seat assignments on ET flights

Old Aug 25, 18, 8:31 am
  #1  
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seat assignments on ET flights

I have upcoming award flights from UA miles for myself and my husband on ET in business class. All of the seat assignments I requested are there except for ET510 ADD-ORD on Sept. 9. I requested 2D and 2H but ET has us in 2D and 3D. I tried to change them online through the manage my reservation but it won't let me. I have tried calling 4 times and am on hold for over 15 minutes and I have to hang up and go. I tried sending a message through twitter and the response was no seats available but I see lots of empty on the ET web site. We would like to sit together so as to be able to talk and not disturb people around us by turning around or getting up to talk.

How do I get through to ET? Should I wait until flight day and see if someone on the plane will swap seats with us? It's a very long flight, almost 18 hours, and I want to be seated next to my husband and not a stranger.
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Old Aug 25, 18, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
I have upcoming award flights from UA miles for myself and my husband on ET in business class. All of the seat assignments I requested are there except for ET510 ADD-ORD on Sept. 9. I requested 2D and 2H but ET has us in 2D and 3D. I tried to change them online through the manage my reservation but it won't let me. I have tried calling 4 times and am on hold for over 15 minutes and I have to hang up and go. I tried sending a message through twitter and the response was no seats available but I see lots of empty on the ET web site. We would like to sit together so as to be able to talk and not disturb people around us by turning around or getting up to talk.

How do I get through to ET? Should I wait until flight day and see if someone on the plane will swap seats with us? It's a very long flight, almost 18 hours, and I want to be seated next to my husband and not a stranger.
That is very strange. My wife and I have UA award seats on ET511/510 next June and were easily able to select our seats on the ET web site.

According to the seat map both 2H and 3H on your flight are open. I would keep calling.

If you still run into difficulties maybe you could try one of the US domeastic offices for ET?

https://www.ethiopianairlines.com/AA...upport/contact

If all else fails you can ask nicely after boarding.It's not like you would be asking to swap a very undesirable seat for a very good one or anything like that.
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Old Aug 25, 18, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
That is very strange. My wife and I have UA award seats on ET511/510 next June and were easily able to select our seats on the ET web site.
According to the seat map both 2H and 3H on your flight are open. I would keep calling.
If you still run into difficulties maybe you could try one of the US domestic offices for ET?

https://www.ethiopianairlines.com/AA...upport/contact

If all else fails you can ask nicely after boarding.It's not like you would be asking to swap a very undesirable seat for a very good one or anything like that.
I had originally selected them online back in May when this was available. Somewhere they got changed. We were in 2D & H, but one got changed to 3D for no reason. I have been calling the US ET phone number which is the one that is never answered. If I haven't settled this before the outbound trip on 8/29 maybe I can ask some at the ET desk when we get to ORD to take ET 511 to ADD.

Have you flown on ET before? Would the FA's be helpful in getting someone to swap seats?
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Old Aug 25, 18, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
I had originally selected them online back in May when this was available. Somewhere they got changed. We were in 2D & H, but one got changed to 3D for no reason. I have been calling the US ET phone number which is the one that is never answered. If I haven't settled this before the outbound trip on 8/29 maybe I can ask some at the ET desk when we get to ORD to take ET 511 to ADD.

Have you flown on ET before? Would the FA's be helpful in getting someone to swap seats?
No I haven't flown ET before. Hopefully one of the folks who have more experience will jump in on this.
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Old Aug 25, 18, 5:54 pm
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Ethiopian Airline's customer service seems to be sorely lacking and pathetic. If you look at their FB page it is covered with dozens of very negative reviews. Same with their twitter. They don't appear to help anyone at all. We were originally taking these flights to JRO on TK but there was a schedule change that forced me to change to ET if I wanted to go to Tanzania for a safari I had already booked and put a deposit on. I hope I do not regret changing airlines.
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Old Aug 25, 18, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
Ethiopian Airline's customer service seems to be sorely lacking and pathetic. If you look at their FB page it is covered with dozens of very negative reviews. Same with their twitter. They don't appear to help anyone at all. We were originally taking these flights to JRO on TK but there was a schedule change that forced me to change to ET if I wanted to go to Tanzania for a safari I had already booked and put a deposit on. I hope I do not regret changing airlines.
I remember reading your issues with TK changing/cancelling the JRO flight on you. But I would call either the IAD or LAX ET office shortly after they open and see if they can help you. Not defending ET but I have had similar issues with TK and found their phone support pretty slipshod as well.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 12:29 am
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ET and TK both have equally bad customer service, but the airline itself is a fine experience. Don't let the difficulty of reaching them on the US number set your expectations for their onboard service. Your best bet is to call the main number in Addis Ababa via Skype, Viber, etc., they have always picked up straight away when I've called there. I can't recall if ET is one of the airlines that does this or not, but a lot of airlines do lock seat assignments once selected online and can't be changed after that. It's a senseless policy in my opinion, but is fairly common in the industry. TK is the same in that regard also, once selected, seats can't be changed again until check in.

