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Seat change while boarding - an odd experience

Seat change while boarding - an odd experience

Old Aug 27, 16, 9:40 pm
  #1  
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Seat change while boarding - an odd experience

I'm a UA Platinum who almost never flies DL but made a rare trip on it today, accompanying my fiancée who is a DL Platinum. Something happened that seemed odd to us and I wanted to get perspectives.

We were flying on different PNRs. She had previously been upgraded to C+, and was in row 6. I had a main cabin award ticket but had previously paid a fee to select a seat in row 7.

As we boarded together, my Delta phone app boarding pass still said I was in row 7. However, the machine beeped at me and it spit out a piece of paper with a new seat assignment, in row 13.

I expressed confusion and mild concern. The GA indicated they had given my seat to another passenger who needed to use a wheelchair on the jetway. After some time staring at the seat map, the GA called the name of a passenger in row 5 who hadn't boarded yet and who the GA seemed to know, told her not to board, and gave me a C+ seat in row 5.

On the one hand, I got a C+ seat in a row adjacent to my fiancée, so I was happy.

But on the other hand, the whole situation seemed very weird:

(1) If my seat had changed, why wouldn't the boarding pass in the Delta app have changed? I've come to expect from the United app that the boarding pass on my phone changes dynamically, e.g., when I'm upgraded at the gate I usually learn it via the app before the GA gets around to calling me. Is the Delta app behind the times in that regard?

(2) More generally, shouldn't the GA have paged me for a new boarding pass when changing my seat?

(3) The fact that the GA seemed to know the passenger whose seat she gave me makes me think that said passenger was a nonrev. Do non-revs on DL get priority for C+?

(4) We checked later and there were 4 people on the C+ upgrade list who didn't get upgraded, which makes me feel a little bad about how the GA handled the situation.
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Old Aug 27, 16, 9:48 pm
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Originally Posted by rowenb View Post
(1) If my seat had changed, why wouldn't the boarding pass in the Delta app have changed? I've come to expect from the United app that the boarding pass on my phone changes dynamically, e.g., when I'm upgraded at the gate I usually learn it via the app before the GA gets around to calling me. Is the Delta app behind the times in that regard?
Yes. To this day, if your seat changes, whether by your choice or the GA's, the app's BP does not change. Even European LCCs have this feature working.

Originally Posted by rowenb View Post
(2) More generally, shouldn't the GA have paged me for a new boarding pass when changing my seat?
Again, yes, but perhaps the GA was hoping you'd just accept the new assignment without saying anything.

Originally Posted by rowenb View Post
(3) The fact that the GA seemed to know the passenger whose seat she gave me makes me think that said passenger was a nonrev. Do non-revs on DL get priority for C+?
They shouldn't, but that doesn't mean there aren't any rogue GAs. We have a whole thread on this board about shenanigans GAs sometimes pull when it comes to the first class upgrade list, and sadly, it wouldn't surprise me at all if we need one for Comfort+ too.

Please write DL and report this GA. There's no excuse for their behavior--it sounds like they tried to pull the wool over your eyes and you smartly wouldn't let them do it.
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Old Aug 27, 16, 9:59 pm
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Originally Posted by rowenb View Post
I'm a UA Platinum who almost never flies DL but made a rare trip on it today, accompanying my fiancée who is a DL Platinum. Something happened that seemed odd to us and I wanted to get perspectives.

We were flying on different PNRs. She had previously been upgraded to C+, and was in row 6. I had a main cabin award ticket but had previously paid a fee to select a seat in row 7.

As we boarded together, my Delta phone app boarding pass still said I was in row 7. However, the machine beeped at me and it spit out a piece of paper with a new seat assignment, in row 13.

I expressed confusion and mild concern. The GA indicated they had given my seat to another passenger who needed to use a wheelchair on the jetway. After some time staring at the seat map, the GA called the name of a passenger in row 5 who hadn't boarded yet and who the GA seemed to know, told her not to board, and gave me a C+ seat in row 5.

On the one hand, I got a C+ seat in a row adjacent to my fiancée, so I was happy.

But on the other hand, the whole situation seemed very weird:

(1) If my seat had changed, why wouldn't the boarding pass in the Delta app have changed? I've come to expect from the United app that the boarding pass on my phone changes dynamically, e.g., when I'm upgraded at the gate I usually learn it via the app before the GA gets around to calling me. Is the Delta app behind the times in that regard?

(2) More generally, shouldn't the GA have paged me for a new boarding pass when changing my seat?

(3) The fact that the GA seemed to know the passenger whose seat she gave me makes me think that said passenger was a nonrev. Do non-revs on DL get priority for C+?

