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Official NWA Seat Assignment Policy  
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6158 times:

I searched both nwa.com and the archives here and couldn't find an exact answer, so I'll start this thread.

This question is in reference to the possible travel on Northwest in July, 2008, and is about seat selection.

When one purchases tickets on most airlines, seat assignment choices are usually part of the purchase. Southwest is a notable exception (that has been discussed here ad nauseum), but I am finding that Northwest is also not showing possible seats. The website says, "Specific seat assignments are not available for your flight(s). Seats will automatically be requested for you."

According to what I could find, 90 days is when certain seats are released for selection.

  • Does one have to be a WorldPerks member of a certain level in order to select a seat at this time?

  • Will there be an additional charge for a window or an aisle seat?

  • The statement about "premium seats" says:

    Quote:
    Premium seats are blocked on most aircraft for customers with WorldPerks/Alliance Partner Elite status or a business fare purchase.

    What exactly qualifies as a "premium seat"? Is that specifically exit row seating? Or does that refer to all aisle seats?

    Like all travellers, I would like to select my seat at the time of purchase - as well as pay the lowest price. However, I loathe middle seats and want to avoid that at all costs. For those a.netters who have been in this situation, your insights would be GREATLY appreciated!!


  • Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
    33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
     
    User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6129 times:



    Quoting PanAm747 (Thread starter):
    Does one have to be a WorldPerks member of a certain level in order to select a seat at this time?

    No, anyone can select their seats from 90 days of departure outside of 90 days nobody can. You don't have to worry about it until atleast a couple weeks before. Also you can change you seat anytime by logging into your reservation at nwa.com

    Quoting PanAm747 (Thread starter):
    What exactly qualifies as a "premium seat"?

    The seats that have a P on them or an E, along with handicap seats.

    Quoting PanAm747 (Thread starter):
    Will there be an additional charge for a window or an aisle seat?

    No, coach choice are seats in green. If your a worldperks elite, they don't cost a dime extra.

    Quoting PanAm747 (Thread starter):
    Like all travellers, I would like to select my seat at the time of purchase - as well as pay the lowest price.

    over 90 days out you should be able to request a window or aisle, you shouldn't have any problems that far out and again you can just log into your reservation and change your seats anytime.



    "Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
    User currently offlinePHXANTHEM From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 4 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6113 times:

    Northwest will release seats 90 days prior to each flight. At that time, seat maps are available. If you have silver, gold or platinum status, you can reserve any seat, except those marked coach choice, which are only available for an additional charge 24 hours prior to the flight, or for no charge for silver, gold and platinum members. Normally, about the front 1/3 of the plane is held for those with status. So, take the best seat you can get 90 days prior, and take a look the day before and the day of your flight to see if you can improve your seat.

    Hope this helps.


    User currently offlineLobster From Germany, joined Oct 2008, 49 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6113 times:



    Quoting PanAm747 (Thread starter):
    Will there be an additional charge for a window or an aisle seat?

    Yes and no. NW blocks a certain amount of seats towards the front of econ and also exit rows for elites. These are usually just aisle seats and all exit rows. Generally these seats open up 24 hours prior to departure for everyone, but certain seats are only available for purchase. IIRC it's like 15-25 bucks extra for an isle or exit row seat towards the front. On NW booking engine, it shows the seatmap and the seats have a "P" in them. You won't be able to select it. However, when you make your reservation, you can request what kind of seat you would like, and when they open the plane up at 90 days, login and change to what you want.


    User currently offlineHalophila From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 646 posts, RR: 4
    Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6083 times:



    Quoting PanAm747 (Thread starter):
    What exactly qualifies as a "premium seat"? Is that specifically exit row seating? Or does that refer to all aisle seats?

    Even if you check-in 24 hours in advance on the web, I've found at least once that seat selection in the front 1/3 of Y is still only available to their frequent travelers. If you can't get an aisle or window seat in the rear of the plane now, I simply wouldn't fly them. If a similar airfare exists on an airline which does allow seat selection, I'd fly them!



