
There appeared to be a special option that phone agents can select to get access to preferred or MCE seating for non-elite companions on separate PNRs. One issue I was told that if the elite reservation (paid) was not made through direct AA sources (using direct connect or a travel agency), it might not be recognized to waive the seat fees for others.

Rasheed
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Old Oct 22, 17, 10:45 am
  #10
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 91
Same exact situation for me a year ago on a trip to CDG. I phoned and my friend was moved and seated next to me on all four flights.
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