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can't assign seats OGG-SFO in J - aircraft swap?

can't assign seats OGG-SFO in J - aircraft swap?

Old Jul 31, 17, 1:53 pm
  #1  
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can't assign seats OGG-SFO in J - aircraft swap?

I just used miles to get standard award tickets in J SFO-OGG-SFO in the next couple of weeks, and curiously can't assign seats for the return flight.

Traveling as a couple on the daily 777 between SFO and OGG. I don't think United oversells the J cabin, at least I hope not, so I'm assuming the seat assignment issue is most likely due to a possible aircraft swap.

First off, am I missing some other obvious reason I can't select seats (overbooking in J, United's web site doesn't like me, etc)? And assuming it's an aircraft swap, how safe are my J seats? the seat map on United.com shows the 777-200 HD seating, with 28 Polaris J seats, just none selectable. Since every other widebody United flies has at least 28 J / F seats also, it seems like there is no meaningful risk of being booted to coach. That's unless they swap the 777 for a narrow body, which would presumable be a much bigger problem, as they'd have 100+ people with no seat at all.

Anyway, I just found this puzzling and thought I'd see if anyone else could see what I'm missing.

thanks,
Bob
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Old Jul 31, 17, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
I just used miles to get standard award tickets in J SFO-OGG-SFO in the next couple of weeks, and curiously can't assign seats for the return flight.

Traveling as a couple on the daily 777 between SFO and OGG. I don't think United oversells the J cabin, at least I hope not, so I'm assuming the seat assignment issue is most likely due to a possible aircraft swap.

First off, am I missing some other obvious reason I can't select seats (overbooking in J, United's web site doesn't like me, etc)? And assuming it's an aircraft swap, how safe are my J seats? the seat map on United.com shows the 777-200 HD seating, with 28 Polaris J seats, just none selectable. Since every other widebody United flies has at least 28 J / F seats also, it seems like there is no meaningful risk of being booted to coach. That's unless they swap the 777 for a narrow body, which would presumable be a much bigger problem, as they'd have 100+ people with no seat at all.

Anyway, I just found this puzzling and thought I'd see if anyone else could see what I'm missing.

thanks,
Bob
I had a similar situation earlier this year, and sadly, the 777 was downguaged to a 739. There are only 100+ people with no seat if the flight is already booked full, and if it was they probably wouldn't have given you the award tickets at this time.

Hope I'm wrong, but you may be sitting in the standard 737 front cabin once the equipment swap is run through SHARES.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 2:12 pm
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United does not oversell F/J.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
...Traveling as a couple on the daily 777 between SFO and OGG. I don't think United oversells the J cabin, at least I hope not, so I'm assuming the seat assignment issue is most likely due to a possible aircraft swap....
As a resident of Maui, it is hardly "daily". More like "daily for short periods of time". Two seats may be held for crew rest, but released closer to flight. It also might be an a/c swap (a 753 can accommodate 24 front cabin passengers). Could be a glitch. What date are you travelling?

They are also not the Polaris seats - just the old sardine-can lie-flats.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
I had a similar situation earlier this year, and sadly, the 777 was downguaged to a 739. There are only 100+ people with no seat if the flight is already booked full, and if it was they probably wouldn't have given you the award tickets at this time.

Hope I'm wrong, but you may be sitting in the standard 737 front cabin once the equipment swap is run through SHARES.
I hope you're wrong also :-)

I didn't bother looking at expertflyer, but just eyeballing the seat map it shows 46 seats unassigned in Y and none in J.

A 777-200HD has 336 Y and 28 J, while the largest 737-900 has 159 and 20. So if they do swap to a 737 they'll be down 177 Y / 8 J seats, or roughly 140 people looking for a new flight.

That seems unlikely to be something that would be planned two weeks in advance. Heck, maybe I'll get lucky and they'll swap to a 747 for a final flight to the islands :-) As long as I'm dreaming I might as well dream of good options!
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Old Jul 31, 17, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
...maybe I'll get lucky and they'll swap to a 747 for a final flight to the islands :-)...
Not to Maui due to runway length.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 2:44 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
As a resident of Maui, it is hardly "daily". More like "daily for short periods of time". Two seats may be held for crew rest, but released closer to flight. It also might be an a/c swap (a 753 can accommodate 24 front cabin passengers). Could be a glitch. What date are you travelling?

They are also not the Polaris seats - just the old sardine-can lie-flats.
I usually go to Kauai, so this is my first trip to Maui and since the 777 showed up for the 4 days I checked I translated that to "daily". Incorrectly, I'm sure.

