Change in elite seating policy

 
Old Jul 9, 05, 12:03 pm
  #16  
 
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seat changes

And the policies seem to be changing daily. you no longer can get online day before flight leaves and move your seat to an elite seat (assuming you're not elite). aarrgh
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Old Jul 9, 05, 6:56 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by Stripe
It gets worse. I was traveling with a non-elite companion last weekend AUS-DTW and back on the same reservation and was able to get her elite seating. When I called a week ahead to get the reservation split so I could be eligible for the upgrade, she promptly lost her premium seat. On one flight, she lost her seat assignment entirely as no non-premium seats were available. I then called the gold elite line to ask to have her reseated with me and then learned about the new policy. And of course, the reservations could not be rejoined.

I felt like I had fallen into a trap. Yes, I was trying to work the system but I hated the surprise side effect. In the end, luck was with us as I was automatically upgraded on all legs and was able to get the gold elite companion upgrade for her.
I just flew two weeks ago CLT to PHX with a budy to catch a diamondback's game and we orginally booked on the same record for elite seating, and then I called to have them split so I could upgrade. I was upgraded on all legs of the trip and my buddy did not lose his elite seating we had in row 5 on the DC 9 and the A320s we flew. Gotta love those elite coach seats! It was funny because I specifically called the elite line to ask them if we split the record would he lose his seat, and the answer from them was once you had a seat it would not be lost. Sounds like we have an inconsistent policy application going on here. Interesting indeed!
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Old Jul 10, 05, 6:08 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by bnoble
...

The one exception is a minor companion, who will be seated with you.
I'm not sure that is true...I have been around at gate and on planes when parents were complaining that their "5 year old child" wasn't seated next to them...It's funny to hear the GA tell them that they can't do anything but the flight attendentants will help them (knowing full well that isn't true...they can ask for volunteers to switch seats, but they can't force anybody to change...and some FA's just say, "you will have to just ask people to switch seats...without offering to help.)
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Old Jul 10, 05, 6:30 am
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by Live4Miles
I'm not sure that is true...I have been around at gate and on planes when parents were complaining that their "5 year old child" wasn't seated next to them...It's funny to hear the GA tell them that they can't do anything but the flight attendentants will help them (knowing full well that isn't true...they can ask for volunteers to switch seats, but they can't force anybody to change...and some FA's just say, "you will have to just ask people to switch seats...without offering to help.)
The GA can not kick someone out of a seat. All they see is empty seats, so if the flight is full or their are not any seats next too each other the only thing they can do is hope the FA will get it worked out.
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Old Jul 10, 05, 8:01 am
  #20  
mdb
 
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This change is really not cool and I don't understand why they made the change. Makes buying tickets and mixing WP travel a real hassle
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Old Jul 10, 05, 10:00 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by channa
Most definitely. Which is quite generous considering UA 1Ps and 2Ps get EconomyPlus, which has extra legroom. In many cases, there is as much legroom in UA E+ as there is in NW F!

Plus UA blocks the middles next to its elites so that nobody sits next to them (unless the plane is full, of course). So with more legroom, more width, entertainment and Channel 9, it's not bad at all. ^
With the United Plus product, I have found some travel agents are able to get their customers in those seats, making it more difficult for UA elites to get the seats.

In Australia, there is a large chain travel agency called Flight Centre (I call them Fright Centre). They have a shop on almost every corner it seems; it's like McDonald's in the states, everywhere you go, you pass one.

All these once a year travelers with no UA status book with them and they somehow manage to get their customers into E+ seating. I know this isn't the UA forum, but I'm just trying to point out seating quirks with other carriers.

With respect to SkyTeam and seating, be glad we NW elites do get elite seating with partners. Unfortunately, sometimes it may take an extra phone call or two with some partners, but I have always been able to secure elite seating. With *A there appears to be problems between several carriers such as UAL and LH. UAL is not allowing LH *Gold's to pre-reserve E+ and other "elite seats". While Elite seating and Exit rows exist for UA members, LH *G's get the shaft. Middle seat Y-minus, ay?

This seating policy sucks with NW and travelling with family/friends/associates. I could understand some Y restrictions, but for them to get crappy with WBC seating and elite WBC seats is wrong. I don't care how ya got to WBC, full J ticket paid, discount Z, award seat, mileage upgrade -- sit those who know each other together in your Premium Product.

"Seating Department" ??? lol. Probably a supervisor or co-worker.