    Flown on 707, 717, 727, 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 741 742 743 744 74SP 757 753 762 763 772 773 77W D10 DC9 M11 M80 M87
    User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6071 times:



    Quoting Halophila (Reply 4):
    Even if you check-in 24 hours in advance on the web, I've found at least once that seat selection in the front 1/3 of Y is still only available to their frequent travelers.

    Your right because those seats are released at the airport not online at nwa.com



    "Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
    User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23155 posts, RR: 20
    Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6064 times:



    Quoting Halophila (Reply 4):
    Even if you check-in 24 hours in advance on the web, I've found at least once that seat selection in the front 1/3 of Y is still only available to their frequent travelers.



    Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 5):
    Your right because those seats are released at the airport not online at nwa.com

     checkmark  It's worth noting that it's usually possible to snag one of these seats because NW's liberal upgrade policy means that more Y seats open up than on most carriers.



    I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
    User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5992 times:

    Thanks for your replies!!

    Two further questions:

    1) Is the $15 charge for each segment, each way (point A to point B via MEM, MSP, or DTW), or total for the round-trip? Not to sound cheap, but $30 is the current difference between NW and other airlines.

    2) How well has this policy worked for NW? Is it primarily aimed at the last minute business flyer with elite status a better shot at avoiding the middle seat?



    Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
    User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5968 times:



    Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 7):
    1) Is the $15 charge for each segment, each way (point A to point B via MEM, MSP, or DTW), or total for the round-trip? Not to sound cheap, but $30 is the current difference between NW and other airlines.

    its each segment, and its $20 now on most seats. This applies to flights in the US and Canada, international there is no coach choice. Of course ive often got lucky enough that I showed up at the airport and the Exits that are saved for elite members open up quite often and so i didn't have to pay.

    Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 7):
    2) How well has this policy worked for NW? Is it primarily aimed at the last minute business flyer with elite status a better shot at avoiding the middle seat?

    Very well, I have heard people who are more then happy to pay $15 for and increase of leg room. I have done it a couple of times myself depending on the flight.



    "Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
    User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5933 times:



    Quote:
    its each segment, and its $20 now on most seats.

    So, for example, SAN-DTW-BOS-DTW-SAN would be $80 to choose an assigned seat? OUCH!! Even assuming the fare is $80 or more less than other choices, that's kind of steep. And if NW isn't the least expensive option, then double OUCH!!

    I guess that's NW's choice...



    Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
    User currently offlineSiouxATC From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 386 posts, RR: 1
    Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5902 times:



    Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 1):
    The seats that have a P on them or an E, along with handicap seats.

    Burnsie;

    I was looking at an upcoming reservation online and I clicked on the seat map to see if I could get a better seat, and then I clicked on one of the handicap seats and I was able to select it, 21A on the 744, 1A on the CRJ, 16D on the 753 and 5A on the DC9. Why was I able to select these seats?

    Was this just a glitch in the system? Will NW give me any crap at check in?

    I fly NW a lot and have never been able to select this seat before getting to the airport. What gives?

    Sioux


    User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5865 times:



    Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 9):
    So, for example, SAN-DTW-BOS-DTW-SAN would be $80 to choose an assigned seat?

    NO, its to choose a premium seat, to choose your own seat through most of the plane its free.



    "Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
    User currently offlineNorthwestEWR From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 461 posts, RR: 3
    Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5861 times:



    Quoting SiouxATC (Reply 10):
    I was looking at an upcoming reservation online and I clicked on the seat map to see if I could get a better seat, and then I clicked on one of the handicap seats and I was able to select it, 21A on the 744, 1A on the CRJ, 16D on the 753 and 5A on the DC9. Why was I able to select these seats?

    Was this just a glitch in the system? Will NW give me any crap at check in?

    I fly NW a lot and have never been able to select this seat before getting to the airport. What gives?

    You paid a high fare class, probably Y or similar. That allows you the same level of access as Elites and therefor the seats you want.