Anyway, this is coming home next Friday. If they swap planes I think the bigger problem will be what to do with ~300 people in coach, not the 28 in first.

you're right, they aren't "Polaris" seats, just labeled that way on United's site. But for a 5 hour flight it isn't a big deal, either kind is more than acceptable compared to the lounge seats on the usual 757 to Lihue.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 2:45 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Not to Maui due to runway length.
You had to rain on my parade? I just wanted to dream

:-)
:-)
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Old Jul 31, 17, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
I hope you're wrong also :-)

I didn't bother looking at expertflyer, but just eyeballing the seat map it shows 46 seats unassigned in Y and none in J.

A 777-200HD has 336 Y and 28 J, while the largest 737-900 has 159 and 20. So if they do swap to a 737 they'll be down 177 Y / 8 J seats, or roughly 140 people looking for a new flight.

That seems unlikely to be something that would be planned two weeks in advance. Heck, maybe I'll get lucky and they'll swap to a 747 for a final flight to the islands :-) As long as I'm dreaming I might as well dream of good options!
My fugitive 777 was actually swapped for two 737s (one 800 and one 900) departing < 2 hours apart from HNL.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
....you're right, they aren't "Polaris" seats, just labeled that way on United's site. But for a 5 hour flight it isn't a big deal, either kind is more than acceptable compared to the lounge seats on the usual 757 to Lihue.
They are not labeled Polaris. Polaris refers to either the actual Polaris seat or the int'l cabin service. Neither of those are claimed for the 772 domestic. The "usual" 757 to Kauai has lie-flat seats - there are no "lounge seats". The 24F domestic 752s have been retired a while now. And 753s aren't used between Kauai and the west coast because of short runway at LIH.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Jul 31, 17 at 2:52 pm
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Old Jul 31, 17, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
I didn't bother looking at expertflyer, but just eyeballing the seat map it shows 46 seats unassigned in Y and none in J.
They tend to block a couple of seats from assignment until check-in. Even though I wouldn't expect there to be a need for crew-rest on this flight, it's probably an automatic thing for that configuration to block a couple of seats, then release them when the flight is ready for check-in.

Can you still buy a ticket in back for that flight? If so, then it's probably not an aircraft swap because if it was, they'd be overselling an already woefully oversold flight.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
My fugitive 777 was actually swapped for two 737s (one 800 and one 900) departing < 2 hours apart from HNL.
Yeah - I've seen that. There's a lot of 738s on West Coast at that time of day that can be substituted in for a Hawaii run.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
They are not labeled Polaris. Polaris refers to either the actual Polaris seat or the int'l cabin service. Neither of those are claimed for the 772 domestic. The "usual" 757 to Kauai has lie-flat seats - there are no "lounge seats". The 24F domestic 752s have been retired a while now. And 753s aren't used between Kauai and the west coast because of short runway at LIH.
I would have sworn that the united.com seatmap had "Polaris" next to that section when I was selecting seats for the outbound, but I can't reproduce that now so it was either pilot error on my part or a website glitch. Either way, I had no expectations in that respect.

I didn't realize that they'd gotten rid of all the recliner flights to Lihue, that's good news. I may have to revisit my next set of flights and switch back from Alaska out of San Jose.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
I would have sworn that the united.com seatmap had "Polaris" next to that section when I was selecting seats for the outbound, but I can't reproduce that now so it was either pilot error on my part or a website glitch. Either way, I had no expectations in that respect.

I didn't realize that they'd gotten rid of all the recliner flights to Lihue, that's good news. I may have to revisit my next set of flights and switch back from Alaska out of San Jose.
Most United flights to LIH are on 738s, which make the old 24 seat F cabins on the 757s look good.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
I would have sworn that the united.com seatmap had "Polaris" next to that section when I was selecting seats for the outbound, but I can't reproduce that now so it was either pilot error on my part or a website glitch. Either way, I had no expectations in that respect.
The seat descriptions for aircraft with fly many route types tend to be buggy - I've definitely seen 77Gs say "United Polaris business" from time to time.

Originally Posted by bpratt View Post
First off, am I missing some other obvious reason I can't select seats (overbooking in J, United's web site doesn't like me, etc)? And assuming it's an aircraft swap, how safe are my J seats? the seat map on United.com shows the 777-200 HD seating, with 28 Polaris J seats, just none selectable.
As has been mentioned upthread, United does not oversell the premium cabins. On the 77G, 1AB are blocked for crew rest and will be released approximately 60 hours before departure when a tail number is assigned to the flight. Did you buy the last two tickets in F? This is the likely cause.

If you have a specific flt/date then I can look at that.

Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
Most United flights to LIH are on 738s, which make the old 24 seat F cabins on the 757s look good.
I believe UA ops at LIH are exclusively 752, which are now all lie-flat. It's a short runway and a long way to the West Coast.
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