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UA Seat Blocking FAQ (for those with disabilities, ...) [Consolidated]

UA Seat Blocking FAQ (for those with disabilities, ...) [Consolidated]

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Old Jan 28, 20, 12:53 am   -   Wikipost
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What are blocked seats?

In simple terms, a blocked seat is any seat on a flight's seatmap that appears to be occupied, but to which no passenger has been assigned. In most cases, the seat will be marked as "blocked" rather than "occupied" in the United's backend, but you won't be able to see that on the official seatmaps. A subscription to a service like ExpertFlyer or KVS Tool will permit you to see which seats are blocked and which are occupied.

Why are seats blocked?

Seats are generally blocked to make them available for passengers with certain needs. For example, pairs of seats adjacent to the aisle, with movable aisle armrests, are blocked for disabled passengers.

Sometimes, United blocks seats to deal with seatmap changes during aircraft reconfigurations. This is currently happening with the CRJ-700's.

Can I choose blocked seats?

If you have a valid reason, contact UA's Accessibility Desk at (800) 228-2744.

For others, Yes, at the time of check-in. The seats will continue to appear occupied on the public-facing seatmap, and will not be selectable if you choose "change seats" on your reservation, but can be chosen at the "change seats" screen while checking in.

Does seat blocking prevent UA from selling seats?

No. On a plane with 200 seats, United might sell 220 "seats." The availability of specific seats on the seatmap has nothing to do with whether United sells additional seats. Passengers without seat assignments will be assigned seats at the gate -- or, in the event of an oversell, they will be denied boarding (as a VDB or IDB) and compensated.

Are middle seats blocked to give elites extra room?

No, that's a myth. Though pmUA has done this in the past.

Are seats in E- blocked to sell more E+ seats?

Probably not. This seems to be a myth perpetuated by people who don't understand what blocked seats are, or are confused by patterns they've seen in seatmap changes (e.g., the movement of Silvers at check-in, successful E+ buy-up campaigns shortly before the flight, certain seatmap blocking related to aircraft swaps, etc.)

What seats are blocked?

Each mainline narrowbody plane has approximately 2 seats in E+ and 4 seats in E- blocked from the get-go.

Here are some examples:

A319: 7DE, 23DE, 25DE
A320: 7DE, 23DE, 25DE
738: 7DE, 23BC, 25BC
752 (Intl.): 8DE, 23BC, 25BC
E75, E70, CR7: 7CD

Other reasons for block seats are
-- for oversold situations
(usually will not show as blocked seats)
Ever see (+X blocked) in booked column on upgrade list?

or crew rest seats (instead of being blocked, these may show as "missing")
Guide to Crew Rest Seats
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Old Nov 25, 13, 9:08 am
  #1  
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UA Seat Blocking FAQ (for those with disabilities, ...) [Consolidated]

I'm posting the above guide to blocked seats, since there are often questions about them. I trust that people will find aspects of it that they want to edit.
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Old Nov 25, 13, 10:25 am
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787 blocked seats

I believe that seats 17D and 17E are always blocked. I remember reading somewhere that these seats have an armrest that raises even though the seats are bulkhead seats.
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Old Nov 25, 13, 10:41 am
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On the 757-200's to/from Europe, 21D, 21E and 21F always seem to be unavailable. I don't have EF so maybe somebody else can verify?
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Old Nov 25, 13, 10:43 am
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cool info.

also just stumbled onto diditclear. sounds cool too
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Old Nov 25, 13, 10:09 pm
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Are long-haul crew rest seats "blocked", or taken out of inventory in a different way?
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Old Nov 25, 13, 10:35 pm
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Originally Posted by philhayes View Post
On the 757-200's to/from Europe, 21D, 21E and 21F always seem to be unavailable. I don't have EF so maybe somebody else can verify?
Crew rest area
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Old Nov 25, 13, 11:55 pm
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Awesome. Thanks!
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Old Nov 26, 13, 3:20 pm
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Blocked seats on 757-300

For anyone interested, I believe that the standard blocked seats on the domestic 753 is 8DEF in E+ and 23BC and 25BC in E-
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Old Nov 27, 13, 12:42 pm
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6B on 772 often seems to be blocked too. Is that a crew rest seat? 6A is usually open for selection.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 9:07 am
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Rows 17, 18, 20 on a 767 always blocked for disabled???

I had to rebook my IAD-ZRH flight today because of the winter storm. I called the 1K line to go through a few possibilities. I was looking at the seat maps on my laptop while talking with the agent. I told her that I wanted an E+ aisle seat only. For one itinerary, I noticed that aisle seats were available for rows 17, 18, & 20. She told me that I couldn't book any of those because they were "blocked in case they are needed for any handicapped passengers.".

Anyone know if there is any truth to this?

I did the HUACA shuffle and got my aisle seat. the new agent said she didn't know why I was told the above.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 9:19 am
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Assume you're talking about the 2-class 767-300

16AB and 17AB are blocked for crew rest. 16DEF are often blocked because they're the bassinet seat I think. 17DEF and 16KL and 17KL should not be blocked nor should anything in 20.

Note that this is just for TATL flights. If the 767-300 flies domestic (and perhaps on IAH-LIM) there is no crew rest requirement.
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Old Dec 9, 13, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by Zappity View Post
Assume you're talking about the 2-class 767-300

16AB and 17AB are blocked for crew rest. 16DEF are often blocked because they're the bassinet seat I think. 17DEF and 16KL and 17KL should not be blocked nor should anything in 20.

Note that this is just for TATL flights. If the 767-300 flies domestic (and perhaps on IAH-LIM) there is no crew rest requirement.
I don't know about that plane in particular, but every plane in the fleet has seat blocking for disabled passengers, to my knowledge.

See: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...cking-faq.html
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Old Dec 9, 13, 9:26 am
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The seats that I was told were blocked were 17KL, 18AB, & 20KL on a 763, obviously TATL since I was going to ZRH.

Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
I don't know about that plane in particular, but every plane in the fleet has seat blocking for disabled passengers, to my knowledge.

See: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...cking-faq.html
All 6 seats were E+. Then, why was the 2nd agent saying that I could book any of the six and why was she confused that the first agent said that I couldn't book any of them because they were blocked? Btw, I'm rebooked for Wednesday.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Jan 5, 14 at 2:40 pm Reason: merge
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Old Dec 9, 13, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by FLYMSY View Post
All 6 seats were E+. Then, why was the 2nd agent saying that I could book any of the six and why was she confused that the first agent said that I couldn't book any of them because they were blocked? Btw, I'm rebooked for Wednesday.
Again, I don't know about that bird in particular, but to my knowledge every mainline planes has at least two seats in each of E- and E+. Agents can always put you there manually, if they please.

Looking at a bunch of random flights, it does look like they always block 17KL, 18AB, and 20KL. Odd that all the blocking is in E+.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 10, 18 at 1:08 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Dec 9, 13, 1:07 pm
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just curious, how do you know that those seats are actually blocked and not chosen by a passenger? When I was looking at the seat map while talking with the first res agent, all the seats in those rows showed available (blue) for selection. I fly this particular route frequently and I have never seen those seats blocked out.
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