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Can One Person Buy Two Seats?  
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8308 times:

For an upcoming flight on AmericaWest I purchased three coach tickets for two people, and selected three seats together with the intention of keeping the middle empty.

The problem is that I made up a non-existent passenger name for the middle seat. Now I'm in a panic because I realized that was a dumb thing to do. The non-existent person will be a no-show and they can put a standby passenger in that seat. The ticket does not allow name changes so it's too late to get it back in my name.

Will I be allowed to keep the middle seat that I paid for empty, or will the airline be allowed to resell it when there is no passenger for that seat?

[Edited 2005-12-01 23:45:17]

62 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRAMPRAT980 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 600 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8273 times:

If you pay they will give you the extra seat


With gun control there can be no democracy.. With gun control there can be no Freedom
User currently offlineKiwiinOz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8257 times:

I'm pretty sure Homer Simpson requested two seats, (for the twins!) when he won an African trip after finding a solid gold giraffe in an old box of Animal Crackers

If it happened on The Simpsons, it must be true


User currently offlineNoelG From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8237 times:

Can you not check in online under your mystery passenger? You can then print your boarding pass without having to show any ID for your mystery passenger. Once you're checked in your seat is yours.

Cheers,
Noel.


User currently offlineBristolFlyer From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 2270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8217 times:

Pretty sure you can do this. I remember my Grandparents doing it a while back, a shame as it turned out there were only about 30 people on the flight - D'oh!

BF



Fortune favours the brave
User currently offlineVSLover From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1894 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8163 times:

i always have to do this because i fly with my cello a lot, or used to anyhow.

i always booked two tickets in my name and called the airline immediately so they could put a note in because some airlines (F9) will cancel out your itenerary if there are two seats for the same person.

also, as far as i know, if you make up a name, and cant produce identification, then how would you expect to be granted a boarding pass, or make it past securitat is you print the boarding pass at home?


User currently offlineBoysteve From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8157 times:

There is a famous story regarding Pavarotti, who booked 2 seats on concorde as to acknowledge his ample proportions!

User currently offlineTWA902fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 3100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8148 times:

Quoting VSLover (Reply 5):
also, as far as i know, if you make up a name, and cant produce identification, then how would you expect to be granted a boarding pass, or make it past securitat is you print the boarding pass at home?

Make one in your name and one in another persons name, but do so under ONE reservation, so you can check in at an electronic kiosk with just your credit card or other magnetic-strip card. Anyways you print the boarding pass for you and your friend and since theres only one person you go through security showing only your ID and boarding pass not the other "persons", by this time youre at the gate, i guess the only problem would be actually "boarding" because if your friend isnt "boarded" they can give his/her seat away so you'd need to somehow swipe "his/her" boarding pass to have them be on board. That would be the only problem, everything else makes sense to me.

'902



life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 8141 times:

I'm pretty sure I can get all three boarding passes since I paid for three tickets. But there won't be three people. At some point they will see an empty seat. Suppose they have a standby passenger willing to pay full fare?

User currently offlineMarshalN From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 8107 times:

Sounds like maybe you should call the airline and figure this out?

User currently offlineBAxMAN From St. Helena, joined May 2004, 671 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 8065 times:

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 8):
I'm pretty sure I can get all three boarding passes since I paid for three tickets. But there won't be three people. At some point they will see an empty seat. Suppose they have a standby passenger willing to pay full fare?


If the crew do their job properly, then they will eventually figure out that there is one (non-existant) passenger missing and they will offload that person.

They won't realise this until the very last moments, by which time all stand by pax may already have been allocated a seat. If the flight is jam packed though, then you'll probably have a passenger grateful to be sitting beside you at the very last minute.

If I were you, I'd play dumb if the crew ask you where you travelling companion is. Just complain that he has done this before and boy, are you going to be angry when you catch up with him. Personally, I'd feel like far too much of an idiot to admit the truth of what I'd done!

You'll possibly get away with you cunning, but shoddily implemented, plan. But if the whole state is clambering to fly HP that day, the scenario where a standby passenger plonks themself in your middle seat will be unavoidable.



I need to get laid
User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 8048 times:

It's a discount fare that doesn't allow name changes. Calling the airline might not help in that case.

It seems to imply they have a requirement that discounted non-refundable seats have a person sitting in them. Is that correct? I guess that's the essential question here.

Or should I buy a cello and give the gate agent a boarding pass for it?  Smile


User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 8043 times:

Money wasted. You would be okay if the reservation was made in your name, remember some airlines require large people to buy two seats, but otherwise if its a busy flight, and there are last minute stand-by's most likely non-rev's kiss your seat and money away. Once the outbound is cancelled so will the return.

User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 8009 times:

The money isn't completely wasted. At least my empty seat will remain empty if they are not overbooked. If I didn't pay for the seat, it could be taken with less than a full flight. The fare is $140, not the end of the world.

