Gold Upgrades Without Seat Assignment

Old Aug 31, 16, 2:51 pm
  #1  
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Gold Upgrades Without Seat Assignment

In the past week I have had this frustrating experience twice, so I wonder if it's the new way things are done.

I book a short flight in MC. I check in at T-24 and no seat shows. If I click the "change seat" option, it lets me know that I've been upgraded to MCS and shows plenty of available MCS seats to choose from. I select a seat, and then get a boarding pass. I look at the boarding pass and it lists the seat as N/A.

The first time, I caught this right away, called the Gold line, and they were able to assign me the Row 3 aisle seat I wanted.

The second time, I didn't catch it until about 4 hours before the flight. This time, I called the Gold line and was told that it was close enough to flight time that they could not access the system to assign a seat and that I'd have to take care of it at the gate. At this point, the aisle seat I thought I had moved into was no longer available, but there were at least two window seats. I got to the gate early and was the first person to be helped -- and was assigned a middle seat in Row 10. I asked and was told they had no more MCS window or aisle seats. Thankfully, they were able to move me back to my original aisle seat in Row 9 (though this was a huge pain).

Perhaps not coincidentally, I noticed for the first time flyers at the gate encouraging passengers to sign up for the "seatboost" app to "bid on upgrades to First Class and Main Cabin Select."

I wonder if they are avoiding assigning Gold upgrades to specific seats until the gate so they can maximize their ability to sell upgrades for $$ -- in which case this Gold "benefit" will quickly become "get 'upgraded' to a middle seat in MCS."

Post-script: I wrote the above from SFO before boarding. As I got on the plane, the gate agent said "I'll let you know if anything opens up in Row 3." After I took my seat at 9D, I went onto the VX site on my phone so that I could check-in for my return flight tomorrow afternoon. That flight didn't show up at all. Instead, my outbound leg was listed as being a one-way, and my seat was listed as 3C! No one from the airline ever came by to tell me this, so if I hadn't happened to look I would have had no idea and remained in 9D. As it was, I moved to 3C, and then had to spend 10 minutes on the phone with the Gold line resuscitating my return leg. Happily, she assigned me a specific MCS aisle seat too.

Last edited by shza; Aug 31, 16 at 6:11 pm
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Old Aug 31, 16, 7:58 pm
  #2  
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Wow, that's pretty bad! I haven't had experience with that before -- I'll report back if I do.

Things seem to be really hitting the fan.
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Old Sep 2, 16, 8:07 am
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So did OP's return flight go okay?
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Old Sep 2, 16, 10:32 am
  #4  
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Return flight was without issue, yes. That was expected, since I had been assigned a specific upgrade seat over the phone the day before. Had I left it to electronic check-in, who knows.
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Old Sep 2, 16, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by shza View Post
Return flight was without issue, yes. That was expected, since I had been assigned a specific upgrade seat over the phone the day before. Had I left it to electronic check-in, who knows.
I guess the moral of the story is to call in at T-24 and T-12 to sort this stuff out. It's a shame VX can't auto assign seats based on preference. After all, our Elevate profiles DO include a question asking whether we prefer Aisle or Window. Can't be that hard to program!
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