SDF_Traveler
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Old Jul 10, 05, 10:29 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by SDF_Traveler
With the United Plus product, I have found some travel agents are able to get their customers in those seats, making it more difficult for UA elites to get the seats.

In Australia, there is a large chain travel agency called Flight Centre (I call them Fright Centre). They have a shop on almost every corner it seems; it's like McDonald's in the states, everywhere you go, you pass one.

All these once a year travelers with no UA status book with them and they somehow manage to get their customers into E+ seating. I know this isn't the UA forum, but I'm just trying to point out seating quirks with other carriers.
Granted. But it should be said... since E+ was introduced, I have never been unable to get an E+ seat. Ever. Same for every friend I have who is Premier. I very much favor UA leveraging E+ to get more money, or perhaps better contracts with travel agents as long as it doesn't degrade the product... which hasn't happened IME.

While NW's policy sucks, I effectively now find it the same as UA's. If I have a companion on a different record on UA, the hassle is too much for me to bother with. I just count on doing it at the airport. [Or I upgrade us both ] Oh yeah... a CR1/SWU on NW... what's that again??? guess that's not an option
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Old Jul 10, 05, 12:09 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by channa
UA will do 1 companion, even if on a separate record. It's a bit different from NW's policy now, as NW will no longer do it for someone on a separate record.
I said similar, not the same ... my point is that in practice, UA's system is pretty much the equivalent of NW's given the hoops you have to jump through to get find an agent who will do this (or even knows how to do this) and then to make it stick in the reservation.
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Old Jul 10, 05, 2:43 pm
  #24  
 
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i was able to et elite seats for two reservations using reward miles. Booked the reward travel through Co where i am plat and the booked for a paid res on NW. Was able to match up seats. Actually CO had already put my wife and daughter in elite seats as reward tickets....hmmmmm
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Old Jul 10, 05, 3:39 pm
  #25  
 
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NW addressed 2 issues by making this change

There were two issues that NW was trying to get a handle on:

1) Some elite pax were moving non-elite co-workers to, for example, exit row aisle (premium seating) and then getting upgraded themselves to FC, the computer left the coworkers seated in Premium seating, even though the policy is non-elites must be seated with Elite pax in the same class of service to get into Premium seating.

Now, if you book 2 pax, 1 elite and 1 non-elite and the elite gets upgraded to FC the non-elite loses the premium seat and has no seat assignment until nwa.com checkin or e-checkin at the airport.

2) Moving pax seating took up several hours of call center csr's workdays. It was considered counter-productive and this new policy will reduce the time csr's spend changing seat assignments.

RC
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Old Jul 10, 05, 4:00 pm
  #26  
 
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I for one think this is a good change. Elite seating should be available to Elite pax, and the previous system limited that (especially the exit row issue mentioned by RC).

However, NW can solve this issue while still allowing Elite pax to bring their non-elite friends up front in select circumstances: change the computer algorithm to allow Elites to UG even when attached to non-elite pax on the same PNR. That would allow all pax on an elite's PNR to sit up front (presumably close travel partners, unlike bringing up random coworkers who happen to be on the same flight). Those elite pax who want to refuse UG when attached to non-elite travel companions can always do so.
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Old Jul 10, 05, 6:08 pm
  #27  
 
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I think they do need a fix for this. I travel 98% on my own. When I travel with my family I think I should still be eligibel for an UG and be allowed to seat my family in elite seats. That seems fair. Yet to do that undr this sytem I need to have two reservations to get the UG. I think they should UG from PNR's with multiple reservations.
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Old Jul 10, 05, 6:45 pm
  #28  
 
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NW just pissing people off. I'll bet that in 10-15 years NW will either be gone or in extreme financial distress. First the Spinzels, now no upgrades to loyal NW flyers, what next? Paying 4 that crud they call food on overseas flights?!
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Old Jul 10, 05, 10:26 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by otralot
This really is a bad thing as we all seoerate records to get UG's. I hope this isn't true.
You hit the nail on the head. This is a Catch 22. Book together with your non-elite companion/spouse/whomever, and your chances of an elite upgrade are compromised. Book separately, and you will likely be seated apart, unless you want to migrate into the non-elite/premium section. Bad policy, NW.
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Old Jul 11, 05, 6:19 am
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by Radiocycle
..2) Moving pax seating took up several hours of call center csr's workdays. It was considered counter-productive and this new policy will reduce the time csr's spend changing seat assignments.

RC
Yeah, actually providing "customer service" is not what they should be focusing on?!?!?!?
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