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Random seat changes to UA itineraries after having an assigned seat [Consolidated]

Random seat changes to UA itineraries after having an assigned seat [Consolidated]

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Old Jun 22, 22, 1:31 pm   -   Wikipost
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Archive thread - Random seat changes to UA itineraries after they are booked & purchased [ARCHIVE]

Potential causes {draft list -- needs work}
  • Aircraft equipment changes (appears can be an issue even if the new aircraft is the same type)
  • Computer "glitch" -- common explanation, real source unknown
  • Weight & Balance issues
  • Federal Air Marshal {FAM}
  • Seats needed for passenger with medical / disability / .... issues {particularly a bulkhead issue}
  • Pet in cabin {no bulkhead}
  • Accommodating an high elite or VIP {somewhat unlikely, not standard company policy, and more likely to occur in a premium cabin}
  • Accommodating a family group {not very likely and not standard company policy}
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Old Dec 19, 19, 4:47 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I thought of one other thing... the government kicked all the air marshals back to Y. Stands to reason E+ aisles could now be prime FAM seats.
Though about that. Being in 9C and traveling alone with no status, who else better!
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Old Dec 19, 19, 6:49 pm
  #107  
 
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Just checked my EZE-IAH reservation in 2 weeks and AGAIN my seat was switched into a mid section middle seat! AGAIN I called and got my original seat back. This has happened twice now, the first time was the result of them dropping the EZE-EWR direct flight and now routing me through IAH. Please UA get it together
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Old Sep 5, 20, 1:07 pm
  #108  
 
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Seat assignment disappears with October schedule load

My SFO BOS round trip in business was booked in August with 737s each way, seats 3F both flights. Today I got a schedule change notice, but the only change was missing seat assignment for the return BOS SFO on 10/3.
When I tried to book on line, got the "no seats available" message. So called and spoke with an agent. They had no idea what had happened. Seat 3F not available, was given 1F instead. Might be an upgrade if IE is blocked for crew as it sometimes is. But obviously someone else was assigned my original seat after I had booked and paid. This is troubling to me, never had a seat taken away before. Anyone else with similar experiences?
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Old Sep 5, 20, 1:10 pm
  #109  
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Yes, and never got a satisfactory answer on the many occasions it happened. I always suspected non-rev or friends of employees. This was before the plague though.
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Old Sep 5, 20, 1:16 pm
  #110  
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
....I always suspected non-rev or friends of employees. .....
And you were probably wrong 99+% of the time. This reshuffling has long been an issue with UA in these circumstances and it is nearly always another customer. An aircraft gets swapped in during the schedule change and then swapped back --- and UA plays 52 card pickup.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 5, 20 at 1:27 pm Reason: grammar
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Old Sep 5, 20, 6:48 pm
  #111  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Welcome to FT!, 4wardtrotter

The loss of a seat assignment is understandingly distressing but the agent is correct, UA nor other airlines guarantee assignments as those can change for various reasons.

One reason is Federal Air Marshall -- the FAMs are assigned to flights at the last minute and will tell the airlines what seat they want. Which many times are a second-row aisle seat. Note -- the airlines are forbidden by federal regulation from telling you this occurred. Middle age man could very much be a FAM.
Pretty sure this has happened to us before. Mrs. IMissthe747 and I were flying SFO-TPE in 3D and 3G on a 77W (indeed, 50% of the second row aisle seats in the cabin). We were on separate PNRs because we had to fly different dates on our outbound TPE-SFO. Checked the reservation shortly before checkin and found myself in something like 8D with somebody else in my original seat. I understand seat assignments are not guaranteed. At the same time, it would be very frustrating to spend that kind of $ on plane tickets and not sit with my wife. I called 1kvoice and they told me there was nothing they could do. HUCA.

At first I was again told there was nothing they could do, and no explanation offered since there clearly was no equipment change. But, the agent was very nice, called a supervisor, put me on hold for about 15 minutes, and came back with us changed back to our original seat assignments. Only thing that I can assume happened is a FAM chose 3D, and a very very kind UA agent called the FAM and asked if a change was possible and the FAM was willing.