    Happens to me when I get bumped or the flight is cancelled. They rebook you in Y and you get any seat you want.

    To avoid the coach choice price, select a different seat and when you get to the gate just ask for an exit row.

    Common mis-conception is that all aisles or whatever are coach choice, this is NOT true. I'm on an A319 next week and there are only 9 coach choice seats, plenty of other options. These are usually towards the front of the cabin along with the premium seats which are only available to Elites and those on high-fare class tickets online. Premium seats are available at the airport using the kiosk machines.

    Have a good trip!



    ARJ 319 320 333 717 733 735 73G 738 739 742 752 753 762 772 CRJ CR9 ER3 ERJ FRJ J31 J41 D9S D94 D95 M81 M82 M88
    User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2249 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5794 times:



    Quoting Halophila (Reply 4):
    Even if you check-in 24 hours in advance on the web, I've found at least once that seat selection in the front 1/3 of Y is still only available to their frequent travelers. If you can't get an aisle or window seat in the rear of the plane now, I simply wouldn't fly them. If a similar airfare exists on an airline which does allow seat selection, I'd fly them!

    Worse yet, on very full flights, if you don't have a seat assignment prior to 24 hours before departure, when you check in online, the system will not allow you to choose a seat. It will arbitrarily assign you a seat, then will not allow you to change it.

    When this happens, you can request a seat you like from the gate agents 40 minutes prior to departure, when all premium / elite seats are released. However, if the flight is oversold, or if the gate agents are busy, you will be stuck with a seat you don't like.

    I think this system is very unfair to the gate agents - they are the ones who have to deal with passengers who are unhappy about their seat assignments, at a time when they want to close the flight out so it can leave on time. I think all premium / elite / coach choice / etc seats should be released 24 hours before departure, so passengers who check in online can get them.



    Seaholm Maples are #1!
    User currently offlineNwlover From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5666 times:

    Are all Exit rows now a charge if you are not a WP Elite member? I have tried 2x to get an exit row with in the last month with no luck online, on the phone, and at the airport. Are all airlines moving toward this or just NW?

    User currently offlineFloridaflyboy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2016 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5578 times:

    I love NW's exit row program. Not only is it much cheaper than UA's, but it also gives you priority boarding! I do it for every flight I take.


    Good goes around!
    User currently offlineSiouxATC From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 386 posts, RR: 1
    Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5511 times:



    Quoting NorthwestEWR (Reply 12):
    You paid a high fare class, probably Y or similar. That allows you the same level of access as Elites and therefor the seats you want.

    Booking class K, which is not a very high fare class. And looking at the reservation now I am not able to select these seats again. I cannot select any of the premium seats...


    User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23155 posts, RR: 20
    Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5378 times:



    Quoting SiouxATC (Reply 16):

    Booking class K, which is not a very high fare class. And looking at the reservation now I am not able to select these seats again. I cannot select any of the premium seats...

    IIRC, anyone has always been able to select the handicapped seats... which is why all of the 'good' seats aren't marked as handicapped... IIRC on -9s and Airbuses, 5 and 6 A&B (or A,B,&C) are the handicapped seats.



    I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
    User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5319 times:

    Thanks to everyone for the replies!! It seems a bit complicated for the average traveller, but if NW wants to do this, that's their right. Every airline has their "eccentricities". I'm glad at least to know that it's not $20 per segment for ANY assigned seat - just "premium" ones.

    In counting on my calendar, April 9th is 90 days prior to my planned return date. If I haven't bought by then, I'll check out NW again. However, Sun Country has dramatically expanded their scheduled flying, and they have some competitive times and significantly cheaper fares for the same day and (close to) time. We shall see. [scratchchin}



    Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
    User currently offlineContinental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5519 posts, RR: 18
    Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5192 times:

    The premium seat crap is annoying. I'm booked on NW to LAX and half the damn plane is premium. There are many, many seats in the premium section which are available, but I'm forced to sit in the very last row next to the bathroom.

