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Preferred seating in practice and discussion thread

Preferred seating in practice and discussion thread

Old Jul 3, 2016, 3:04 am
  #1  
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Preferred seating in practice and discussion thread

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Im not sure if this is just a glitch in their system, again, or what's called preferred seating.(first few rows being blocked to mirror the upper deck of A380 economy)

This is a flight to/from (private) London, which is known to be QRs lavatory for new aircrafts and system. The top one is a screenshot from expertflyer and the bottom one is the view of the seating plan from a gold member, clearly something must have happened between row 10 and row 15. Also note that seats in the back are shown as empty and can be chosen normally, and the seats avaliable are exactly the empty seats according to expertflyer.

The rear cabin is interestingly more occupied than the front and I believe no one would prefer a seat in the back behind row 15. Funny enough the seat next to me is unblocked and I suspect that means I can, officially choose either one of A and B and they will block the counterpart anyway. The fact that I can't choose any of the other seats in the front section may mean that those are blocked for other PC members who equally can't choose the seat next to me.

I think that's how preferred seating works in practice, if not a glitch in their system. I must admit it's a very clever underlying benefit and well done Qatar.

Last edited by TheDinge; Jul 3, 2016 at 3:23 am
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Old Jul 3, 2016, 10:44 am
  #2  
 
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Yep, this is preferred seating in practice

More info in this thread - I've tried to explain in posts 4 and 5:

OneWorld Emerald flying QR economy longhaul
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Old Jul 3, 2016, 1:51 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by purple1addict
Yep, this is preferred seating in practice
Actually, it seems that there may be some sort of glitch... Flew LHR-DOH the other day and had a similar situation: expertflyer was showing several empty or blocked seats in business class, but at the same time web check-in was showing ZERO available seats apart from the one I had already pre-selected. Same thing for a travel companion, who is QR Plat. The flight ended up with >10 empty seats in J. I would think something went wrong on the IT front...
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Old Jul 3, 2016, 3:35 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by flying_pig
Actually, it seems that there may be some sort of glitch... Flew LHR-DOH the other day and had a similar situation: expertflyer was showing several empty or blocked seats in business class, but at the same time web check-in was showing ZERO available seats apart from the one I had already pre-selected. Same thing for a travel companion, who is QR Plat. The flight ended up with >10 empty seats in J. I would think something went wrong on the IT front...
QR tend to block most/all free seats - especially in Y but sometimes also in J - approx 3 days before take-off, so the empty (blocked) seats may appear full in QR online check-in when in fact they are not. I have noticed that once QR takes airport control of the check-in then the empty/blocked seats don't always match EF - but the allocated seats always do. I think (although not 100% sure) that status pax will see more seat availability in OLCI than non-status pax.

I'm guessing the screen grab above is for a flight within the next 3-4 days where they have now blocked many of the empty seats.
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Old Jul 3, 2016, 10:09 pm
  #5  
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I don't believe preferred seats exist in business so it has to be a different issue. Maybe they have a different protocol when dealing with business class.

Purple addict:

Nope, the screenshot was taken during online check in and the occupied seats shown on EF totally match the actual load.
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Old Jul 4, 2016, 2:24 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by TheDinge
Purple addict:

Nope, the screenshot was taken during online check in and the occupied seats shown on EF totally match the actual load.
Sorry, I wasn't totally clear. I meant that the allocated (occupied) seats do always match EF exactly, as you say, but that OLCI and EF don't always match when it comes to empty vs blocked.

Some seats that show as blocked on EF are selectable when I go into OLCI, as you've experienced with the seat next to you - sometimes it's just the seat next to mine, but sometimes a wider selection with lots of blocked seats on EF (which is what makes me wonder if status pax see more seat availability).
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Old Jul 4, 2016, 4:59 pm
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Originally Posted by purple1addict
QR tend to block most/all free seats - especially in Y but sometimes also in J - approx 3 days before take-off, so the empty (blocked) seats may appear full in QR online check-in when in fact they are not.
Never happened to me before (ie: to do OLCI and find a full seat map on a rather empty flight)... Interestingly, the seats shown free on EF were the same that remained free on the actual flight (a rather light load in business).
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Old Jul 5, 2016, 5:08 am
  #8  
 
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When discussing seat maps it is important to remember that QR has two seat maps.
One is the Booking seat map that is used when making a reservation.
The second is the check-in seat map that takes over from the booking seat map when check-in, also OLCI, is being prepared. It is here that you finally select your seat for each flight and boarding cards are issued.

When preparing for check-in the seat map is copied from the reservation to the check-in system.

I am of the opinion that for many flights/cabins if you specifically request a particular seat it will be shown on the reservations seat map as occupied. If you do not do so then you will have a seat temporarily allocated which will not appear on the seat map. My reason for thinking this is that during OLCI there is a choice of many seats even though some (many) of them are occupied on departure. Indeed on two occasions when using OLCI I have been the only passenger in the J cabin on my second flight. At departure the J cabin was full and the Y cabin half empty on both occasions.

When in preparation for opening check-in the seat map is transferred to the check-in system the reservations system shows all temporary seat allocations shown as well as reservations. It is this seat map that EF picks up. In the reservations system all seats are marked as occupied.

Thus it is possible to have three different seat maps for the same flight at the same time.
It has nothing to do with Preferred seating or blocked companion seats.
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Old Jul 5, 2016, 5:53 am
  #9  
 
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remdk, is my understanding correct that you suggest that EF shows a copy of the QR reservation seat map before check-in period (showing more empty seats than actually available) and a copy of the check-in seat map once QR did the transfer from reservation to check-in (showing the "real" booking situation)?
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Old Jul 5, 2016, 6:23 am
  #10  
 
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toz100 until check-in take control of seating then for many flights/cabins, but not all, the reservation seat map shows only those seats that have been specifically reserved and Blocked seats but not those that have not bothered to select a seat. Yet another example: my last CPH-DOH flight there were seven seats reserved at OLCI but fifteen passengers on departure. EF showed the fifteen seats occupied and reservations all 22 occupied. So yes the true loading of the flight can only be seen after check-in take charge.
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Old Jul 5, 2016, 8:02 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by TheDinge
This is a flight to/from (private) London, which is known to be QRs lavatory for new aircrafts and system.
I think the word you're looking for is laboratory...i.e. a testing ground. Lavatory would suggest a dumping ground.
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Old Jul 6, 2016, 2:15 pm
  #12  
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Yes I meant laboratory. The post was written on an iPad (I'd rather have red lines underneath so I can amend it myself) and unfortunately v and b are right next to each other.
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Old Nov 6, 2016, 6:23 am
  #13  
 
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Booked an award FCO-DOH in Y via BA.com and was able to pick a seat (on QR.com) only from row 18 and below (787). I understand that as an OWE I have access to the preferred seats in front of the cabin however just spoke to QR customers service and they said that because BA issued the ticket only they have access to seat selection. Is that right?
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Old Nov 6, 2016, 8:17 am
  #14  
 
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Innocent Abroad this is the first time I have heard this but I an see the logic behind it. You have booked an award flight with BA but BA have made the reservation with QR. So BA are the customer in the eyes of QR. This may have something to do with the recently signed BA/QR agreement. I have seen posts where access to the preferred seats has been available for non QR award tickets. Another reason could be that your reservation includes non status passengers who are not normally allowed into preferred seats.
Look at http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/qatar...on-thread.html for more about preferred seating.
In fact I will ask the moderators to move your post to that thread so you have direct access to the information.
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Old Nov 6, 2016, 12:06 pm
  #15  
 
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Thanks again remdk. I will call BA and see what they have to say and will report.
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