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Do people actually care about seat assignments?

Do people actually care about seat assignments?

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Old Jun 26, 07, 8:41 am
  #1  
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Do people actually care about seat assignments?

Just mystified - having looked at a number of seating plans today for upcoming flights - why people that have assigned seating don't seem to be checking or changing what they have been allocated. Even when they have been given rubbish seats. Is it that the vast majority don't care, or they don't know how to?

On a JFK-LHR flight, there is not a single seat pre-assigned on the UD (apart from mine), yet there are about 14 seats assigned on the LD.

On a CE flight, even in the Gold only rows 1-2, there are EF seats assigned, while the AC ones are still free.

And in F, people are in 5AK when the rest of the cabin is free. Why?

It just occurs to me that most people don't seem to be checking their seats, either they don't know how, or they don't care. Which of course means there are more good seats left for those of us that do care.
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Old Jun 26, 07, 8:49 am
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They don't care. Grief, Ms Raffles is off to Korea on Asiana tonight and, despite prodding from me, has no idea where is sitting and isn't that bothered. I've even had to put a post-it note on her passport or she wouldn't even remember / bother to hand over her Lufty card when checking in, even though this flight will make her Silver and stop her miles expiring for the next 2 years.

And don't mention 5AK. I have been told for our upcoming NY trip that we WILL be sitting side by side and, since 4AK is gone, guess where we are! After we had 2A/3A for our last 5 legs in F she got suspicious about my claims that the middle pairs had always gone ....
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Old Jun 26, 07, 9:17 am
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I wish what happens to Smirnoff would happen to me.

IST flight booked a week out - one aisle and then only middles left.
HKG booked 4/6 weeks oout - UD normally full, lucky to score 14AK.

I must be picking busy travel days, and busy flights.
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Old Jun 26, 07, 9:20 am
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I care and yes, I'm in the opposite scenario also - entire upper deck is full, but my travelling partner can't get a seat up there with me.

I guess those booking through Travel Agents, etc may not even know about MMB and the ability to change - nor care, like the OP said.
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Old Jun 26, 07, 9:21 am
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I've found it to be incredibly variable.

Two LHR-BOS trips coming up, mid-week, morning departures.

1st one, only two free aisle seats upstairs.
2nd one, only three seats assigned upstairs.

Downstairs on both flights, plumb seats like 14AK are empty.

Those not as savvy as me at work (and who end up flying in economy because of this!) will generally be on full Y, so can pre-assign exit row seats if they wanted, generally appear not to care. There's one guy I've helped recently (he was off to SEA at the weekend in Y - ouch!) to get decent seats, but nobody else - including one who's silver with asperations to Euro-gold - just don't appear to be bothered!
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Old Jun 26, 07, 9:31 am
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I care a lot and once my silver is confirmed in the next couple of weeks, that's the first thing I'm going to do for my long haul flights - get a decent seat assigned, and yes I will be watching that the seat shifters don't move it.

From a CSA perspective I'd say it's about a 50/50 mix of those who care and those who don't. You'll be amazed how many turn up at the airport with their PYOBP's with thir seats at the back of the a/c and yet lots are still available further forward. It clearly doesn't worry them where they sit as long as they're together somewhere on the a/c.

Equally there's a similar number who always ask for the furthest forward seats, or exit rows. They get upset, sometimes extremely upset when their choice of seat is not available. And for those travelling in CE the majority want the AC side, but again there's a few that don't care, or perhaps don't know any better
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Old Jun 26, 07, 9:39 am
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to be honest, I think it's a bit of an FT thing. When I travel with friends, they think I'm mad fussing over which seat to get. Some of them don't even mind sitting in middle seats
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Old Jun 26, 07, 9:47 am
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I'm sure we can all agree that anyone here on FT would be one of the "caring" passengers rather then the one's that just don't care/know how to/think about it type of passengers.

On the same note, apparently, on EasyJet / Ryanair etc, people get on the plane and run to grab a seat at the back, for some odd reason!
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Old Jun 26, 07, 9:51 am
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Was just thinking the same thing. Am flying out in ET on Thursday and I am the only one (of about 10 people with pre-assigned seats) who has bothered to move seats subsequent to the opening up of a bunch of better ones yesterday lunchtime. Currently I have one of the two super-desirable front row seats and I am watching the other one like a hawk hoping it will still be free so I can put my travelling companion (separate PNR) in it at T-25.

