Bobster2
Topic Author
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Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:42 am

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]
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
RAMPRAT980
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:53 am

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
 
kiwiinoz
Posts: 1999
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:55 am

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
 
noelg
Posts: 2313
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:01 am

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.
 
bristolflyer
Posts: 2103
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:07 am

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
 
VSlover
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:19 am

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?
 
boysteve
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:21 am

There is a famous story regarding Pavarotti, who booked 2 seats on concorde as to acknowledge his ample proportions!
 
TWA902fly
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:23 am

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
 
Bobster2
Topic Author
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:24 am

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?
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
MarshalN
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:37 am

Sounds like maybe you should call the airline and figure this out?
 
BAxMAN
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:50 am

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
 
Bobster2
Topic Author
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:54 am

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
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
AirCop
Posts: 5553
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:57 am

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.
 
Bobster2
Topic Author
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:09 am

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?
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
VSlover
Posts: 1860
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:52 am

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.
 
pilottim747
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:50 am

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.
 
474218
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:58 am

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.
 
WDBRR
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:01 pm

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.
 
Rj111
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:03 pm

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

That my puppies, is Rock and Roll!  rotfl 
 
speedbudgie
Posts: 110
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:26 pm

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.
 
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AirIndia
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:13 pm

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
 
DLKAPA
Posts: 7962
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:27 pm

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.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
ANother
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:39 pm

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.
 
Cessna172RG
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:12 pm

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!!!
 
svenvdm
Posts: 199
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 7:52 pm

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.
 
Matt72033
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:24 pm

cant u just ring the airline, say your 'friend' cant make it now, but you'd like to keep the seat?
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:25 pm

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 name.
 
123
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:38 pm

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 problems.

Had the reservation been done vía a travel agency, talking vis-a-vis about the situation, everything would have been booked the way it should be, and no money would be lost.

The airline industry is pushing too much to automatization and trust be, they are forgetting that two humans can deffinitively solve problems better, than a human with a keyboard.

For sure, it also gives new jobs: New costs can be covered with higher customer appreciation to an airline that does still show it´s face, not it´s mainframe.
 
AirScoot
Posts: 667
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:05 pm

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 an EXST SSR to the record to keep it from being given away. That way your extra seat will manifest properly and they'll be able to account for it at flight close.

This came up a few months ago on this board.. and without getting into the same arguement over again I'd suggest that you let EVERY airline person you come in contact with in the process of getting checked in and boarded know that you've purchased an extra seat and intend to keep it that way. That should alleviate the possibility of them having a brain bruise when they do a headcount and come up with one seat additional.
 
kmh1956
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:13 pm

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 want to deny another person that seat, unless for some reason he feels like he's far too superior to be seated next to *gasp* someone he doesn't know. Seems a bit bloody selfish to me.
'Somebody tell me why I'm on my own if there's a soulmate for everyone' :Natasha Bedingfield
 
nubes
Posts: 41
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:20 pm

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 "accompanying" the cello as an extra seat. Sometimes it happens that check-in agents check-in the cello as a passenger and the gate-agents are desperately looking for Mr Cello...

It's quite normal to book an extra seat, especially in case of corpulent passengers or musical instruments, but I think it's important (especially with internet-bookings) to inform the airline about your plans.

Besides, checking-in a person who is not traveling or not even exists is not the way, because it can cause a lot of trouble during the headcount and the loadsheet has to be changed because there's app. 80kgs less on board..

Mark
 
nubes
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 3:45 am

RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:23 pm

Quoting Kmh1956 (Reply 29):
Why would anyone want to deny another person that seat

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.. If people pay, what's the problem?
 
lamedianaranja
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Skyteam Ranked Best Alliance

Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:42 pm

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 and identify itself.

It works this way: you get 2 tickets, 1 for you and 1 extra, for the blocked seat. You check in one person only. This has to do with Weight&Balance too.

Cello seats are the same thing, special fare, spare ticket but no boarding pass, just a guaranteed blocked seat in the seatplan.

So please do call the airline, you might end up with an extra seat and money back!
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
RAMPRAT980
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:46 pm

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 18):
I think it was Pete Townsend who used to buy a seat for his guitar.

