Seat Assignment on SA

Old Jun 18, 16, 5:44 am
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Seat Assignment on SA

I booked flights on Air Canada - Toronto to London to Johannesburg (and return). The flights are two months in advance. I am Star Alliance Gold. London to Johannesburg is operated by SAA. Air Canada tried to do seat assignment on SA Flight with no luck. I called SAA and provided SA Booking Reference. I was told I can only select seats 24 hours before departure because I booked the flight with Air Canada. Is this now SAA policy - it wasn't last year. If this is the policy, I will cancel flights and use a different Star Alliance carrier. This just makes a mockery of "Star Alliance"
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Old Jun 18, 16, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by jethro288 View Post
I booked flights on Air Canada - Toronto to London to Johannesburg (and return). The flights are two months in advance. I am Star Alliance Gold. London to Johannesburg is operated by SAA. Air Canada tried to do seat assignment on SA Flight with no luck. I called SAA and provided SA Booking Reference. I was told I can only select seats 24 hours before departure because I booked the flight with Air Canada. Is this now SAA policy - it wasn't last year. If this is the policy, I will cancel flights and use a different Star Alliance carrier. This just makes a mockery of "Star Alliance"
What fare class are you flying? If you are flying low economy fare class then it is likely you have to pay extra for advance seat selection. See https://www.flysaa.com/na/en/seating_campaign/chargeable_seating.html

Did you call the USA call centre? Maybe HUCA if you believe your fare class gives you free seat selection?

Star alliance gold never gets you guaranteed free seat selection on low economy fares on all airlines. Please visit http://www.staralliance.com/en/gold-status for a list of benefits that comes with star alliance gold.
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Old Jun 18, 16, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by jethro288 View Post
Is this now SAA policy - it wasn't last year. If this is the policy, I will cancel flights and use a different Star Alliance carrier. This just makes a mockery of "Star Alliance"
Your other option is Lufthansa but they have a similar additional charge requirement. http://www.lufthansa.com/ca/en/Seat-reservation No perks for being gold.
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Old Jun 18, 16, 11:41 am
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Air Canada Fare Class is H which I am assuming is no good for advanced seat selection on SAA. I have looked at Lufthansa and still looking - their flights to JNB are operated by SAA so probably no luck there either.
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Old Jun 18, 16, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by jethro288 View Post
?...I have looked at Lufthansa and still looking - their flights to JNB are operated by SAA so probably no luck there either.
Lufthansa do fly to Jo'burg. There was a Lufthansa 747-8 there a couple of weeks ago when I flew into Jo'burg and another one when I left.
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Old Jun 19, 16, 5:21 am
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Thanks for the information. Air Canada site was only showing LH flights operated by SAA. I saw LH flights operated by LH on Expedia. I am in process of cancelling SAA flights.
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Old Jun 19, 16, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by jethro288 View Post
Thanks for the information. Air Canada site was only showing LH flights operated by SAA. I saw LH flights operated by LH on Expedia. I am in process of cancelling SAA flights.
You normally earn less points on LH and may still need to pay for a booking fee. Good luck.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 12:42 pm
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The issue is not so much that it is not free but that you are unable to select seats even if you are willing to pay for it which i find ludicrous!
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Old Nov 13, 19, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Minos View Post
The issue is not so much that it is not free but that you are unable to select seats even if you are willing to pay for it which i find ludicrous!
Are you talking about booking via SAA (US Call Centre)? When I booked my and family's most recent jaunt down for August-Sept 2019 by calling the US Call Centre, SAA charged us for seat selection and did the selections with me over the phone. We paid for and made selections on IAD-JNB and for the return INB-IAD. For our internal flights between JNB-CPT we just rolled with it and relied on at-airport seat selection (or perhaps even auto-assigned, I don't recall).

Last edited by jsnydcsa; Nov 20, 19 at 2:28 pm
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Old Nov 17, 19, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by Minos View Post
The issue is not so much that it is not free but that you are unable to select seats even if you are willing to pay for it which i find ludicrous!
Call the SAA call centre in the USA. It works if you are eligible for free seat selection.
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