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Lost seat assignment - travelling with small children - anything to be done?

Lost seat assignment - travelling with small children - anything to be done?

 
Old Nov 7, 13, 10:46 am
  #1  
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Lost seat assignment - travelling with small children - anything to be done?

Flying PHL->SJU on Dec 25th with wife and two small children - ages 2 and 4 - both of whom will be in car seats. Booked the flight several months ago and selected seat assignments so that the 2 children would be in window seats (for the car seats) and wife and I would each sit next to one of them.

Got an email today stating the my flight had a schedule change. Looks like they shortened it by one minute, but also noticed that they swapped out the A330 that we were originally on in favor of an A320.

Went to check our seat assignments and we no longer have any. Seatmap shows only a single seat available on the entire plane, and a message that says:
"We're unable to assign seats for everyone in your reservation. We'll assign seats when you check in."

I've read the other threads about people losing seat assignments, and I understand that they are not guaranteed. I'm hopeful that the gate agent will help us out before boarding, but if not, it is not going to be fun to try to get people to swap seats with us on the plane just so that we can sit together with our young kids. Already spoke to Gold desk and escalated to a supervisor, but they claim that there is nothing they can do.

How is it that US's systems somehow filled up every other seat on the plane without assigning any seats to a family of 4 - one of whom is gold preferred?

Is there anything at all that I can do at this point? I don't even care where we sit on the plane. I just need to know that we'll have seats next to our young children.

Thanks for your help.

Edit - US fixed this for me! See last post for details.

Last edited by jroff1; Nov 21, 13 at 3:44 pm
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Old Nov 7, 13, 1:23 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by jroff1 View Post
How is it that US's systems somehow filled up every other seat on the plane without assigning any seats to a family of 4 - one of whom is gold preferred?
I assume that you were in the G/H seats on the right side of the cabin. Those seats don't exist on the narrowbodies as there is only A/B/C on one side and D/E/F on the other. With the equipment change the computer most likely left passengers in seats that exist on the A330 and A320 where they were. Those seated in G/H had no seats on the A320 so those assigned these seats were left without a seat assignment.

Is there anything at all that I can do at this point? I don't even care where we sit on the plane. I just need to know that we'll have seats next to our young children.
I'm not sure res can move someone that still has an assigned seat - you may have to wait till you get to the airport. You can watch for more open seats, especially often when the windows open for elite upgrades. If you can grab even two seats next to each other and not in an exit row I'd do it. It's easier to get people to move to give you two seats together than to get two sets of 2 seats together.

Jim
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Old Nov 7, 13, 2:51 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by jroff1 View Post

How is it that US's systems somehow filled up every other seat on the plane without assigning any seats to a family of 4 - one of whom is gold preferred?

I've had this happen a number of times, and know how stressful it can be. What I've been told by various agents in the past is that all of those seats aren't actually assigned; many of them have just been blocked for airport check-in. Presumably (and this has been true in my experience) when you get to the airport, if you're early enough, you can still get some sets of seats together (they might have to be 2 sets of 2). So far (knock on wood), I've always been able to get assigned seats keeping one parent with each child, either at the check-in desk or the GA.
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Old Nov 7, 13, 3:05 pm
  #4  
 
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Would they actually let a kid under 5 sit by themselves?

I'd recommend calling at T-48 and T-24, when upgrades and seats start being released. Then get to the airport early and be very sweet to the GA.
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Old Nov 7, 13, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Warp View Post
Would they actually let a kid under 5 sit by themselves?

I'd recommend calling at T-48 and T-24, when upgrades and seats start being released. Then get to the airport early and be very sweet to the GA.
They do all the time. 5 year olds can travel as UMs.
But in OPs case I'm sure they'll work something out.
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Old Nov 7, 13, 7:39 pm
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Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post
I assume that you were in the G/H seats on the right side of the cabin. Those seats don't exist on the narrowbodies as there is only A/B/C on one side and D/E/F on the other. With the equipment change the computer most likely left passengers in seats that exist on the A330 and A320 where they were. Those seated in G/H had no seats on the A320 so those assigned these seats were left without a seat assignment.
You're right. We did have G/H originally. I guess the lesson is to always choose A/B since those are on all planes?
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Old Nov 7, 13, 8:36 pm
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There are seats blocked for airport assignment for just this reason. Make sure you show up early.
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Old Nov 8, 13, 3:01 am
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Call your preferred line and ask for it. It can't hurt. It worked for me.
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Old Nov 9, 13, 9:04 pm
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I've had this happen many times. I usually just get on the plane and offer for someone to switch me seats or take care of my kid. No one has taken me up on taking care of my kid yet.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 3:43 pm
  #10  
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Update - US made it right

Update - Was pleasantly surprised today to get a call from US. Someone named Paul in their Airport Customer Service Policies and Procedures group. He told me that he had seen my post on Flyertalk and was able to secure seat assignments for my family. He explained the issue with the equipment change and was very understanding of how frustrating the whole issue had been. Lo and behold, I checked our seat assignments on the website and we now have 16A & 16B and 19A & 19B.

Kudos to US for making this right. And a special thanks to Paul for going out of his way to help!
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Old Nov 21, 13, 4:20 pm
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That's great news! I can imagine how stressful getting people to switch day of would've been!
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Old Nov 21, 13, 4:34 pm
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Just shows how people can make or break a company. If anyone remembers McLean Stevenson (of Mash fame) doing ads for PI, a similar personal circumstance (though far more serious) solved by a US gate agent in DAY is what lead him to donate his time for the commercials.

Jim
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Old Nov 21, 13, 6:30 pm
  #13  
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Good for them. Having traveled many times with kids of this age, I can imagine the concern. My best advice of "check-in early, arrive early, and be prepared to ask others to swap seats" would have left a month to worry. I'm very pleased to see they proactively responded. That's somewhat rare these days.
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Old Nov 21, 13, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by jroff1 View Post
Update - Was pleasantly surprised today to get a call from US. Someone named Paul in their Airport Customer Service Policies and Procedures group. He told me that he had seen my post on Flyertalk and was able to secure seat assignments for my family. He explained the issue with the equipment change and was very understanding of how frustrating the whole issue had been. Lo and behold, I checked our seat assignments on the website and we now have 16A & 16B and 19A & 19B.

Kudos to US for making this right. And a special thanks to Paul for going out of his way to help!
+1 ^... Very positive news for everyone concerned, indeed!
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Old Nov 21, 13, 7:03 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by jroff1 View Post
Update - Was pleasantly surprised today to get a call from US. Someone named Paul in their Airport Customer Service Policies and Procedures group. He told me that he had seen my post on Flyertalk and was able to secure seat assignments for my family. He explained the issue with the equipment change and was very understanding of how frustrating the whole issue had been. Lo and behold, I checked our seat assignments on the website and we now have 16A & 16B and 19A & 19B.

Kudos to US for making this right. And a special thanks to Paul for going out of his way to help!
Please write a thank-you letter or email if you can.

This is great customer service and deserves to be noted ( I was surprised to read this ).
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