I guess it was his favorite Fender.
With gun control there can be no democracy.. With gun control there can be no Freedom
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:18 pm

Quoting DLKAPA (Reply 21):
Lets see.... Be dumb, or play dumb

Call the Airline.Explain the Situation & get your cash back.
Never know the Flight might not be full.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
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jetfuel
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:33 pm

Id just want to be sure I got 2 lots of ailrine miles  Smile
Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
 
Tod
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:24 am

All else fails, bring an inflatable "friend"

Tod  tongue 
 
dtwclipper
Posts: 6668
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:30 am

JBKO (AKA Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis ) would always purchase or have purchased for her the seat next to her whenever she flew.
Compare New York Air, the Airline that works for your Business
 
Rj111
Posts: 3007
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:32 am

Quoting RAMPRAT980 (Reply 33):
I guess it was his favorite Fender.

Gibson SG actually...




...Lord know why?  confused 
 
Knightsofmalta
Posts: 1689
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:37 am

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 you do it at a self-service device, online or by mobile. Although then you risk delaying your own flight. Checking "them" in, and then out again at the gate is too risky because somebody might always end up being seated near you by the gate attendant. After all, the flight can't be finalised in the check-in system until all passengers are accounted for or off-loaded. So, the only thing you can do is book an extra seat at the time you make the reservation. With most airlines though, you can't book this facility online so you'd need to contact the reservations center where you pay more in service fees than when you book online. The charge for an extra seat is usually the same price as that of the "original" ticket. Which, in my opinion, doesn't really make it worth it, just to make sure you have nobody sitting next to you on the plane.
 
Knightsofmalta
Posts: 1689
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:41 am

Quoting RAMPRAT980 (Reply 1):
If you pay they will give you the extra seat

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 you purchase the ticket, you are entitled to ANY seat on the flight you've booked, which is assigned at check-in, you don't purchase a ticket for a particular seat.
 
AirScoot
Posts: 667
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:46 am

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 40):
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 you purchase the ticket, you are entitled to ANY seat on the flight you've booked, which is assigned at check-in, you don't purchase a ticket for a particular seat.

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 a passenger feels it necessary to purchase a second seat there is no reason the airline wouldn't be able to accomodate the request. If you're talking about a carrier like WN or FR that's a different story, though I know that WN will do it's best to accomodate anyone who purchases an extra seat for whatever reason.
 
Tod
Posts: 1709
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:55 am

Quoting AirScoot (Reply 41):
seating on HP which does permit advanced seating.

You are permitted to request a specific seat, but they are not required to honor that request.

Tod
 
Knightsofmalta
Posts: 1689
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:06 am

Quoting AirScoot (Reply 41):
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.

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 can check-in online or by self-service device with HP. Assuming you can, the seat in the name of the person not actually travelling will only remain vacant as long as that passenger isn't off-loaded. Once that happens, and it must in order to be able to finalise the flight, the airline is authorised to seat who ever they like there, even staff travelling stand-by. So the only solution really is to contact the airlines and explicitly making a reservation for an extra facility seat and paying for it. Those seats are not released, not even on overbooked flights.
 
AirScoot
Posts: 667
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:09 am

Quoting Tod (Reply 42):
You are permitted to request a specific seat, but they are not required to honor that request.

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 assignments alone. The difference mentioned before was between carriers without a pre-reserved seating facility such as WN/FR and the like would be a bit more difficult but still happens all the time.

I don't understand why some people on here have such difficulty with someone prepurchasing a second seat.. if they're willing to pay for it, why not?
 
ripcordd
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:11 am

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 book both seats in my name and when they ask me why I want need to seats I'm not a person that needs 2 seats I tell them I DONT LIKE PEOPLE and that normally works and they leave me a lone. The last 4 RT's I took the only empty seat was the one next to me so it was worth it.
 
Knightsofmalta
Posts: 1689
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:15 am

Quoting Ripcordd (Reply 45):
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 book both seats in my name and when they ask me why I want need to seats I'm not a person that needs 2 seats I tell them I DONT LIKE PEOPLE and that normally works and they leave me a lone. The last 4 RT's I took the only empty seat was the one next to me so it was worth it.

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 you make a booking for two passengers, both of which have the same name, the system will cough it up as either a dupe or an adsp. Without intervention, the pnr would eventually be cancelled automatically. With intervention I mean, one of the bookings would need to be cancelled.
 
lamedianaranja
Posts: 1195
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:21 am

RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:26 am

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 39):
The charge for an extra seat is usually the same price as that of the "original" ticket

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 cheap!
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
ripcordd
Posts: 1037
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:27 am

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 but AA at least for me doesn't
 
JAGflyer
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RE: Can One Person Buy Two Seats?

Sat Dec 03, 2005 1:42 am

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