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Need Advice on Seat Assignment Problem ORD BCN

Need Advice on Seat Assignment Problem ORD BCN

Old Jul 15, 19, 8:22 pm
  #1  
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Need Advice on Seat Assignment Problem ORD BCN

Flying with my family this week. American has lost our seat assignments on our rez. We are on full fare premium economy tickets and now all the seats are showing assigned on Expert Flyer. Do you think they will push us back to Coach? Up to Biz? Any ideas?
theadmiral is offline  
Old Jul 15, 19, 9:16 pm
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First, you can call Reservations and ask what happened to your seat assignments. If they can't reassign you, it suggests that W is overbooked. Did ExpertFlyer show W0?

If this isn't resolved before day of travel, you may be assigned seats at check-in, or it may go all the way to the gate. You have confirmed W tickets even if you don't have seat assignments. Not being assigned *might* make you more susceptible to being bumped due to overbooking. I think AA would op-up to J if possible (whoever they prioritize in W, not necessarily you). Or, they can offer you a downgrade to Y with appropriate refund, or put you in W on a later flight if that is your preference.

Right now, you might be able to switch and get in W on a different routing or date that isn't oversold. But on the current flight, they will not preemptively put you in J or Y, but will wait to see if W actually ends up oversold.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 9:21 pm
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This happened to my in-laws DFW-NRT, albeit due to IRROPS. They were re-booked in W for flight the next day but it was overbooked (no seats available). They ended up in last row of coach (they have no status and didn't really realize enough what was happening to push back/ask for alternatives). Ultimately they received refund for difference between Y and W which wasn't much because I got W at a low price.

I would be prepared with all kinds of alternatives.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 10:13 pm
  #4  
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What is W0 on Expert Flyer?

How do I get them to admit they are oversold? Also, there are 4 seats left in Biz.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 10:29 pm
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What, exactly, did AA say happened to your seat assignments?
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Old Jul 15, 19, 10:46 pm
  #6  
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They tried to tell me I never had seat assignments(!). She said "they don't make mistakes".

They still had my daughters special meal request but they lost all four seat assignments.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by theadmiral View Post
What is W0 on Expert Flyer?
Under Flight Availability, you can search for inventory on your flight. J3 means three seats for sale in full-fare business (discount business could be the same number or less), etc. W0 means zero seats for sale in premium economy (because W is full-fare there, discount premium economy would also be zero).
Originally Posted by theadmiral View Post
How do I get them to admit they are oversold?
If your tickets are valid but they can't assign seats, they've come close to admitting it unless they offer another explanation. Sometimes seats are blocked rather than occupied, to be allocated as needed at the airport (for pax with disabilities or traveling with infants); in this case, it might not be oversold, but ExpertFlyer should show blocked seats differently from occupied ones.
Originally Posted by theadmiral View Post
Also, there are 4 seats left in Biz.
Note that the seat map is not definitive for this. If the inventory says J0, then the cabin is likely full even if some haven't chosen seats.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 10:55 pm
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Originally Posted by theadmiral View Post
They tried to tell me I never had seat assignments(!). She said "they don't make mistakes".

They still had my daughters special meal request but they lost all four seat assignments.
what is the date of your flight ?
If business has available seats you will be bumped to biz. When they oversell PE they usually bump into biz.
Or they may bump someone with higher status and give you their seat.
Few months ago I was flying ORD LHR and PE was oversold by 10. J had 10 open seats - non were for sale. And when tired to add myself to upgrade list - FL agent told me no point since they only have 10 seats left and PE is oversold by 10. All of them were upgraded and both PE and J cabin ended up being full.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 11:57 pm
  #9  
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my flight is Thursday. I don't have the premium Expert Flyer so I don't get inventory.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 12:00 am
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Originally Posted by theadmiral View Post
my flight is Thursday. I don't have the premium Expert Flyer so I don't get inventory.
expert flyer shows J0 and W0. I see there are 4 seats unassigned in J. Most likely you will get those seats.
Please keep us updated
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Old Jul 16, 19, 12:45 am
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Originally Posted by gateH15 View Post

expert flyer shows J0 and W0. I see there are 4 seats unassigned in J. Most likely you will get those seats.
Please keep us updated
That is far from a likely scenario. For all we know there could be 1-4 pax booked in J who haven't assigned seats. Or folks in W could be on the upgrade list and clear into those empty J seats.