(4) We checked later and there were 4 people on the C+ upgrade list who didn't get upgraded, which makes me feel a little bad about how the GA handled the situation.
1) DL BPs don't change after they are issued. You should have seen the new assignment in the app, but not on your BP.

2) she should have. But proablly figured you didn't have status/were travelling alone and so didn't bother since she felt she gave you an "equal" seat. Once you informed her you were travelling with a companion (who had status), she felt bad and "made it right" (as she should have).

3) day of departure C+ upgrades are not handled well. I regularly see non revs and standby/standby for seat passengers get priority over people on the list when seats are cleared at the gate. Most medallions clear prior to DoD.

4) see 3.
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Old Aug 28, 16, 4:09 am
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By law all airlines have to accommodate disabled passengers with a seat that works for them. The first row of a cabin is always subject to disabled passengers taking a seat from someone else.

I'm betting either 1)the passenger flies frequently or 2)the passenger had introduced their self and thus why the GA seemed to know them.

I have hardware in my leg and if not on a D1 in F/J on a lie-flat, I have to have an aisle with the aisle to the left of the seat. Agents at airport know me and will redo seats without me asking.
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Old Aug 28, 16, 5:30 am
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DL e-boarding passes never change. One of the few things I like about AA is theirs do.
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Old Aug 28, 16, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
By law all airlines have to accommodate disabled passengers with a seat that works for them. The first row of a cabin is always subject to disabled passengers taking a seat from someone else.

I'm betting either 1)the passenger flies frequently or 2)the passenger had introduced their self and thus why the GA seemed to know them.
the passenger that the GA knew wasn't the passenger that needed the wheelchair. That was a 3rd passenger.
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Old Aug 28, 16, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by krlcomm View Post
One of the few things I like about AA is theirs do.
Had this happen to me on Friday. Was paged to approach the desk; agent asked me if I was in 5A; I checked my mobile bp to confirm; she then asked if I would mind switching to 5F; I agreed and a couple of minutes later my boaring pass updated.

Key difference between what happened to me and the OP is that I was asked prior to having my seat switched. I'd be pretty ticked if my mobile bp was updated without being asked and I only discovered on boarding the aircraft (at which point it's kinda difficult to get the agent to do anything about it).
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Old Aug 28, 16, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by LoganFlyer View Post
Yes. To this day, if your seat changes, whether by your choice or the GA's, the app's BP does not change.
IME, usually this is the case (assuming you're doing a last minute seat change hours before your flight), however I have experienced about 4-5 instances where the BP did miraculously update. In those instances, I had two different cell phones with the DL app and found that when I made the seat change on one phone, only the other phone's DL app BP updated. Don't know why.
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Old Aug 28, 16, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by rowenb View Post
.... the GA called the name of a passenger in row 5 who hadn't boarded yet and who the GA seemed to know, told her not to board, and gave me a C+ seat in row 5....

(3) The fact that the GA seemed to know the passenger whose seat she gave me makes me think that said passenger was a nonrev. Do non-revs on DL get priority for C+?
....
I think it is a big jump to assume that person was a non rev. After all, in the process of dealing with the GA to insure a proper seat, the GA may well have gotten to "know" that passenger and was just being friendly in that interaction.

Yea, I know GA training sometimes seems to result in not being friendly, but hey, it does happen.

So, the non rev assumption is based on very little information.
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Old Aug 28, 16, 12:33 pm
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Was the new seat assignment that the machine spit out in row 13 a C+ seat?

It sounds to me that all that happened is that a person with a disability was accommodated. If row 13 was also C+, and you were not moved from an aisle to a middle or something like that, then I see no issue as you were accommodated in the same class of service. If it had been a downgrade, you would have been due compensation had they not put you in a C+ seat.
It would have been good to have been notified by being paged (though is it possible this happened before you arrived at the gate?).

In the end it sounds like the GA also went out of her way to accommodate you.

As others have said, BP's are not dynamic on DL, but the seating map on the app is. If you were to refresh your reservation in the app, the seat listed would change.
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Old Aug 28, 16, 12:46 pm
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Non rev

Our experience of late... particularly on international flights where there are a lot of empty seats or even a few... they quickly get filled up with non-revs at the gate and their placements comes and goes with the "paid" demands. As they are coded differently and assigned late in the process that was what happened here. However, I've seen them reassign you at the last minute but usually not a downgrade.
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Old Aug 28, 16, 2:19 pm
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If a revenue passenger picked a seat, this should not be changed by a GA to accommodate the preferences of a nonrev.
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