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Should I choose a seat now, or hope to be lucky?

Should I choose a seat now, or hope to be lucky?

Old Feb 13, 20, 2:28 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2018
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Should I choose a seat now, or hope to be lucky?

Hi,

I have a booking on a UA 767 from LHR to ORD in May, the 7th to be precise.

I am allowed to choose an economy seat for free, but there were only 2 aisle seats available (I need aisle because my bladder is pathetic) but one is the very back row, and one is the 2nd back row.
Lots of the 'extra legroom' seats are currently showing as available for purchase - the sets of 2 seats on either side of the aircraft. These cost an extra £150 roughly, which I am not willing to pay.
There were also 3 or 4 unallocated middle seats showing available for selection.

My question is, would you advise I just accept one of those 2 poor aisle seats, or hold off and hope that I get allocated one of the seats on either side of the aircraft? I am in the MileagePlus program, but am the bottom level, if that's relevant.
Again, if relevant, the flight number is UA959.

I imagine there's no definitive answer here, but any opinions are welcome. I have not selected a seat as of yet.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 2:34 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by FT01 View Post
My question is, would you advise I just accept one of those 2 poor aisle seats, or hold off and hope that I get allocated one of the seats on either side of the aircraft?
I'd take one of the aisle seats, and then I'd set up a free ExpertFlyer seat alert for a better one. If there are that many reserved seats three months prior to departure, I'd expect the plane to go out full, and there are a lot of people who are either (a) willing to pay the £150 or (b) entitled to free E+ from their frequent flyer status.

Note that seat assignments aren't guaranteed, and you could end up in a middle or window anyway, but selecting the aisle now gives you the best chance of having an aisle seat at departure.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 5:46 pm
  #3  
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That's a good suggestion, thanks. I am not familiar with that Expert Flyer facility but I will check it out.

Cheers
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Old Feb 13, 20, 6:03 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Originally Posted by FT01 View Post
I have a booking on a UA 767 from LHR to ORD in May, the 7th to be precise.
I am allowed to choose an economy seat for free, but there were only 2 aisle seats available.
What's so special about that flight (959)? It's nearly 3 months away and econ seat map is full. The other two LHR-ORD flights that day have tons of available seats. You might call and see if it's some sort of error and they can get you a better seat.

​​​​And I hadn't realized that nearly every A,B,K,L on 767s in economy is now a "premium" seat. Jeez, United.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 6:07 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
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Or just call in for a good aisle seat citing your disability. There should be 2 seats blocked for this purpose.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 6:45 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by PDXpress View Post
What's so special about that flight (959)? It's nearly 3 months away and econ seat map is full. The other two LHR-ORD flights that day have tons of available seats. You might call and see if it's some sort of error and they can get you a better seat.

​​​​And I hadn't realized that nearly every A,B,K,L on 767s in economy is now a "premium" seat. Jeez, United.
That shouldn't surprise you. Those seats are more desired.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 6:51 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by PDXpress View Post
What's so special about that flight (959)? It's nearly 3 months away and econ seat map is full. The other two LHR-ORD flights that day have tons of available seats. You might call and see if it's some sort of error and they can get you a better seat.

​​​​And I hadn't realized that nearly every A,B,K,L on 767s in economy is now a "premium" seat. Jeez, United.
It's not that this flight is special, but I'm connecting from Edinburgh and the 959 is the 2nd flight.

Originally Posted by VWang1111 View Post
Or just call in for a good aisle seat citing your disability. There should be 2 seats blocked for this purpose.
It's not a medical disability, just that I drink lots of water while flying and normally need to get up quite often. Maybe I'll just try to drink less. Or arrive hungover, see if that helps.

Thanks for your input though.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 6:52 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
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I fly flight 959 once a month on Friday. It is the last flight to and allows me to work 1/2 the day.

Most of the plane Is some level of premium. You said you are low level. Does that mean silver? If so you can possibly get a better seat at checkin.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 7:07 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by billchristoff View Post
I fly flight 959 once a month on Friday. It is the last flight to and allows me to work 1/2 the day.

Most of the plane Is some level of premium. You said you are low level. Does that mean silver? If so you can possibly get a better seat at checkin.
I thought I was silver, but just checked and I am actually only 'member' level on MileagePlus.
I think I will plump or the 2nd back row for now (to ensure aisle seat) then have a look for possible moves nearer the time.

As a sidenote, do those side 2 rows become free for selection at T-24?
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Old Feb 13, 20, 8:33 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Take the aisle seat. If it were a shorter flight Iíd say let it play out. I donít care about sitting in deep economy on a 2hr flight but usually thereís empty seats to move into anyways.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 9:19 pm
  #11  
 
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If you don't set up alerts, keep checking to see if seats open up and be sure to check in at the 24 hr mark and then keep checking after that. Silvers get free Economy Plus at check in and some of them will be moving up. And since not everyone checks in right at T-24 hours, a few more better seats might open up. But unless there are only middles available (i.e., can't get worse) you should always choose some seat so you don't end up in a middle/worst case scenario.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 9:24 pm
  #12  
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Yeah, I've taken the best available aisle seat (41D - lame!) but will continue to keep an eye on things.

Thanks for your help everyone.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 10:54 pm
  #13  
 
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Yes, take the best available now and check the seat map periodically to see if something better opens up. As it gets closer to flight day, start checking relentlessly - at least twice a day. The seat map changes moment to moment the last few days before, even up to the last hour, so keep checking. Good luck!
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