One other point about ET if you don't get your seats changed before check in, I have noticed in the past that very few passengers use online check in and instead wait until the airport to check in, .so if you check in at 24 hours prior, the whole cabin will likely be available to change to.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 1:58 am
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This is strange as I've never seen it happen with ~200 flights on ET, but something I have had multiple people mention is happening with the new ORD route and the new ABJ-EWR flights. Probably some quirk in how they have loaded the seatmap. I wouldn't worry though. ET is extremely helpful to get your seats shifted around at the airport, or as a last resort on the flight.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 7:37 am
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
This is strange as I've never seen it happen with ~200 flights on ET, but something I have had multiple people mention is happening with the new ORD route and the new ABJ-EWR flights. Probably some quirk in how they have loaded the seatmap. I wouldn't worry though. ET is extremely helpful to get your seats shifted around at the airport, or as a last resort on the flight.
I have seats on ORD-ADD for next summer and can change mine easily, well after booking and initial assignment. Just a data point.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by dvs7310 View Post
ET and TK both have equally bad customer service, but the airline itself is a fine experience. Don't let the difficulty of reaching them on the US number set your expectations for their onboard service. Your best bet is to call the main number in Addis Ababa via Skype, Viber, etc., they have always picked up straight away when I've called there. I can't recall if ET is one of the airlines that does this or not, but a lot of airlines do lock seat assignments once selected online and can't be changed after that. It's a senseless policy in my opinion, but is fairly common in the industry. TK is the same in that regard also, once selected, seats can't be changed again until check in.

One other point about ET if you don't get your seats changed before check in, I have noticed in the past that very few passengers use online check in and instead wait until the airport to check in, .so if you check in at 24 hours prior, the whole cabin will likely be available to change to.
I will not be able to do online check in as I will be at the end of a safari, way out in the Serengeti with no internet access. I also have no way to call Addis. I will continue to call here in the US. All I have is the 800 number that is never answered. How do I get in touch with the LA or Washington office; what are those phone numbers? I cannot find them online.

All I can hope for is someone onboard willing to swap seats with me if I can't get them changed before the flight on Sept. 9.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 2:14 pm
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Originally Posted by susiesan View Post
I will not be able to do online check in as I will be at the end of a safari, way out in the Serengeti with no internet access. I also have no way to call Addis. I will continue to call here in the US. All I have is the 800 number that is never answered. How do I get in touch with the LA or Washington office; what are those phone numbers? I cannot find them online.

All I can hope for is someone onboard willing to swap seats with me if I can't get them changed before the flight on Sept. 9.
Check the link I included in post #2 .
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Old Aug 26, 18, 2:47 pm
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Finally, a resolution

24 hours after leaving a voice mail with one of the phone numbers, someone called me back. I told her that I wanted to change my seats. She said, do you want to sit together? I said, yes, please give us 2D and 2H. Supposedly the seats have been changed. I was never able to get them to answer their phone when I called them, over 6 different times. I guess I'll see if I have the desired seats when we board the flight.

Edit: I spoke too soon. I went to the ET web site, manage my booking, to verify the seats. Now my husband has no seat. I am in seat 2D and 2H next to me is greyed out but his name is not associated with it. On the first flight of the trip both of our seats show, 1D and 1H. This airline is a real mess.
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Last edited by susiesan; Aug 26, 18 at 6:27 pm
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Old Aug 27, 18, 12:58 pm
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I have similar issues selecting seats on the website. My seat numbers and eTickets do not show on the website, but I was able to select seats on the mobile app, and I was emailed updated eTickets with the correct seat numbers about 30 seconds after selecting the seats. Might want to give that a try if you haven't yet.
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Old Aug 27, 18, 1:16 pm
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I do not want to install their app on my phone just for this one and only trip on ET. I will take my chances and hope they did get the seats reassigned as I was told.
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Old Aug 27, 18, 1:33 pm
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Try emailing your local ET ticketing office. Mine in YYZ helped select my ORD-ADD-JNB seats originally, and then when those seats got switched around.
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