tsaord
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Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:59 am

Is it at all possible to book a flight with all seats taken? I was looking for a flight to LAS on AA and all the Y seats were taken and a few left in F. I know airlines over book flights all the time, so could I book a flight with a sold out Y class but at the time of check in online be able to snag a seat?
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cschleic
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Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:01 am

I've had this happen. They probably are blocking out some seats for assignment at the airport, or overbooking. In my case on Delta, it was blocking out seats. I ended up with an exit row right near the door on a 757...lots of room and almost first off the plane.
 
DFW13L
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Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:27 am

There are some rows in the very front that are "Z" blocked, which means it is only for the use of airport agents on the day of. Plus quite a few seats blocked for premium seats, so that only about 80% of the Y seats are ever available for pre-booking. Also, being a LAS flight, it is probably overbooked too.
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COEWR2587
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Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:18 am

Virgin does something like this. When i pre-selected my LHR flight, the seat map came up very full and i heard that they only allow about 80% to be pre-booked. When I checked in online the night before, about more than enough seats were available to book.
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Bicoastal
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Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:23 am

Legacy airlines expect a 10% to 20% no-show factor, depending on the route. This is due to weather, missed connections, cancellations at the last minute, etc. Buy a ticket, you'll likely get a seat.
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N766UA
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Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:26 am

Keep in mind airline sites aren't 100% accurate. For one reason or another they don't show quite a few seats as being open, though they are.
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tsaord
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Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:24 pm

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

Well this is a tough one. I dont want to loose my money for booking a flight with no seats. At the same time there may be seats because of no shows or miscons. I was going to fly in F to vegas on AA since it was my birthday and buy a seperate one way ticket back in Y, but most of those seats coming back are open. Or I could just fly F on AA and fly TED back home.  Smile
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sbagdon
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RE: Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

The reservation system will sell you a seat, or not sell you a seat, as to what's it programmed to sell. But, If you can risk it, wait until 24 hours before the flight, and all of the seats sales/reservations should reconcile out. I've checked seat assignements 48 hours before a flight (every seat filled), and 23 hours before a flight for check-in (suddenly seats open up), and there was a difference... too many to just be coincidence.

The anomoly appears to be Northwest's Platinum Elite, at least from their web site. As a Platinum Elite, you can book a seat on an overbooked flight, and go to the top of the list to board, even if you don't have an assignment. The Gold/Silver/Non-Elite are the first to ask to volunteer, or be kicked off. But for that priviledge, I presume you'll be paying full Y fare... you'll get on that flight, but it's gonna cost you. The irony is, what happens if there's too many Platinum Elites? I've been on some DTW-ORD flights with over 50% Platinum Elites... who gets kicked off first? Date/time of purchase?

If you can't book a flight, to me that says it's not just sold-out... it's overbooked. Wait until 24 hours before, and throw the dice.

Steve B.
 
DFW13L
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RE: Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:53 pm

Tsaord,

One thing taht Sbagdon reminded me of. If you are AAdvantage Gold or higher, or if you buy a full fare (Y or B) fare basis seat in coach, you'll be able to book in some, but not all of the blocked seats. I used to work in AA Reservations, and there's not a way for an agent to override it, but having the FF status, or having the fare basis code automatically overrides the block on all but the Z seats. On a 757, I think the Z seats are row 11 ABC DEF (behind the blocked exit row seats 9 & 10).
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fxramper
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RE: Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:57 pm

For my EI flights I wasn't given the option for picking a seat, just that I hold a confirmed ticket...
 
NorthstarBoy
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RE: Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Sat Jan 28, 2006 3:18 pm

i have to agree with everyone else, there are a certain percentage of seats that are blocked for the airport, also, another trick, when you have a gold/platinum etc traveler in a particular row the system will automatically block the middle seat next to them, if you have similar status, and you know the seat is blocked, versus someone actually in it (though im not sure they tell you this online) you can call the airline and get the middle seat unblocked for yourself. i've done that many times for high level frequent fliers. if you can't find out online if the seat is just blocked, call the airline and they can usually tell you, or call a travel agent, they can also tell you, then you can call the airline and have the seat you want unblocked, assuming you're of a high enough status to actually get into the premier zone.

on the obverse, i've seen it happen (like today!) where someone is holding a confirmed seat and the airline refuses to honor it and makes them fly standby. (good old United Express/Mesa)

i'd say if you want to take the trip, book it and see what happens
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utapao
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RE: Booking On Flights With No Seats?

Sat Jan 28, 2006 8:55 pm

Tsaord:

What AA flight/date are you considering?
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