Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Why Are Seat Maps Unreliable Indicator Of Load  
User currently offlineNcflyer From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 494 posts, RR: 1
Posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3837 times:

Many contributors here say not to use seat maps as indicators of loads on future flights.

Why?
If a seat map shows a flight is full, might it really be fairly empty, even beyond factoring in no-shows?
If a seat map shows empty, might it still be a possibility that there's a rash of reservations for which a seat hasn't been chosen?
In these days where a large amount of folks book on the internet-- where seat selection is offered online-- I don't see where these reservations without advanced seat assignments would be coming from.

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAl2637 From Ireland, joined Oct 2006, 408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3827 times:

1. Airlines don't want people to see load (i.e. competitors), they will delibritley block out available seats to disguise it
2. Weight and balance. If the airlines expects a flight to have a low load, they will block seats to balance the weight.
3. Vast majority of people do not seat select online.


User currently offlineFlying_727 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 440 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3804 times:

1) On UA, Economy Plus seats are blocked unless you purchase the Plus upgrade.
2) Exit seats are blocked on a lot of airlines so they can ensure you are capable of assisting in an emergency.
3) AA and others block seats to allow for connecting itineraries.
4) Revenue management holds seats for the last minute, high yield, pax



On ATA, You're On Vacation
User currently onlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4358 posts, RR: 35
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3792 times:

adding to AI2637s list
4. Some airlines only show a limited selection online, especially to the cheaper passengers, so they save some choice for higher and more loyal booking classes and families with minors who haven't made a seat reservation but still have to sit them together



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4417 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3778 times:

5. Seat maps tell you NOTHING about the load authorizations for a flight, which is all that matters in knowing how full/overbooked a flight is.


Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineDLD9S From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3666 times:

In addition to what others have said, some airlines have classes of service that do not allow pre-reserved seats. Those booked say in "N" and "O" class won't be allocated a seat till check in, while all other classes do allow PRS. FF status changes the seat map as well - enter in an elite FF number into a PNR and sometimes the seat map changes as hidden seats magically appear.

I also think that some people booking online don't understand the concept of premium or blocked FF seats. Everyone novice traveler wants bulkhead, the front half of the plane and exit row, and they click on them not realizing that they don't have enough status to claim those seats.



717 727 737 747 757 767 777 DC9 DC10 M80 M90 M11 L10 AB6 333 340 319 320 321 ARJ CRJ EM2 EMJ SF3 146 100 BE1...
User currently offlineYULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2185 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3643 times:



Quoting DLD9S (Reply 5):
Everyone novice traveler wants bulkhead, the front half of the plane and exit row, and they click on them not realizing that they don't have enough status to claim those seats.

Novice travelers don't really know how this works, imo. When they start traveling a bit, they realize some seats appear better than others, then they try to get them. However, i don't know how one can click on a seat they can't claim, because usually it just appears as taken on the seat map, or does not appear at all.



When I doubt... go running!
User currently offlineMKENut From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 699 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3633 times:

I noticed that AirTran basically has the same seats reserved on each seat map.

User currently offlineVatveng From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1010 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3546 times:

AirTran blocks out row 10 (first row of coach) for various reasons. I know they usually put blind people in row 10 because they can tell them exactly how many seats to count in either direction to get to an exit in the event the flight attendant is unable to help them in an evacuation. During check-in, they block out exit rows for discount-coach fares, although they show up during booking if you pay an extra fee for exit row and advance seat selection.

On one US Airways flight a few years back, the website showed me only three open seats, but when I boarded the CRJ there were only 15 people aboard... and 12 of them were pilots commuting to PHL.



Visited VA,NC,PA,SC,FL,GA,OH,AL,TX,TN,CO,CA,UT,NV,NM,IN,KY,MD,MO,CT,MA,NH,ME.
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4593 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3392 times:



Quoting Al2637 (Reply 1):
. Vast majority of people do not seat select online.

Is that "worldwide" you are talking about? I would think that in the USA, most people select their seats online, as it's part of the booking process.


User currently offlineDurangoMac From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 743 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3366 times:



Quoting N62NA (Reply 9):
Is that "worldwide" you are talking about? I would think that in the USA, most people select their seats online, as it's part of the booking process.

While it's part of the booking process it's not required, I'm not sure why you wouldn't select seats but people do skip over it. I've had people walk up to the counter and admit that they had a chance to select seats at booking but decided not to and now they are on the standby list because there are no seats available to assign because of a full flight.

The last several times I have booked online I wasn't allowed to choose seats for most of the legs and I was more than 30 days out.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4593 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3339 times:



Quoting DurangoMac (Reply 10):
The last several times I have booked online I wasn't allowed to choose seats for most of the legs and I was more than 30 days out.