    User currently offlineHalophila From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 646 posts, RR: 4
    Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5181 times:



    Quoting Continental (Reply 19):
    There are many, many seats in the premium section which are available, but I'm forced to sit in the very last row next to the bathroom.

    This is one of the main reasons I prefer to fly other airlines over NW. It really is a fine balance between rewarding loyal customers with incentives, and p***ing off potentially loyal customers. But, that's their policy, so at least I know not to fly them!



    Flown on 707, 717, 727, 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 741 742 743 744 74SP 757 753 762 763 772 773 77W D10 DC9 M11 M80 M87
    User currently offlineNWcsaMSY From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 19 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5159 times:

    First off not to ruffel any feathers here, I am going to clairify somethings:

    1) If you want an exit row that is slated for purchase when you check in, wait till exactly 1hr 59mins prior to departure and that seat will be open for free.

    2) We release premium seats 30mins prior to departure

    3) Once the air craft reaches 60% capacity booked, no matter where/when you buy your ticket, you will be assigned a seat at the airport.

    4) When we rebook your ticket due to irr ops or cancellations, we ALWAYS rebook in the same class of service UNLESS it is not available then we use the next closest fair rule/class.

    5) If you want a good seat, always ask the agents at the counter. I myself always will try to give the customer the best seat possible as we can 90% of the time override the check in kiosks.

    Hope this helps


    User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23155 posts, RR: 20
    Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5026 times:



    Quoting NWcsaMSY (Reply 21):
    4) When we rebook your ticket due to irr ops or cancellations, we ALWAYS rebook in the same class of service UNLESS it is not available then we use the next closest fair rule/class.

    Some agents are really careless about this... I've had K to Y bumps before as well as R (is that upgraded F? I forget...) to F.



    I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
    User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 8
    Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4931 times:



    Quoting Continental (Reply 19):
    The premium seat crap is annoying. I'm booked on NW to LAX and half the damn plane is premium. There are many, many seats in the premium section which are available, but I'm forced to sit in the very last row next to the bathroom

    So change it at that airport, they typically open up, ive never had a problem getting a better seat when I show up.

    Quoting Halophila (Reply 20):
    This is one of the main reasons I prefer to fly other airlines over NW. It really is a fine balance between rewarding loyal customers with incentives, and p***ing off potentially loyal customers. But, that's their policy, so at least I know not to fly them!

    Well it makes the people that actually fly Northwest consistantly fly them more so next year they can get atleast silver where they don't have to worry about that.



    "Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
    User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
    Reply 24, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4842 times:



    Quoting NWcsaMSY (Reply 21):
    ) We release premium seats 30mins prior to departure

    ....but your company also says you need to check in 30 minutes before departure.
    Hmmmmmmm...
    safe



    If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
    25 Continental : It's a bit more difficult than that. I am seated next to a friend who's coming in from MSN before we fly together to LAX. So he'll be checked in all
    26 Halophila : It works for some people, and not for others. In my case, I wasn't able to select a seat, got stuck in the middle seat of a 6 hr flight, so I won't f
    27 Post contains images Lobster : Those damn pesky middle seats. I do wonder why they even bother putting them on the plane. So because you: A) booked a ticket late and weren't able t
    28 Ba757gla : im flying YYZ -DTW -AMS -GLA and can you check in online and select seats for all of this?
    29 Cubsrule : Just ask them... what's the worst that can happen?
    30 Continental : How? Is that even possible if I don't have a million miles? I could only find coach, business and first class seats to buy on nwa.com. Besides, even
    31 Burnsie28 : You can't chose a seat on KLM flights until you arrive in Europe, seems that a lot of the airlines are like that for some reason.
    32 Halophila : Nobody's fault mate... nobody is out to punish an airline, and my opinion counts for nought if they never have my business anyway. In any event, my s
    33 NWcsaMSY : ONLY use P when booking first class. Use F as a last resort if P is not open for domestic. In PARS if you do 4FCITYPAIRS then do a 4R.F_ (ex 4FMSYMEM
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