Last edited by IMissThe747; Sep 5, 20 at 6:49 pm Reason: typo
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Old Dec 17, 20, 11:29 pm
  #112  
 
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Anyone know why a reserved seat may have been changed with no notice? Doesn’t appear an equip swap as same seating configuration exists. Was in 4L on a 772 and they must have switched to a rear face 3L. Not a huge deal, but curious as I didn’t really want the rear facing seat.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 18, 20 at 12:17 am Reason: Moved to master thread
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Old Dec 17, 20, 11:39 pm
  #113  
 
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Originally Posted by asphaltman View Post
Anyone know why a reserved seat may have been changed with no notice? Doesn’t appear an equip swap as same seating configuration exists. Was in 4L on a 772 and they must have switched to a rear face 3L. Not a huge deal, but curious as I didn’t really want the rear facing seat.
Personally love rear facing.

God was looking down on me after someone tried to sit next to me on a 789 2-2-2 despite there are other free pairing seats, flight got swapped to a 789 1-2-1. Txt notification received from UA, auto assigned me to a middle seat, since I was in the middle previously; reassigned myself to one of best single seats on the 789. Woo hoo!
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Old Dec 30, 20, 3:04 pm
  #114  
 
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So I paid for an update to first class. At the time, the cabin was empty. I selected 2a and 2b.

Now I got a notification that the aircraft changed and my seats were switched to 1a and 1b.

Its the same plane. 737-900. Why would they move me to worse seats if there's no difference in cabin size? Did someone pay a higher upgrade fee so they get priority?
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Old Dec 30, 20, 3:16 pm
  #115  
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Originally Posted by jamesinclair View Post
Why would they move me to worse seats if there's no difference in cabin size?
There's little rhyme or reason to UA's re-accommodation strategy.

Originally Posted by jamesinclair View Post
Did someone pay a higher upgrade fee so they get priority?
No, definitely not.

There's probably not any real reason at all, but if there is, it's definitely not that.
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Old Dec 30, 20, 3:55 pm
  #116  
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Originally Posted by jamesinclair View Post
..... Why would they move me to worse seats if there's no difference in cabin size? ....
Why what UA does in these cases is one of the great mysteries of life.

Although some would say switching from 2AB to 1AB on 739 is getting a better seat and some (such as you) would say it is a worse seat. So it is doubtful that was the motivation.
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Old Dec 30, 20, 7:43 pm
  #117  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Why what UA does in these cases is one of the great mysteries of life.

Although some would say switching from 2AB to 1AB on 739 is getting a better seat and some (such as you) would say it is a worse seat. So it is doubtful that was the motivation.
Who are these deranged folks??
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Old Apr 14, 21, 11:23 pm
  #118  
 
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Wife Separated From Me in Paid F

On a recent transcon, my wife and I were originally in seats 2E and 2F for our return flight. Everything was fine on the outbound, and we were only on a four-day turn, so I didn't check our return seat assignments until OLCI at 24 hours. When I did, I was still in 2E but my wife was in 5A. I called the 1K desk and they couldn't or wouldn't tell me what had happened and said they couldn't move my wife back to her original seat because F was sold-out. I asked the TA at physical check-in what had happened and got the same, "your seat assignment is not guaranteed" crap. I just wanted to know how the person sitting in 2F got their seat assignment and no one would tell me anything. I asked them if they would take a passenger's seat to accommodate a VIP or some such and they said that that wasn't possible. I thought it might be a FAM thing, but then I met the dude, decked-out in board shorts and a muscle shirt, and decided he wasn't a FAM because there was no place where he could've concealed a weapon.

Has anyone seen something like this before?
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Old Apr 19, 21, 3:16 am
  #119  
 
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Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
Has anyone seen something like this before?
Probably still a VIP with a direct line to their UA account manager who just prefers that seat. Had the same happen to me on J/transcon.
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Old Apr 19, 21, 4:53 am
  #120  
 
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Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
Probably still a VIP with a direct line to their UA account manager who just prefers that seat. Had the same happen to me on J/transcon.
That was my strong suspicion because all of the UA agents and reps were so defensive about it. They could've told me that the computer scrambled the seats or something but they all claimed that they had no idea what happened. Really? In this day and age, you can't look at the record to see when someone grabbed my wife's seat?
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Last edited by zombietooth; Apr 19, 21 at 5:00 am
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