I guess I'm just lucky on this count with always flying on AA. I always get to choose my seat at the time of booking. I find that a major AAdvantage compared to the other airlines around the world that don't let you do this.


User currently offlinePiedmontINT From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 376 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3313 times:



Quoting DurangoMac (Reply 10):
I've had people walk up to the counter and admit that they had a chance to select seats at booking but decided not to and now they are on the standby list because there are no seats available to assign because of a full flight.

Happened here in MHK this morning on AE. He was pax 51 out of 50 seats and was the last person to check in that didnt have a prereserved seat. He had a fit too watching all the other people check in after him but now knows to check in online and select seats at time at booking!


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25989 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3018 times:



Quoting Ncflyer (Thread starter):
In these days where a large amount of folks book on the internet-- where seat selection is offered online-- I don't see where these reservations without advanced seat assignments would be coming from.

Many airlines, at least outside the U.S., only permit seat assignment at the time of booking for the premium classes and sometimes for their elite frequent flyers in Y class. Other passengers, meaning most Y class passengers, usually can't select seats until 24 hours or a bit more before departure if they check in on their websites. But many passengers don't check in until they get to the airport. Some are also interlining from carriers that don't have the capability to assign seats all the way through at the point of origin.

Seat maps will also look different based on your status. If you're an elite frequent flyer member you will see seats open for selection that are shown as occupied if you don't have that status. However, the blocked seats will usually be opened for selection by all passengers closer to departure time.


User currently offlineJoePatroni From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2985 times:

While I certainly don't bank on it, when I travel non-rev, I often look at the seat map to get and idea of how booked the flight is. If I look at a flight, say, the day before departure and there are plenty of unclaimed seats, I tend to try that flight and I must say, I've been fairly successful. On the contrary, if I'm listed on a flight and look at the seat map to see Zero available seats, when I check in at the gate, those flights are exactly as I had predicted, FULL and I'm not as successful getting on.
It seems, in the U.S. at least, that with most bookings done online, passengers are given the option to choose a seat at the time of booking. While I understand that exit rows, premium/forward rows are often blocked, checking out the seat map CAN give you an idea on how fully the flights is booked.
Also, at least at my airline, we tend to be proactive with the seating. If we see premium customers without pre-assigned seats, we'll give them one the night before when editing the flights. This holds true with special needs passengers or families traveling together. So, the closer to the actual departure time, perhaps the more accurate the seat map.
So, I may be chastized for saying so, but checking out a seat map can give you an idea of how open the flight it.

JP



Oh Stewardess, I speak Jive.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
New Cathay Seats - Are Seat Maps Out Yet? posted Fri Feb 2 2007 19:28:23 by PC12Fan
Why Are So Many Planes Falling Out Of The Sky? posted Sat Aug 8 2009 01:38:16 by Planesailing
Why Are Carriers Pulling Out Of OAK? posted Mon Jun 23 2008 13:38:52 by IrishAyes
Why Are AA And UA Pulling Out Of MDW? posted Mon Aug 28 2006 22:14:26 by Chi-town
Airtran Seat Maps...are They Right? posted Fri Jun 23 2006 02:27:53 by FLAIRPORT
Why Are Winds All-of-a-sudden "estimated"? posted Mon Oct 31 2005 19:55:55 by LVTMB
Why Are All Of The AA Flights In PHL Delayed? posted Mon Aug 2 2004 00:59:04 by Tony Lu
Why Are People Afraid Of Flying posted Tue Feb 17 2004 17:41:53 by M&m
Why Are You Against Not Having An Assigned Seat? posted Mon Dec 22 2003 10:29:15 by Pe@rson
Where Are The KLM Seat Maps posted Mon Feb 4 2002 04:14:33 by SR 103
Why Are So Many Planes Falling Out Of The Sky? posted Sat Aug 8 2009 01:38:16 by Planesailing
Why Are Carriers Pulling Out Of OAK? posted Mon Jun 23 2008 13:38:52 by IrishAyes
Why Are AA And UA Pulling Out Of MDW? posted Mon Aug 28 2006 22:14:26 by Chi-town
Airtran Seat Maps...are They Right? posted Fri Jun 23 2006 02:27:53 by FLAIRPORT
Why Are Winds All-of-a-sudden "estimated"? posted Mon Oct 31 2005 19:55:55 by LVTMB
Why Are All Of The AA Flights In PHL Delayed? posted Mon Aug 2 2004 00:59:04 by Tony Lu
Why Are People Afraid Of Flying posted Tue Feb 17 2004 17:41:53 by M&m