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Is United now actively trying to block party of two, window+aisle bookings?

Is United now actively trying to block party of two, window+aisle bookings?

Old Sep 7, 20, 7:29 pm
  #1  
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Is United now actively trying to block party of two, window+aisle bookings?

Hello,
​​​​For years, if I had to travel with one other person in coach, I would always select an aisle and window. I don't remember ever having an issue with this before and I know it's pretty common for frequent travelers.

On my last two segments, United has automatically moved one of the two passengers into the middle. Both of these were in Economy Plus. Does anyone know if this is a new policy?

This is not a case of equipment change. It seemed to happen pretty late on my flight last Friday. I have another flight tomorrow and checked the seats this morning and had an A and a C. I got the check in reminder and when I was checking in I noticed that it had changed us to A and B. Economy Plus is currently almost empty, so I was easily able to change this, but it's still really annoying. If is the new policy I'll just start booking separate tickets.

Thanks
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Old Sep 7, 20, 7:59 pm
  #2  
 
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I'm excited to see if others have had similar experiences. Were all the changes within 24 hours of departure?

I've been an opposite aisles proponent for quite some time, FWIW.
e: typo
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Last edited by onthesam; Sep 7, 20 at 8:16 pm
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Old Sep 7, 20, 8:10 pm
  #3  
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I think just outside of 24 hrs or maybe it's automatic at the same time that you are allowed to check in, which I think is exactly 24 hrs.

It's interesting that it happened on one flight that was almost full and another that was almost empty, so it can't be related to capacity. I do the aisle-aisle sometimes too (depending on who I'm traveling with).



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Old Sep 7, 20, 9:49 pm
  #4  
 
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I am wondering the same thing. I was booked today on SMF to DEN on same itinerary as another person. We had booked Aisle and window and when I looked yesterday UA had moved us to aisle middle with zero notification. Flight was 100 percent full. We were able to move to aisle window in economy plus hour before departure.
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Old Sep 7, 20, 10:41 pm
  #5  
 
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FWIW, these algorithms do exist. I had Jetstar do the same thing to me about 10 years ago.
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Old Sep 7, 20, 10:50 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by dt126a View Post
I think just outside of 24 hrs or maybe it's automatic at the same time that you are allowed to check in, which I think is exactly 24 hrs.

It's interesting that it happened on one flight that was almost full and another that was almost empty, so it can't be related to capacity. I do the aisle-aisle sometimes too (depending on who I'm traveling with).

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Any experience with aisle-aisle getting swapped? That's our preferred seating in the Main Cabin.
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Old Sep 7, 20, 11:59 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
Any experience with aisle-aisle getting swapped? That's our preferred seating in the Main Cabin.
It's never happened to me before with either aisle-aisle or aisle-window, that I can remember. That's why twice on two consecutive flights has me thinking that maybe they've implemented something new. I've probably done this 150 times before.
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Old Sep 8, 20, 12:15 am
  #8  
 
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Until the end of July they were blocking middle seats from being reserved, basically forcing people to book window/aisle. That probably explains WHY they're doing this now that they're jamming the planes full again (well, unlike DL and WN they were always filling them when they could), to free up aisles/windows for others to select. The interesting question is what are they running and when. Are they only consolidating the seats when the original selection was done before that point, or for any noncontiguous seats regardless of when selected.

We have a December trip for 4; one direction booked when middles weren't selectable, the other more recently but for both we're in ACDF. If the algorithm is based on when selected, I'll reselect seats (or even rebook, since same award mileage). Would be okay to have 3 of us on one side, but I'd like to avoid a stranger in the middle next to the 4th so might book an EXTRASEAT. And obviously if they consolidate us at the last minute into AB/EF and put 2 strangers in the aisles I'd be really pissed.
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Old Sep 8, 20, 3:21 am
  #9  
 
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If true it's a slap in the face and garbage policy. Seat selection is a perk to not buying E-.


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Old Sep 8, 20, 6:22 am
  #10  
 
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"United Airlines, where we let you choose your own seat, ...unless we REALLY don't like your seat selection."
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Old Sep 8, 20, 7:40 am
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I made a reservation yesterday for next April with two flights being 738 aircraft. We have a D and F combination reserved on each (and still showing as such this morning).
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Old Sep 8, 20, 10:19 am
  #12  
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I'd just start booking separate reservations then.
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Old Sep 8, 20, 10:32 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
I'd just start booking separate reservations then.
Perhaps traveling companion has lesser or no status and wouldn't be entitled to sit next to other passenger, or entitled to the luggage allowance, or in the case of irops, I would certainly want to be on the same PNR of my traveling companion.
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Old Sep 8, 20, 1:12 pm
  #14  
 
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Our family of 6 had our E+ seats, on the same record locator, scattered across the cabins of our 4 flights while our original seats were still empty. I noticed a few days before OLCI, fixed and then watched it closely until departure. I thought maybe an equipment swap, but after looking at the original booking, no change. E-170 all around for all 4 segments.
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Old Sep 8, 20, 1:33 pm
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Happened to my in-laws. A-C got swapped to AB with no more aisle seats apart from one in Eco+ at check in. (They have no status so would have had to pay)

I called into GS and they were helpful to move them, but I think itís not a good policy
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