In the days before online seat assignment, only a small minority of passengers were savvy enough to ask for an exit row seat at check-in (in Y), even on long-haul routes. On short-haul routes even fewer seemed to care, at least care enough to remember to ask. It involves an order of magnitude greater sophistication to know that the seats near the front of ET have extra legroom because they can be converted into CE, or that extra seats open up at T-3.

I put my own obsession with seating down to years of painful trauma in my youth. I took a lot of flights to the U.S. when I was a student and later an assistant professor (and Research Fellow back on this side of the pond in Cambridge), initially all of them in Y, and being 6'4" the big drama on each journey was discovering at the check-in desk whether or not I would get an exit row seat. Later on, when I was still an academic and still couldn't pay to go Club, I spend a long time working out better ways to make my journey bearable such as optimizing my use of the United frequent flyer scheme to upgrade to C with miles on the majority of flights (I couldn't acheive it on all). Now I am fortunate enough to have no problem paying to travel Club whenever I fly long-haul for leisure (2-3 times a year), but the scars from my youth persist.

I bet this situation isn't so uncommon and that the average height of FT'ers is significantly greater than the general population.
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Old Jun 26, 07, 9:53 am
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post

On the same note, apparently, on EasyJet / Ryanair etc, people get on the plane and run to grab a seat at the back, for some odd reason!
Best seat in a crash??!
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Old Jun 26, 07, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by James S View Post
Best seat in a crash??!
No. The advantage of the back row on those flights is that no one can attack you from behind.
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Old Jun 26, 07, 10:20 am
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Most of my friends think I'm a bit obsessed about seat assignment and really don't care especially on a short flight. For them, the only factor in deciding which airline to fly is cost and departure time. They are as happy on EZ as on BA.

Some of my colleagues who fly regularly to the US in J don't bother to check seat assignments until OLCI. They only use OLCI in case they are running late and want to make sure they get on the flight before airport check in closes.
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Old Jun 26, 07, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by vSFU View Post
Most of my friends think I'm a bit obsessed about seat assignment and really don't care especially on a short flight. For them, the only factor in deciding which airline to fly is cost and departure time. They are as happy on EZ as on BA.

Some of my colleagues who fly regularly to the US in J don't bother to check seat assignments until OLCI. They only use OLCI in case they are running late and want to make sure they get on the flight before airport check in closes.
I think we are all a bit obsessive. When someone new starts in the office, they get introduced to me as "the person to speak to if you want to pay economy but fly business" as if that's derogatory...
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Old Jun 26, 07, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by vSFU View Post
Some of my colleagues who fly regularly to the US in J don't bother to check seat assignments until OLCI. They only use OLCI in case they are running late and want to make sure they get on the flight before airport check in closes.
Does this actually make any difference (assuming the plane isn't oversold)? I would have thought you either make it on time or you don't, more or less. They might hold up the plane a few minutes for a passenger (especially a J passenger - it happened to a friend on his way to see me once who had got the flight time wrong by an hour) who has shown up at the airport and is making his way through security, but I can't see they would do so for someone who has just OLCI'd. (I'm not counting Premiers here, etc.)

On one occasion, the taxi taking my boyfriend to Barajas (to catch a flight to see me in London) crashed halfway to the airport. I panicked and OLCI'd for him, while he was finding another cab, thinking that at least it couldn't do any harm. Of course, when he showed up at the airport this just caused confusion as he said he hadn't checked in, and the checkin agent telephoned me to work out what was going on! But you can rely on BA: the flight was running an hour late, so he had plenty of time.
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Old Jun 26, 07, 10:50 am
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When travelling for business to be honest I don't really care - even long haul economy - I usually try and snag a decent seat once booked but it's not the end of the world if not....

Travelling with my partner for leisure is a different matter - for starters we wanbt to sit together. Next, I'll generally have splashed out either miles or cash for First or Business and want the biggest bang for my (hard earned) bucks!
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