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Unable to select seat on AA award flight booked with BA avios

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Old Dec 15, 17, 10:18 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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Unable to select seat on AA award flight booked with BA avios

Flight is operated by Envoy as American Eagle. Booked it using BA avios, in coach at the 7500 avios level. Obtained AA PNR, added my AA FFN to obtain my AA CC holder benefits. Itinerary shows in "my flights" on AA.com and in AA app, and is "ticketed". However, when I go to select seats at AA.com (regardless whether through full desktop site, mobile, etc.), I get the following message:

"Weíre unable to assign seats for everyone. Please check back or weíll assign seats at the airport."

This is interesting because when I go on AA.com and search the same flight as if to buy a paid ticket on it, the seat chart shows no fewer than 15 seats open for selection, most of which are not MCE or "preferred" seats. So I have no idea why I cannot select seats, unless AA is now treating BA avios coach awards as "basic economy" inventory such that seat selection is off limits. Flight was booked a week ago and this condition has persisted ever since. Anyone have any ideas what's going on? Thanks.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 10:35 am
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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When I've purchased AA award flights with BA Avios, I changed the FFN from BA Avios to AAdvantage through the Finnair website (https://www.finnair.com/us/gb/ under Manage Booking and using the BA PNR). Once my booking shows the AA FFN, then I've been able to go to AA.com and select any seat available to me using my PLT status (including MCE seats). I'd recommend trying that method to see if it shows you all the available seats based on your AA status.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 11:33 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by AAMCI View Post
When I've purchased AA award flights with BA Avios, I changed the FFN from BA Avios to AAdvantage through the Finnair website (https://www.finnair.com/us/gb/ under Manage Booking and using the BA PNR). Once my booking shows the AA FFN, then I've been able to go to AA.com and select any seat available to me using my PLT status (including MCE seats). I'd recommend trying that method to see if it shows you all the available seats based on your AA status.
Thanks for the reply. I should have added that my AA FFN is already on the reservation. I generally (unless I forget) just remove it during the BA booking process and then add my AA FFN at AA's site. I have no status, just an AA credit card.
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Old Dec 15, 17, 1:17 pm
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I've seen the same thing with my spouse and kids (all no AA status) when booking with BA Avios and then managing the booking via AA.com. The only seats available to assign are the ones in the very back of the cabin, or middle seats. I think it is because the BA Avios redemption comes from the T booking class, which restricts which seats are allowed for free assignment. If all the free seats are all assigned already, then there are none to assign to the reward booking, even though there are other seats available when you make a dummy cash booking.

You can try calling AA Web Support and see if they will assign you a seat, or just check in at 24 hours before departure to select seats.
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Old Dec 18, 17, 12:02 pm
  #5  
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Well here's how it played out: Never was able to select seats. Checked in online and was given row 18, which is the last row on the ERJ-145. Tried airport kiosk. Seat map showed nothing else available. It was only an hour flight, so I didn't care enough to address it with an agent or bother with calling them up. Once off the gate, I noticed at least six empty seats on our ERJ-145 (and this was after they cleared at least a couple non-rev's) all behind the exit row, which have traditionally been up for grabs upon booking with avios.

So seats were available, and they were not of the type that can only be selected by those with status. It's an all-coach plane, so upgrades don't account for the empty coach seats. Clearly it wasn't close to sold out. So it's down to either a tech glitch (most likely) or something else.

Side note- part of the reason I didn't care bother consulting an agent to change seats was because I figured almost no one would bother using the bathroom on an hour long flight. No fewer than six people ended up using it! Wild stuff.
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Last edited by wlp07; Dec 18, 17 at 12:07 pm Reason: add information about seat location given
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Old Dec 18, 17, 10:24 pm
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Smile

Originally Posted by wlp07 View Post
Well here's how it played out: Never was able to select seats. Checked in online and was given row 18, which is the last row on the ERJ-145. Tried airport kiosk. Seat map showed nothing else available. It was only an hour flight, so I didn't care enough to address it with an agent or bother with calling them up. Once off the gate, I noticed at least six empty seats on our ERJ-145 (and this was after they cleared at least a couple non-rev's) all behind the exit row, which have traditionally been up for grabs upon booking with avios.

So seats were available, and they were not of the type that can only be selected by those with status. It's an all-coach plane, so upgrades don't account for the empty coach seats. Clearly it wasn't close to sold out. So it's down to either a tech glitch (most likely) or something else.