There are currently 10 empty seats for a flight 3 days from now. Maybe I'll get lucky.

By the way, these are one-way tickets so I don't have to worry about the return being cancelled.

I'm planning to make a confession to the gate agent because I think they will at least hold my empty seat as long as they can. Is there really any reason for me to not confess and play dumb?


User currently offlineVSLover From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1894 posts, RR: 23
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 7949 times:

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 13):
Is there really any reason for me to not confess and play dumb?

not that i can see. honestly though, i would just give the airline a call and explain the situation and they can at least make a note of it in your PNR and thus you wont have too much of an issue when you check in. bottom line is that they want your money, so they dont really give a damn who sits in that seat...oh and if you should have any issue with crew confronting you about that "extra seat" you be damn sure you stand firm--its yours, you paid for it.

once i had two tix, but ended up leaving my cello behind and they tried to move someone into the empty seat next to me. obviously i protested and that was the end of that conversation.


User currently offlinePilottim747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1607 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7862 times:

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 13):
I'm planning to make a confession to the gate agent because I think they will at least hold my empty seat as long as they can.

I think that's the best idea. This and VSLover's idea of calling the airline and having them put a note in your PNR. You can check-in the empty seat online but if it isn't boarded that seat is subject to being given away.

Here's the America West Contract of Carriage. It says, "All passengers must be present in the boarding area at least 15 minutes before scheduled departure or their reservations may be cancelled and will not be eligible for denied boarding compensation."

As others have said there are many people that buy two seats with only one individual travelling. Musicians do this all the time (VSLover as a great example).

pilottim747



Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks ago) and read 7783 times:

About 20 years ago Lady Beaverbrook (wife of Lord Beaverbrook) bought the entire first class cabin of an Air Canada L-1011-500 on a YYZ/LHR flight for herself, her sister-in-law and her dog. If you have the money anything is possible.

User currently offlineWDBRR From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 610 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks ago) and read 7772 times:

When I worked in reservations, a oversized person could buy two seats for their "comfort", in the name field we would put -JONES/EXTRA SEAT
really not a big deal if you didn't mind paying for it.


User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks ago) and read 7762 times:

I think it was Pete Townsend who used to buy a seat for his guitar.

That my puppies, is Rock and Roll!  rotfl 


User currently offlineSpeedbudgie From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 7636 times:

I just flew from EWR-LHR on VS02 and was seated two rows behind a man and his cello. The cello was securely seated with it's seatbelt on for the duration of the flight. Perhaps you should take an instrument with you.

User currently offlineAirIndia From United Arab Emirates, joined Jan 2001, 1607 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7536 times:

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 13):
Is there really any reason for me to not confess and play dumb?

Wear a plaster on your leg and pretend to limp. Maybe you can get that excuse to pass thru for booking two tickets.

Better play sick than dumb...  Wink


User currently offlineDLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7514 times:

Quoting AirIndia (Reply 20):
Better play sick than dumb...

Lets see.... Be dumb, or play dumb? Well you've already been dumb by putting a fake name on a seat, why not go for both?  Wink

It seems to me like you've dug yourself into a hole that's now too deep for you to climbout, and by going to a.net, the only advice they have given you is to keep digging. My advice: Call the airline, tell them exactly what you did, that the seat you have is paid for (their computers will show this anyway) and that you only really booked it because you're an oversized pax wanting comfort (you can tell a little white lie here, they aren't gonna know until you show up at checkin, and again, you've already paid for the seat), let them sort it out. You paid with a credit card, right? If they say no and resell the seat, get the money back from your credit card agency.


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7498 times:

Quoting Bobster2 (Thread starter):
The problem is that I made up a non-existent passenger name for the middle seat.

IMHO you should contact the airline as soon as you can. Don't leave it to the last minute and don't leave it to when you show up at the gate. In the worst case they might even consider you to be trying something funny and may not even load you.

Issuing two seats is NOT an unusual practice for the airline and they know how to deal with it. But they need to know.


User currently offlineCessna172RG From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 747 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7458 times:

Ok, if you check in as your mystery passenger...

First, if you go to the gate and board the plane with your boarding pass and with your friend and theirs, those seats will be counted. Before the final call, if the passenger with the middle seat does not board, they will be considered a no-show, and then the seat will be open. That will allow anyone flying standby or any other passenger connecting to that flight without a seat the chance of sitting there.

So...you may not have the luxury of having the whole row to yourself.



Save the whales...for dinner!!!
User currently offlineSvenvdM From Germany, joined Dec 2000, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7433 times:

I don´t know which airport you`re flying from but Lufthansa in Frankfurt has self-service boarding turnstiles. So in addition to using self-service check-in you can simply "board twice" by reaching back over the turnstile with the second boarding pass, swiping it and moving the turnstile once.

Having said that it´s probably the easiest to simply call the airline and sort it out.


