Seat Preference based on Tier Level

Old Nov 15, 15, 4:36 am
  #1  
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Seat Preference based on Tier Level

Yesterday I flew DWC-DOH with my cousin who was not a member of the Privilege Club (he is under a family membership). I am a Gold Member.

While checking in in our mobile app, I noticed that my choices for empty seats are far greater than his! I can even select the first row or exit rows. He had far fewer empty seats and the seats seemed "chosen" even though in my mobile app they are not.

I actually compared the seat maps side by side; and it is true. Gold members get more choices than nonmembers or burgendy people; and perhaps Platinum members might get even more choices.

I am writing this thread since many people have stated in the past that some of the seats are blocked; or they could not select a particular seat.

I would appreicate it if someone can confirm this or perhaps shed some further light into this issue.
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Old Nov 15, 15, 4:53 am
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I know this isn't exactly related, but on BA your Oneworld status affects that ability to select any seat at all. Saved myself 11 today once I realized I didn't need to pay to select.
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Old Nov 15, 15, 5:36 am
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QatarA340 you are correct! There are a number of unpublished rules regarding seat choices. It is well known that the seat beside a Platinum or Gold member will be left empty if there are enough empty seats on the flight. I have enjoyed this several times in a 2-2-2 J cabin and my wife similarly when in Y last year. Whilst everyone says, with justification, that front row and exit row seats can only be assigned at the airport it is often possible during OLCI. I have heard, but I have no documentation for, that this is also extended to OWE and OWS.

I am surprised that exit row seats are available in this way. Some ten years ago I read in the IOSA rules that airlines had to ensure that those seated in an exit row must be so able bodied as to assist cabin crew with opening the exits. I personally felt that this mostly referred to overwing exits but it was not stated. However rules change and my memory may not be 100% correct. Does anyone have more up to date information?
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Old Nov 15, 15, 6:15 am
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BA let me book an overwing exit row online today. I had to agree to statements about being able bodied and anglophone.
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Old Nov 15, 15, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by remdk View Post
....I am surprised that exit row seats are available in this way. Some ten years ago I read in the IOSA rules that airlines had to ensure that those seated in an exit row must be so able bodied as to assist cabin crew with opening the exits. I personally felt that this mostly referred to overwing exits but it was not stated. However rules change and my memory may not be 100% correct. Does anyone have more up to date information?
they handle this part onboard with the FA asking each person in the exit row seats if they are willing and capable. Some (all?) airlines actually ask and expect a verbal response.

I have not flow Qatar, but have done exit row in advance on U.S. airlines this way.
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Old Nov 15, 15, 3:08 pm
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As a BA Gold (OWE), I can report that I had the same experience (in business class). I am able to select seats that non-OWE colleagues see as occupied.

Most importantly: as soon as I select a seat, the one beside mine is blocked. This is such a GREAT unpublished perk, particularly since I have been doing a few segments to East Africa where QR uses the A320 with the old seating in J: having the seat beside empty on one of those planes makes a real difference in a 6-hour flight.

I wish other airlines (BA, I hope you are reading...) would do the same. It should be so simple to implement. I recall LH also used to do it.
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Old Nov 15, 15, 6:03 pm
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My understanding is that the blocking of the adjacent seat benefit only applies to Platinum members, and is not advertised on the PC website. I am currently only a humble Gold, and this perk is definitely absent from the covering letter that accompanied my annual renewal pack. Perhaps a Platinum member could say if it listed among the benefits on their document.
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Old Nov 15, 15, 8:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Nuff Said View Post
Perhaps a Platinum member could say if it listed among the benefits on their document.
Certainly don't remember seeing it
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Old Nov 15, 15, 10:21 pm
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Originally Posted by flying_pig View Post
As a BA Gold (OWE), I can report that I had the same experience (in business class). I am able to select seats that non-OWE colleagues see as occupied.