OP: if by the time you get to the airport you still don't have seat assignments, I'd make it a point to get to the gate ASAP. In most cases the GA has more authority over who sits where than check-in or lounge agents. If the empty J seats are still there, point that out. If those aren't available, I'd personally be inquiring about a reroute in the cabin I booked rather than taking an involuntary downgrade into Y, but that's largely out of my aversion to long-haul Y.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 2:27 am
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Do you still have the email from AA showing your reservation and your seat assignments? - That would prove you had them...

That said, Airlines reserve the right to move you for almost any reason imaginable.

As above, I would get to the airport early-ish and talk to customer support and although that may not get you satisfaction, as soon as the gate agent arrives talk to them if CS didn't settle it.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by Hipplewm View Post
Do you still have the email from AA showing your reservation and your seat assignments? - That would prove you had them...

That said, Airlines reserve the right to move you for almost any reason imaginable.

As above, I would get to the airport early-ish and talk to customer support and although that may not get you satisfaction, as soon as the gate agent arrives talk to them if CS didn't settle it.
or if OP has status or AC membership I would try to go there and let agents in FL or AC to help you with seats or upgrade.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by gateH15 View Post

or if OP has status or AC membership I would try to go there and let agents in FL or AC to help you with seats or upgrade.
I would not wait until you get to the airport since that flight leaves late on Thursday night, after all other options have gone. There are flights to BCN from JFK, PHL and CLT but they all require you to leave ORD Thursday morning or early afternoon. This isn't about calling to get your pre-assigned seats back, but getting a commitment that you will fly in your booked cabin (not sure you can get a solid commitment, but you can ask them to document it in the record) - there's nothing to lose from asking.

If you can't leave earlier on Thursday then you should probably be prepared to take a downgrade to Y, or fly on Friday (but Friday there is even less space than Thursday it seems).
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Old Jul 16, 19, 2:41 pm
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There’s really not much you can do.
AA will not “guarantee” to fly you in your purchased class.
Having an old email with seat assignments will not do anything.
Getting them to admit the PE cabin is overbooked won’t do much either, and they’re not even obligated to tell you (they are obligated to tell you if the *flight* is overbooked, but they’re not obligated to let you change your flight for free because of that.)

You can *hope* that the 4 unassigned J seats are being held for Op-ups, though they’re likely to go to the highest status passengers, not necessarily the OP.

You can be prepared with backup options in case they try to involuntarily downgrade you, but I suspect as posted it may be too late at that point.

Even getting there early early is not likely to accomplish much, but certainly plan to be there well before the checkin cutoff so they can’t use that as an excuse to offload/downgrade you. The checkin agent may likely pass you off to the gate agent anyway.

If the gate gate agent does try to downgrade you, you can try and get him/her to confirm whether or not they solicited volunteers first, not sure that would mean that much, since they’re only *required* to do that before an invol *denied boarding*, not a downgrade, afaik.

unfortunately OP is a bit between a Rock and a hard place. Either it will work out or it won’t.

I think there was a case here a year ago or so someone flying PHL-Europe (maybe BCN too, in a 757) who lost 2 J seat assignments and there was a lot of screaming here (I think it was a family with a special needs child split between cabins or something like that) and I think it was taken to the attention of AA management and they were prepared to re-route the poster but ultimately there were 2 no-shows. But this was with more advance notice than day-before. So not sure how successful even trying to run this up the chain at AA would be.
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