Is someone in this middle seat?

Old Dec 25, 19, 8:10 pm
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Is someone in this middle seat?

My daughter and I are taking a trans-pac flight in a couple of days and I noticed that the seat between us appears occupied on the seat map. Did someone really choose to sit there? Or is this UA holding the seat open for my confort?

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Old Dec 25, 19, 8:48 pm
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Sure. UA does this all the time so they can sell fewer seats.

pure coincidence or someone who is hoping you two will move and they will have whole row, or you will relent and give them an aisle.
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Old Dec 25, 19, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by nobodyherebutme View Post
My daughter and I are taking a trans-pac flight in a couple of days and I noticed that the seat between us appears occupied on the seat map. Did someone really choose to sit there? Or is this UA holding the seat open for my confort?

doubtful on the last part. Perhaps itís a blocked seat for some reason.

if you sign up for a free account on Expertflyer, you can search for a flight to create a seat alert to see if itís occupied or blocked. Not sure why someone would intentionally put themselves in a middle between two already seated while there is an empty row right in front. Try moving up to the row ahead?
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Old Dec 25, 19, 9:01 pm
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Change to the window and aisle in the row in front of your current seats.
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Old Dec 25, 19, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Not sure why someone would intentionally put themselves in a middle between two already seated while there is an empty row right in front.
Empty row, especially on flights with a light load. Most flights are made up of 2 or more passengers traveling together, so they are unlikely to select separate seats. If the seat configuration stays as is, the middle seat picker would graciously offer to switch seats, so OP and the daughter can sit together; while the middle seater would then sit in either window or aisle.

The middle seat picker knows exactly what he/she is doing.
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Old Dec 25, 19, 9:31 pm
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OP are you strong willed enough to stonewall the middle seat picker? You could be the person who makes them stop pulling this tactic.
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Old Dec 25, 19, 9:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Empty row, especially on flights with a light load. Most flights are made up of 2 or more passengers traveling together, so they are unlikely to select separate seats. If the seat configuration stays as is, the middle seat picker would graciously offer to switch seats, so OP and the daughter can sit together; while the middle seater would then sit in either window or aisle.

The middle seat picker knows exactly what he/she is doing.
Iím not following you. The middle seat picker has plenty of aisle seats to choose from right now so they have no need to get someone to switch. Besides, how could the person in the middle seat possibly know the aisle and window passengers are traveling together?
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Old Dec 25, 19, 10:30 pm
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For awhile (god, i don’t even remember how many years ago), United routinely and actively blocked middle seats for elites. I have noticed it a handful of times this year as a GS, but with full loads seems like they often get filled near the end...
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Old Dec 25, 19, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post
Iím not following you. The middle seat picker has plenty of aisle seats to choose from right now so they have no need to get someone to switch. Besides, how could the person in the middle seat possibly know the aisle and window passengers are traveling together?
The rationale is not to switch with anyone, but hope the load is light enough for an empty row. The odds of pax traveling together on any given flight > solo travelers, especially on an INTL long haul.

This works quite well. I do this sometime based on a view of the flight load.
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Old Dec 25, 19, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
doubtful on the last part. Perhaps itís a blocked seat for some reason.Not sure why someone would intentionally put themselves in a middle between two already seated while there is an empty row right in front. Try moving up to the row ahead?
Maybe a little OCD to make the seat map pretty?
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Old Dec 25, 19, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by nobodyherebutme View Post
Did someone really choose to sit there? Or is this UA holding the seat open for my confort?
This is UA. So I have serious doubt about this, although I have encountered this for a few time.

So always assume - there will be an actual person sitting there.
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Old Dec 25, 19, 11:17 pm
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It's not a blocked seat (I asked when I called United to extend some expiring PlusPoint). So, I moved up one row.

I wonder if there are situations when passengers aren't shown all available seats. Perhaps an elite from a partner airline?
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Old Dec 25, 19, 11:23 pm
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And now the middle seat picker has a row all to himself/herself.
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Old Dec 25, 19, 11:25 pm
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I've been on OTA that have a "skip seat assignment" button. Maybe someone did that or missed a button to select seats and the system, seeing a solo passenger, filled in between you?
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Old Dec 25, 19, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by nobodyherebutme View Post
I wonder if there are situations when passengers aren't shown all available seats. Perhaps an elite from a partner airline?
You never know.

Among the last 2 TPAC RT, only 1 segment the seat map was actually correct that someone was really sitting next to me, i.e. A and C with B open. 2 others were showing C occupied but ending up getting the whole row all by myself. 1 was op-up.
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