Most importantly: as soon as I select a seat, the one beside mine is blocked. This is such a GREAT unpublished perk, particularly since I have been doing a few segments to East Africa where QR uses the A320 with the old seating in J: having the seat beside empty on one of those planes makes a real difference in a 6-hour flight.

I wish other airlines (BA, I hope you are reading...) would do the same. It should be so simple to implement. I recall LH also used to do it.
Same here. I just checked in online, and it actually doesn't help me because I have 2 sisters travelling with me CMB-DOH tomorrow.... the way around it is (if on separate PNR's like us) - get the ones without status to choose seats first, then only the elite.
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Old Nov 15, 15, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by remdk View Post
Whilst everyone says, with justification, that front row and exit row seats can only be assigned at the airport it is often possible during OLCI. I have heard, but I have no documentation for, that this is also extended to OWE and OWS.
Sorry - just to add, bulkheads were available at OLCI for all us , on separate PNRs and my sisters hold no elite status.
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Old Nov 15, 15, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by zebrametalevel View Post
Certainly don't remember seeing it
In that case it must be an unpublished rule, as it only applies when a flight is undersold. I definitely recall seeing something about it when Platinum status was created. Or perhaps its since been quietly dropped.

Last edited by Nuff Said; Nov 16, 15 at 5:01 am Reason: Replacement of 'unwritten' with 'unpublished.'
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Old Nov 16, 15, 4:29 am
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Nuff Said The blocking of seats beside you is done for Gold as well as Platinum, as I have experienced.

This would not appear in the PC privileges because it can only occur when there are enough empty seats available. Imagine what this forum would look like with many irate postings because the privilege could not be implemented due to a nearly full cabin.

I suspect that you have seen one of several references to it on this forum over the last year or so. I certainly cannot recall seeing it mentioned on QRs websites or materials.

These unpublished rules must be written somewhere otherwise how could IT include them in the website?

In general I can see that each airline handles exit row seating differently. This of course is one of the differences between airlines that make life interesting!
Bulkhead rows are blocked due to the bassinets there. On the 788 the J bassinet seats are 1A and 1K. Seats 1E and 1F are not blocked.

I think that it would be sensible that the destinations, who have the best knowledge of seat occupancy, were the ones that released blocked seats at suitable times. Thus I am suggesting that the release of blocked seats is a very random affair. If this is true on not I do not know but experience suggests it.
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Old Nov 16, 15, 5:26 am
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remdk I should have said unpublished rather than unwritten and have amended my post to reflect this.

There was definitely some mention of the adjacent seat blocking benefit at the time that Platinum was introduced, but from what I recall it was only for them. As a Platinum in waiting, I will have plenty of opportunities next year to see if there really is such a benefit.

The only advertised Y Class seating benefits for PC members are the Preferred Seats in the front of the economy cabin, and the upper deck of the 380's, though, in my experience, its usually well populated with non PC passengers, making it a benefit that only applies when the flight is under well under-subscribed.
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Old Nov 16, 15, 3:04 pm
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Good to know, thanks.

I sometimes check seats at expert flyer, but all seats show up blocked 36h before departure. Not sure what options you have via "manage my booking"
Usually flying J, so not really concerned.

Flying Y next week and have moved seat A380 upper deck from 23A to 27D hoping to have 4 seats, 6 seats taken so far and have 3 seats free on 14A on B788, both flights wide open.

Might try to up second leg with miles at HIA business lounge, got mail no seats available, already upped return segments with QR credits from gold.

Thus will OLCI 48h before flights to check and change if needed.

Will be plat in Januari and have first 2016 trip booked in Y also and hope to up with QR credits, will see if next seat gets blocked or not.
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Old Nov 23, 15, 2:54 pm
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Update:
48h before departure all 4 seats blocked in the middle section for me on A380, 24 seats unblocked upper deck lower deck 95% blocked and 3 blocked next to my seat on B787, 50 seats unblocked.
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