My E+ seat unavailable when boarding

Old Mar 11, 13, 8:04 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: EWR,LGA,JFK
Programs: UA Silver
Posts: 9
My E+ seat unavailable when boarding

So I recently had a flight from LGA to DIA. I checked in online 24 hours prior to make sure I got a window seat in E+ (I am a Silver member). When boarding the plane I was met by a sign saying "Please excuse the inconvenience - this seat is temporarily out of service" (http://i.imgur.com/Z9BtHM5.jpg). This left me standing in the isle not knowing where to go while the masses came flooding in. After 5 minutes I managed to flag down a flight attendant, who let out a big sigh, apologized, and saying something about the on-boarding people are incompetent. After 10 minutes she managed to find me a middle seat (still in E+).

My questions are: Is this a common occurrence? Has it happen anyone else? Is it anything I should bring to United's attention as I actually stayed up the night before to make sure I got my beloved window seat?

Thanks!

Last edited by DumbElephant; Mar 11, 13 at 8:10 am Reason: Image URL
DumbElephant is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 8:19 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,933
Here's the answer you'll get from FTer's and UAL as to guaranteed seat assignments --- "The short answer is that there is no "guarantee." No airline guarantees any seat assignment. Your ticket entitles you to some seat on the flight, in the class of service you bought, but not any specific seat within that cabin. Seat assignment is an accommodation, not a "right."

To answer you question, yep, I've had "dupe's" but a 1K usually wins the coin flip.
As far as a seat out of service, never had this, but I've had a lot of seats that SHOULD HAVE been taken out of service and thrown in the dumpster!
LilAbner is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 8:26 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: LGA/JFK/EWR
Programs: UA 1K1.5MM, Hyatt Globalist, abandoned Marriott LTT (RIP SPG), Hertz PC
Posts: 20,107
Hey, at least we can't blame this one on SHARES' tendency to erase seat assignments
UA-NYC is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 8:30 am
  #4  
QBK
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: WAS-ish
Programs: UA 1K + UC + 0.97MM, Marriott Plat, National Exec
Posts: 1,322
1. That stinks.

2. It's never happened to me. I have seen a seat "out of order" before, but it was the jump seat, and 1A was "reserved for FA use".

3. If you'd paid for E+, you would have some shot at a refund if you wrote and said "I really like window seats, and I would not have bought up to E+ if I had known that I would end up in a middle seat -- I would have sat in an E- window seat instead, but because I was sold a seat that didn't exist, there were no window seats left when I boarded". Since E+ was complimentary in your case, I don't think this is likely to work.

4. If it really bothered you (sounds like it did), there's really no reason not to write a short, concise, to-the-point complaint to UA customer service. Ask for specific compensation -- e.g. a $50 e-cert, or 5000 miles. You probably won't get it, but you can try (and you might get it).
QBK is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 9:38 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: EWR,LGA,JFK
Programs: UA Silver
Posts: 9
I was just a bit shocked - and I guess I would had more of a case would I have been degraded to economy - but I should say that I did not pay for the upgrade - just used my silver status.

As suggested, I might write a short note just to so they are aware of it. Hopefully someone over there is tracking these type of data!
DumbElephant is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 10:12 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: What I write is my opinion alone..don't read into it anything not written.
Posts: 9,632
Originally Posted by DumbElephant View Post
I was just a bit shocked - and I guess I would had more of a case would I have been degraded to economy - but I should say that I did not pay for the upgrade - just used my silver status.