Side note- part of the reason I didn't care bother consulting an agent to change seats was because I figured almost no one would bother using the bathroom on an hour long flight. No fewer than six people ended up using it! Wild stuff.
I always use the bathroom right after the seatbelt sign goes off. Usually I have had a few cocktails, and have already broke the seal in the lounge, so off I go. Only difference is the bathroom is in the front of the plane.
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Old Dec 19, 17, 7:22 am
  #7  
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I had the same thing happen to me. I booked a DCA-JFK-GIG ticket using BA Avios and changed the FFN to my AA number. I called the EXP line, and the agent said that because it was a mileage ticket, I wouldn't be able to get the seat assignments that I would normally get as an EXP. This made no sense, so I sent a direct message to the AA Twitter team. They were able to assign me the seats I wanted without any issues. Interestingly, I'm not allowed to change my seats when I log into the booking, but the MCE seats I requested through Twitter are there.
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Old Dec 19, 17, 8:00 am
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Had same issue with a BA award JFK-DCA. I'm BA gold and AA plt and the seat map always showed no seats available. I was able to check an agent at the lounge the day before the trip to assign me the exit row. Never had that problem in the past.
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Old Dec 19, 17, 8:44 am
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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Same Problem

I first visited "manage bookings" on the Qantas site to get AA record locator from the BA booking code, make sure that the tickets were passed over to the AA computers (doesn't always happen without some help), and insert AAdvantage numbers. We actually had 3 separate PNRs. Was able to get seats for the first/business booking, but not for the 2 coach. We have one Platinum passenger in first/coach and one Platinum passenger in coach.

I am concerned about overbooking, getting the Platinum free bags, and getting our TSA pre-check.

Last month we could not use kiosks for boarding passes and had to go to the counter when flying with Avios on AA.
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Old Dec 24, 17, 10:06 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Same issue, no resolution. Booked an AA award flight using BA Avios. It did assign me seats, but If I try to change seats on BA.com, it simply redirects me to AA.com, where the entire seat map is grayed out and I cannot change seating. If I log in to AA.com using AA PNR, or through my account on AA.com (Had Aadvatage # added to rez, so I can see it my "my trips"), the entire seat map is still grayed out. Called AA, no help. Messaged AA on Twitter, they told me I had to go through BA. Haven't yet called BA, but if their website redirects me to AA, I assume their reps will tell me to contact AA. One person on the rez is AA Gold, so we re hoping to choose some preferred (not MCE) seats, close to the front.

It's almost like they do treat it one step better than Basic Economy, as it did assign seats, but I cannot change them at all.

EDIT: Just after I posted this, I received a response to my response to AA Twitter. I had replied them back saying that BA was redirecting me to AA and that surely someone at AA knew how to fix this. Their response was, "Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you, we were able to switch you to the seats you requested.

This falls under to age-old adage that if you don't like the first answer, call (or tweet) again.

Last edited by genotonda; Dec 24, 17 at 10:16 am Reason: Update
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Old Dec 26, 17, 8:13 am
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AA Treating Avios award tickets as BE for seating selection

Recently booked a BA award ticket on AA for SFO-ORD. It was booked on short notice (but not sure this should have any impact). I called in to select seats but the agent (and her supervisor) confirmed that I had to call BA to select seats (I know this isn't true so I didn't bother to call BA). When I checked in online, I was randomly assigned a seat and couldn't change it online, and when I asked at the airport to change the seat, the agent said it would not be possible.

There was no scarlet B on my BP however, and I was allowed a carry on (but I'm a CC member and don't know what would've happened if I wasn't).
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Old Dec 26, 17, 8:34 am
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which FF # was on ticket? your AA or BA number? could be an issue of changing FF number after ticket is issues
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Old Dec 26, 17, 8:35 am
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Originally Posted by WearyTravellerMSP View Post
which FF # was on ticket? your AA or BA number? could be an issue of changing FF number after ticket is issues
AA.
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Old Dec 26, 17, 8:46 am
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shouldnt have happened then. I have seen this happen under the other alliance ticket but shouldnt happen with AA #. I assume this was on AA metal.
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Old Dec 26, 17, 8:58 am
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Pretty sure this is a website glitch and it affects paid BA tickets as well. I have one booked months ago and I selected seats online months ago. The flight is coming up and I went to look at seats options and the whole map appears reserved. My first thought was what kind of wicked overbooking was that! But if I go in as if to make a new reservation, there and plenty of seats available.

I called and the agent was willing to change my seats without a charge, but was uninterested in the website issue.

I was was hoping that it might resolve itself at 24 hours, but, from the reports here, it appears not. I want to switch to MCE at 24 hours, so it looks like Iím going to have to call. Iím not enthusiastic about this as I already was told when I called that I would have to pay for MCE, as OW Ruby, even within 24 hours, so itís probably going to be yet another adventure with customer service.
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