Sour Grapes is a new idea I had for a periodic blog post about things that annoy me when it comes to travel. Maybe I’m the only one bothered by these things. I don’t think so, but I’ll be interested to hear your feedback. Please take these for what they are intended to be, light-hearted annoyances about travel. This is not “full rant”. We reserve those moments for truly “special” occasions. 😀
Does it bother you when the airlines take away your seating assignment?
This happens to me more often than I expect. Sometimes there’s really no rhyme or reason (such as an equipment change).
Our children are still at that age where they don’t love sitting beside a parent on airplanes. This is more of an issue in economy class as opposed to business class, since most business class seats have some degree of separation. In economy class, you’re generally sharing an armrest with your neighbor.
When I’m not being forgetful, the very first thing I do as soon as I book airline tickets for a family trip is select seat assignments. On a recent trip, I had all 4 of us in one row on a regional jet in a 2-2 configuration on United Airlines. I’m a 1K member with United Airlines which means seat assignments are free, including Economy Plus seats with extra legroom.
This particular itinerary had a mix of Air Canada and United Airlines segments. The first segment for our return trip was on Air Canada, followed by United. Attempting to check-in via the United app failed with an error message that the first segment was on a partner airline. Fair enough. I didn’t have access to my laptop at that time, so we had to check-in at the airport. At the Air Canada ticket counter, the agent told us that we would have to see a United gate agent at our connecting airport to get our seat assignments.
We located a ticket counter at our connecting airport. Sure enough, our seat assignments were gone. When I asked for the agent to please place us back in our previously assigned seats, her answer was, “Sir, I can’t swap seats because the other passengers who are in those seats aren’t here to make that switch.”
The agent did confirm that we were all seated together previously and that new passengers were in those seats now. She couldn’t explain why. Which begs the question, why was it okay to give my seats to someone else when I wasn’t present but it’s not okay to give them back now?
The Final Two Pennies
Seating assignments are never confirmed, even when they are. That’s why it’s incumbent upon us as travelers to make sure we feed and water our reservations periodically to make sure things happen the way we expect them to.
Does this happen to you?
Does it bother you?
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