Bumped from Row 4 at the gate

mviy

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Some AFF members believe it or not actually don't like row 4 (whilst the leg room is better the arm rests can't be put up and the pocket in the back of the seat in front if you can use it is harder to reach).

I recall seeing posts by a member expressing their frustration at getting moved into row 4 without being asked as to whether that's what they wanted when they had selected a seat a row or two further back.

Personally I try to select row 4 whenever I can and usually when I select it I don't get bumped.
 

Vic

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Passengers can be very organised when they want to be. And that pattern makes perfect sense. As I said, I see it all the time the arrangements passenger like to make with empty seats. For exit rows (not on the 737 as they are always allocated with passengers as its a requirement), people move into A/C, D/G and H/K leaving the middle seats free.

But in a row of 3 with moveable arm rests, no one moves to the C, they leave it to A to have the row.

Passengers also do things like leave a bag to move after take off and don't claim ownership, then you have a security issue. Almost had to go back to the gate once for this.

Again, I accept that on this occasion that wasn't the case, but passengers moving around (when they shouldn't, on any aircraft, at least without permission) is very common.
I'm not suggesting passengers don't move around.
I'm simply doubt that 3 unrelated people/groups coordinated themselves to this pattern in row 4 in this particular case. It's an opinion I formed on reading the OP.
 

Pushka

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Some AFF members believe it or not actually don't like row 4 (whilst the leg room is better the arm rests can't be put up and the pocket in the back of the seat in front if you can use it is harder to reach).

I recall seeing posts by a member expressing their frustration at getting moved into row 4 without being asked as to whether that's what they wanted when they had selected a seat a row or two further back.

Personally I try to select row 4 whenever I can and usually when I select it I don't get bumped.
We really dislike row 4 and will always select 6-7 and it's surprising how often rows 4-5 are full and on many occasions, we end up with a spare seat.
 

Billtrain

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Well, weight and balance is a thing, so they may have been moved for that reason. Therefore, that renders row 4 free, and anyone who moved there got lucky.

Also, could be any of the other reasons give, simply offering an alternative reason.
This was my initial thought as well. Moved for trim that cleared the seats and then someone jumped in there. Potentially pax on staff travel also if J was full...
 

muppet

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This was my initial thought as well. Moved for trim that cleared the seats and then someone jumped in there. Potentially pax on staff travel also if J was full...
I would have thought a plane that size has to be pretty empty to worry about trim, in which case non-revs would have cleared well before gate close.

Also, non-revs are not weightless, so if trim was the reason, they’d be moved too.
 

ozbeachbabe

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I would have thought a plane that size has to be pretty empty to worry about trim, in which case non-revs would have cleared well before gate close.

Also, non-revs are not weightless, so if trim was the reason, they’d be moved too.

It also depends what time non-revs checkin. If it's under 150 mins & there's heaps of seats available they'll be onloaded into a seat straight away.

If they checkin more than 150 mins prior to departure they'll automatically go on standby even if there's 80 seats available so won't get seat allocation until the flight is closed for checkin.
 

Daver6

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Having a chat to a QF FO about this.

Firstly, how full was the flight? According too the FO they don't need to start worry about moving PAX around until its less than about 45 pax, but also depends on freight. He says moving just two pax from the front to the back makes a big difference.

It could be that the other people in row 4 didn't need to be moved and then just spread out.
 

MEL_Traveller

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He says moving just two pax from the front to the back makes a big difference

It could be that the other people in row 4 didn't need to be moved and then just spread out.

Yeah - this is what I was getting at earlier by asking whether the other rows 5-8 (or whatever) also were just 4 pax instead of 6. Maybe they just needed to move 8-10 pax?

I was on an AA (ex US) 321 and they had to move pax for weight and balance, they moved the front 6 rows of coach to the rear of the aircraft. The plane was roughly 75% full, so they moved 30 or so pax in total. (As most of those pax were elites they weren't the happiest!)
 

jakeseven7

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Some AFF members believe it or not actually don't like row 4 (whilst the leg room is better the arm rests can't be put up and the pocket in the back of the seat in front if you can use it is harder to reach).

I recall seeing posts by a member expressing their frustration at getting moved into row 4 without being asked as to whether that's what they wanted when they had selected a seat a row or two further back.

Personally I try to select row 4 whenever I can and usually when I select it I don't get bumped.

Its certainly not a good row if you are obese...
 

Daver6

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Yeah - this is what I was getting at earlier by asking whether the other rows 5-8 (or whatever) also were just 4 pax instead of 6. Maybe they just needed to move 8-10 pax?

I was on an AA (ex US) 321 and they had to move pax for weight and balance, they moved the front 6 rows of coach to the rear of the aircraft. The plane was roughly 75% full, so they moved 30 or so pax in total. (As most of those pax were elites they weren't the happiest!)

Apparently they're only limited to only a few pax movement anyway. So it makes the most sense to move from the front of Y to the back of Y.

However if this flight was say more than 50% full then it would seem that the movement had nothing to do with weight distribution.
 

Frankiesdad

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I'm sure it's frustrating to get these seat changes and it's easy to jump to conclusions as to why such a move was done but often it's just a couple of things that happen in isolation that when combined, result in the scenario experienced by the OP.

If someone was moved from row 4 to row 28 I'm 99% sure that the move would have been done by load control so the gate agent wouldn't have had any knowledge the pax had been moved from row 4 to row 28 unless load control had rung the gate and asked them to do the moving which goes something like "I need 6 people moved from rows 4-10 to aft of row 20" so the flight is in trim.

In the past if there had been a seat change the original boarding pass would beep as it would reject at the gate. Now a docket will print out with the new seat number so I'm guessing when the OP scanned their row 4 boarding pass a docket for row 28 printed out then the F/A or gate agent doing the boarding has then informed the pax of the seat change.

If the flight was that lightly loaded and the lounge wanted to move eg a CL /P1 pax to row 4 then it's highly likely there would have been other seats further forward to reassign to the pax so row 28 would have been overkill. When the gate agent said words to the effect of "row 4 needs to be blocked for operational reasons" it's really a case where there were too many pax in the forward rows and some pax needed to be moved aft so it might have been more helpful to say that.

It's quite possible that the people who ended up in row 4 may have just been a couple of rows back in which case moving people from row 6 to row 4 would not affect the trim as those rows would be considered as being in the same zone. They may not have even known that people who were originally in row 4 were moved back to row 28 and could've simply asked in the lounge whether there were seats available in row 4.

When seats are blocked by load control they would appear as occupied or full on the seat map so it's not indicitive of how many pax are on the flight or if pax are physically assigned those seats.

I have seen quite a lot of this lately so I don't there was anything sinister at play but that's just my 2c worth!
I agree this is the most feasible scenario.

It leads to operationally and logistically acceptable outcomes. Consequently, however, rather poor customer outcomes are observed by a couple of unlucky individuals. Maybe for a less customer focused business it would fine, even optimal. But I feel that any organisation with an appointed Chief Customer Officer shouldn’t be so comfortable to accept these situations.

As you say, nothing sinister at play, and I’m inclined to agree. But as we all know: For the customer, perception is reality.
 

Frankiesdad

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Having a chat to a QF FO about this.

Firstly, how full was the flight? According too the FO they don't need to start worry about moving PAX around until its less than about 45 pax, but also depends on freight. He says moving just two pax from the front to the back makes a big difference.

It could be that the other people in row 4 didn't need to be moved and then just spread out.
I’d say about 60-70 pax in total.

The flight attendant confirmed that, while we spoke to the ground staff, she scanned two people for boarding who had been assigned our previous seats. Maybe she felt a bit sorry for us - she gave us many snacks during the flight...
 

Flying Fox

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Did you recognise who it was upon boarding?
No I didn't. Could have been someone famous but I'm not good at spotting celebrities.

Turned out to be a family of a Mr, Mrs and a toddler (obviously not all in 1A but across row 1).
 

hmmm

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I personally don’t have an issue with this.
Whilst I’m in favour of equality for all, there are limits. You can’t expect the same service and treatment in economy as you would in business just like you can’t expect gold/platinum treatment as a bronze.

The OP gamed the ‘system’ and the ‘system’ gamed him right back to row 28.
 

lacuska1

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Hi everyone,

I’m a long time lurker, first time poster. Thank you for being a helpful community, I have found this forum interesting and insightful.

Today, my partner and I flew from SYD to MEL on a lightly loaded flight. She is a nervous flyer so I wanted to sit as far forward as possible for a more comfortable journey. As a lowly Bronze I waited until T-80 (2:30am!!) to reserve seats in row 4.

These seats were confirmed at check in, 40 minutes prior to departure and shown on our printed boarding passes.

At the gate, the ground staff advised me that we had been moved to Row 28 due to trim and balance. I was sceptical about this explanation so I pressed him further and, perhaps frustrated by my persistence, he finally told me that for operational reasons our seats in Row 4 had to be empty.

We were the last to board and found our row 4 seats occupied. (4A,C,D and E were occupied.)

I am unhappy with this experience. A little about being moved to the opposite end of the cabin, but mainly because of the disrespect shown when I was lied to by staff.

I interested to know if this experience is common and whether I should be less annoyed than I am.
typical Qantas response-they did with us on First class from SIn-Syd I prebooked the first and second seat on the right side,than on boarding we found out my partner was shifted into the 3=rd row because someone wanted to sit next to her partner at row 2 the right and middle row-disgusting airline -try to avoid flying with them n ot to menmtion dirty cuttlery etc
 

Peter D

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I personally don’t have an issue with this.
Whilst I’m in favour of equality for all, there are limits. You can’t expect the same service and treatment in economy as you would in business just like you can’t expect gold/platinum treatment as a bronze.

The OP gamed the ‘system’ and the ‘system’ gamed him right back to row 28.
I’m sorry but I must disagree with you.

The OP did not game the system.

They entered into a business arrangement to with QANTAS, bought ticket and booked a seat in accordance with published rules.
 

blaz

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Well, weight and balance is a thing, so they may have been moved for that reason. Therefore, that renders row 4 free, and anyone who moved there got lucky.

Also, could be any of the other reasons give, simply offering an alternative reason.
However, on a light load, the airline staff always tell people that they must stay in their designated seats until the plane levels out, and return to their proper seats when landing. This is actually important for everybody's safety.
 

aikman

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A couple of my 737 flights earlier this year were about 40% full. The back third was completely empty while the front third was very full. I was actually annoyed because at row 5, I did not have an empty set next to me. I was tempted to move to the back but the announcements not to move seats was very clear.

Anyway, my point is that I don't believe that moving passengers around for the purpose of balancing weight is actually a real thing.
 
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milehighclub

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Anyway, my point is that I don't believe that moving passengers around for the purpose of balancing weight is actually a real thing.
I'll give you a quote from our manuals for the 737 in regards to seating:

".... having satisfied aircraft weight and balance limitations....."

It is absolutely a thing and the smaller the aircraft, the more serious the risk, even inflight. This crash springs to mind:

 

Beano

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I once manged to change a flight time and was given row 25. Beggars can't be choosers I thought, but when I got on the flight it was very lightly loaded with about 5 rows at the front and 5 at the back full with the rest empty. After take-off we were invited to choose other seats. I then had a row to myself. Trim at take-off is important. However I sympathise with you over the fact your original seats had been reassigned.
 

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