25 Matt72033 : cant u just ring the airline, say your 'friend' cant make it now, but you'd like to keep the seat?
26 ZKSUJ : I saw on TV (Airline USA) where a man had to buy two seats because he was a large size. So yea, you can buy two seats and I presume under the same nam
27 123 : This topic is precisely the one I needed to maintain a firm position: No matter how smart computers are, you need humans to get in touch with to solve
28 AirScoot : Purchasing an extra seat is a common enough practice.. What you'll have to do is contact the carrier.. explain the situation.. and they'll have to add
29 Kmh1956 : What I fail to understand in this little scenario is why anyone would want to book an extra seat for any other reason than health. Why would anyone wa
30 Nubes : When people book an extra seat for a cello, the seat is not occupied by a passenger named cello, but the seatnumber is added to the passenger who is "
31 Nubes : But when people book business class seats, they do the same thing.. Instead of one business class seat, there could be 2 or more economy class seats.
32 Lamedianaranja : It's wasted money insofar as you can always buy an extra seat and it costs you only child fare (50%) and now you paid for an adult, who can't check in
33 RAMPRAT980 : I guess it was his favorite Fender.
34 HAWK21M : Call the Airline.Explain the Situation & get your cash back. Never know the Flight might not be full. regds MEL
35 Post contains images Jetfuel : Id just want to be sure I got 2 lots of ailrine miles
36 Post contains images Tod : All else fails, bring an inflatable "friend" Tod
37 Dtwclipper : JBKO (AKA Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis ) would always purchase or have purchased for her the seat next to her whenever she flew.
38 Post contains images RJ111 : Gibson SG actually... ...Lord know why?
39 Knightsofmalta : Well, you can't book three seats in your name and if you book tickets for three passengers using ficticious names, you'll only be able to check-in if
40 Knightsofmalta : Oh and I forgot, this is not entirely true. Seeing as you can not identify yourself as that person, you are not entitled to that seat. Secondly, when
41 AirScoot : He was talking about getting seating on HP which does permit advanced seating. If handled properly, what you are describing would not be an issue. If
42 Tod : You are permitted to request a specific seat, but they are not required to honor that request. Tod
43 Knightsofmalta : But even with advanced seating, that will only insure that the seat concerned remains empty until the flight opens for check-in. I don't know if you
44 AirScoot : Yes you are.. much as with any airline. My point is if it's handled correctly and the carrier is forewarned 99.999999% of the time they'll leave your
45 Ripcordd : I do it on my ord-west coast trips on AA a lot esp since the 80's have 2-3 seating I get 2 seat side and its amazing money well spent but I always boo
46 Knightsofmalta : Either you're exagerating slightly, or you only book your trips at very, very short notice or the American Airlines system is absolutely lousy. If yo
47 Lamedianaranja : As I already said in reply 32, I understood that the extra seat will cost you a child's fare, usually 50% of your fare. No food, no weight so it's ch
48 RIPCORDD : No they don't why would they cancel when I paid for 2 seats. I even have been upgraded to F and given 2 seats. I don't know how other airlines work bu
49 Post contains links JAGflyer : http://download.lardlad.com/sounds/season12/safari6.mp3 hehe
50 Post contains images Airforum : Hmm what would happen when you check-in online or by using the check-in machines? They'll miss the (virtual) passenger at the gate, and see 'him' as n
51 Post contains images Nubes : You're partly talking sh*t, i think . For many of the low-cost carriers (EZY etc) it's true, that's why you don't get your money back, because that w
52 AirNZ : Sorry, that makes no sense at all and not something to be recommended. The head count prior to take-off won't match the boarding passes 'swiped'....o
53 TWAAF9 : For those passengers who purchase an extra seat for whatever reason, the name on the seat is usually (at least on F9), "Extra Seat" and at check-in al
54 ANother : This sounds like US domestic, and child discounts are pretty well unknown these days. Even internationally most fares only allow a 25% or 33% discoun
55 VSLover : there are discounted fares for my cello? seriously? i honestly never knew this, i always just paid the normal fare that i was paying for my ticket and
56 AirScoot : Normally they don't discount fares for children on US domestic flights.. they used to but it was only for full fare passengers. Now if you get a child
57 Post contains images DrDeke : Couldn't you just check once shortly before landing? It seems to me that if someone steals your cello on a 747, they will not get too far with it if
58 Bobster2 : Thanks for the advice everybody. This is an interesting thread. I called the airline and explained the problem. As many people pointed out, my fictiti
59 Matt72033 : you pay business class fare for your cello?? crazy is all i can say!
60 ORDagent : If it was my livelihood I would guard it like a hawk! Besides truly exceptional musical instruments can cost tens of thousands of dollars. As far as
61 VSLover : exactly. and if i was flying j class, i didnt exactly want to hoof it back and forth between classes. as for those of you who ask "on a 747 they coul
62 Aerofan : so if u buy an extra seat does this mean u get 2 meals?
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