As suggested, I might write a short note just to so they are aware of it. Hopefully someone over there is tracking these type of data!
Yes they do, maintenance keeps track of everything they fix.
fastair is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 10:38 am
  #7  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 51,752
Originally Posted by DumbElephant View Post
.... Is this a common occurrence? ...
common - no
Originally Posted by DumbElephant View Post
...Has it happen anyone else? ...
yes, fortunately never for me (out of 800+ flights)

Originally Posted by DumbElephant View Post
...Is it anything I should bring to United's attention as I actually stayed up the night before to make sure I got my beloved window seat? ...
writing in is up to you -- appears the out-of-order seat did not get noted on the seat map, those sort of glitches happen. A short, concise letter (e-mail) might be responded to with a small amount of miles or future discount.
While I would be unhappy as you are, these sort of things are a part of modern air travel. Write, keep the expectations low, and don't let the unreliability of air travel get you down. This will unlikely ever re-occur for you.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 10:47 am
  #8  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 48,051
No suggestion here that the seat was inop at the time OP selected it. Could have gone inop as late as the inbound to LGA. In theory, someone should have let the GA know so that the GA could have found OP and found another seat immediately, but that level of communication doesn't occur on any short-hauls of which I'm aware.

UA would refund OP the E+ fee if OP had paid one. But, it was a freebie as a Silver, so there's no refund. If OP wants to complain, I would make it 1/3 the length of the post here and OP may see a few miles.
Often1 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 10:52 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: gggrrrovvveee (ORD)
Programs: UA silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,034
Agree, it happens, although it's not common. It's not happened to me, although I did end up with an empty middle next to me once because it was out of service and the passenger who was supposed to sit there was moved. (this was coach; also had a passenger in int'l business moved from next to me b/c his AVOD didn't work)

Go ahead and write in. You may or may not get anything for your troubles (I generally haven't been as lucky as many here, who seem to be awash in compensatory miles), but they should at least know when their customers are being inconvenienced due to operational issues.
gobluetwo is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 12:08 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: PIT
Programs: 1K PC EE
Posts: 19
Saw someone's F seat break midflight. Luckily there was an open F seat right behind him. Not sure what happened during the next flight though.
grasspuddle is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 12:11 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: DCA/BWI
Programs: WN A+ & CP, AA EXP, UA 1K->2P, Marriott Amb/LT Plat
Posts: 883
Originally Posted by grasspuddle View Post
Saw someone's F seat break midflight. Luckily there was an open F seat right behind him. Not sure what happened during the next flight though.
This happened to me on a QR IAH-DOH flight this past December. The entire headrest came off mid-flight and the FA couldn't fix it. I was moved to a new F seat and they put one of those elastic "Do not sit. Inoperable seat" signs on it.
palmetto86 is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 12:30 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: EWR
Posts: 674
Happened to me on Feb. 25th from TXL to EWR. United staff at TXL knows me though and found me before boarding and asked if I minded moving to 21DEF.

Last edited by Bigzamboni; Mar 12, 13 at 5:44 am
Bigzamboni is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 5:11 pm
  #13  
In Memoriam
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Easton, CT, USA
Programs: ua prem exec, Former hilton diamond
Posts: 31,801
Happened to me once years age. They should have told the gate agent who should have reassigned you before you got on, either by paging you or having your current pass reject when scanned if you were not in the gate area.
cordelli is offline  
Old Mar 11, 13, 6:13 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: BOS/ORH
Programs: AS MVPG
Posts: 18,071
I'd say send in the complaint, they may give you a voucher or some RDM for the trouble. I have not had that exact problem but I received a $100 voucher last year as a Gold since I had to stand in the jetway when they were cleaning up a mess that someone made at my seat.
CDKing is offline  
Old Mar 12, 13, 5:48 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: EWR
Posts: 674
Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
I'd say send in the complaint, they may give you a voucher or some RDM for the trouble. I have not had that exact problem but I received a $100 voucher last year as a Gold since I had to stand in the jetway when they were cleaning up a mess that someone made at my seat.
If this is directed at me, I sent in a complaint for a different issue, so not sure sending a second one would be a good idea. The sink in the lavatory was inoperative so they just provided some disinfectant. However it was some medical grade stuff and not being familiar with the trade names of the bactericides listed and having a mild sulfa allergy, I had to avoid it.

Still no reply to that though. Not sure if the customer care link was the right place to go without a code.
Bigzamboni is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: