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Exit row seat allocation

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millesm

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Oct 1, 2005
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I've just returned from a Melbourne - Sydney - LA - Torronto - LA - Melbourne FF trip with Qantas and the seating allocation drove me insane.


Arrive at Melbourne airport at 0445 to be told that ALL exit row seats are gone between Melbourne and Sydney on the international flight and also from Sydney to LA.

Board plane and find that not a single exit row seat was taken. A count of heads revealed 85 people in cattle class.

By the time we get to the QC in Sydney it was supposedly too late for the exit rows and my complaint about the Melbourne checkin fell on deaf ears!

AA gave us exit rows from LA to Toronto and return which was nice for a 4.5hr flight.

At LA we are again told that there are no exit rows available but a quick complaint and it turns out that not only are there some vacant, but we can get 3 together as requested.

I fly international cattle class on a monthly basis and with Qantas NEVER manage to get an exit row, even as a Gold FF, but if I fly with Cathay or BA I can get one quite easily. Why is this so? Have just fired off an emai lto Qantas to find out but am not expecting any decent reply from them.
 

Mal

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Something else related to this...

Certain sites allow you to see seating allocations, blocked off seats, reserved for premium pax etc etc.

What I have started seeing for Qantas flights is the exit rows being blocked off and marked as having passengers in them.
 

QF WP

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Welcome to AFF, millesm. Websites like Check My Trip give you a free for view seat map which shows the seat availability. That can then be used in conjunction with QF Reservations to secure your preferred seating request in your FF profile.

Yes, exit row seats are generally pre-allocated or held back by the airlines for two distinct groups - premium pax (Chairman Lounge would get first option, then QF Platinums, then OW Emeralds, etc) or pax they feel can perform (and are willing to do) the emergency procedure.

They usually like to sight you at check-in first to ensure that you are aware of the responsibilities and can perform the duties directed to you by the FA's (must be able to perfom the emergency exit drill, which I'm sure you're aware entails you having to release the door and heave it out the opening - unless there are obstructions, smoke or flame - on instruction by the FA's). It's usually about 45 pounds, around 20kgs).

My understanding is that usually there is around 30% of seating allocated to a flight, then it is closed until flight date. Add to that the preferred seating of all FF's on the flight. They then release the remaining seating to the TA's who do a final allocation at check-in for those non-FF's.

Therefore, your QF flight seat allocation was already done (I'll bet you were outranked by Plats on the MEL/SYD/LAX flight and vv, as it's one of their overall highest yielding sectors, notwithstanding your flight wasn't so busy).
 

serfty

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Arrive at Melbourne airport at 0445 to be told that ALL exit row seats are gone between Melbourne and Sydney on the international flight and also from Sydney to LA.

Board plane and find that not a single exit row seat was taken. A count of heads revealed 85 people in cattle class.
As Lindsay Wilson posted, all exit rows were probably already allocated to SYD-LAX passengers.

As for obtaining an exit row MEL-SYD your booking was almost certainly MEL-LAX. It is a lot more complicated to give you two different seats "on the one flight rather than the same seat all the way.
 

Dave Noble

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You may have been the victim of the approach that seems to take place quite a bit in my experience. The exit seats are held back by airport control people so appear initially as unavailable. Speaking to the F/QP lounge staff and magically they are able to obtain them. Alternatively, at check in, get them to check whether they are really gone or have been blocked and you may have better luck next time

Dave
 

straitman

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Lindsay Wilson said:
Yes, exit row seats are generally pre-allocated or held back by the airlines for two distinct groups - premium pax (Chairman Lounge would get first option, then QF Platinums, then OW Emeralds, etc) or pax they feel can perform (and are willing to do) the emergency procedure.

They usually like to sight you at check-in first to ensure that you are aware of the responsibilities and can perform the duties directed to you by the FA's (must be able to perfom the emergency exit drill, which I'm sure you're aware entails you having to release the door and heave it out the opening - unless there are obstructions, smoke or flame - on instruction by the FA's). It's usually about 45 pounds, around 20kgs).
Dave Noble said:
You may have been the victim of the approach that seems to take place quite a bit in my experience. The exit seats are held back by airport control people so appear initially as unavailable. Speaking to the F/QP lounge staff and magically they are able to obtain them. Alternatively, at check in, get them to check whether they are really gone or have been blocked and you may have better luck next time.
millesm,

The two answers/quotes above summarise the the answer you are looking for. The exit rows are held back from us mere mortals (CL's & Plat FF's are able to get pre allocated) and you need to be seen as suitable to operate the exits if needed. Mix this with only pre allocating approx 30% of seats and probably all exit rows being pre allocated to SYD - LAX pax and you were always going to be fresh out of luck. Probably the only part of this you have any control over is getting the message through that you are a suitable candidate for an exit row. (or make Plat status).

Good luck for the future. :D
 

aus_flyer

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I got given an exit row on a domestic flight on Friday, and then got upgraded to business.

Pity the luck/comfort wasn't spread over two separate flights!
 

straitman

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odoherty said:
I got given an exit row on a domestic flight on Friday, and then got upgraded to business.

Pity the luck/comfort wasn't spread over two separate flights!
I don't seem to have much of a problem with getting an exit row however upgrades are few and far between......

Was it an op upgrade or a requested od upgrade :?:
 

aus_flyer

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It was a "smoother" on their part because they cancelled one of my flights which mucked up the rest of my day.
 

inpd

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A possible explanation ...

By exit row seats you mean exit row and bulk-head seats
as well right (i.e. seats with extra leg-room)?

I believe that some airlines (at least on international flights)
reserve the bulk-head seats for passengers traveling with
children. I'm flying SYD-LAX in only a month and was pre-seated
in the bulk-head row seats (where the bassinets attached
to the wall are). I'm never had this service before but
the booking agent had to talk to her superios and said
it was a service provided for parents traveling with children.

I'm flying united.
 

serfty

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Re: A possible explanation ...

inpd said:
By exit row seats you mean exit row and bulk-head seats
as well right (i.e. seats with extra leg-room)? ...
You don't always get 'extra leg room' in a bulkhead seat; in some aircraft configurations you get less.

What you do get is no one in the seat in front of you putting their seatbacks down.
 

JohnK

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Re: A possible explanation ...

serfty said:
you don't always get 'extra leg room' in a bulkhead seat; in some aircraft configurations you get less.

What you do get is no one in the seat in front of you putting their seatbacks down.
I have had that suspicion for a while now. Every time I get bulkhead it seems I have less leg room. But i rest my feet on wall in front and no-one can recline their seatback on me. I have been on a flights where people have reclined their seat back as soon as allowed. Have to force them to put their seat upright even when meal is served. Not sure what the difference is but I won't recline unless someone has reclined in my face. I don't find it any great advantage if seat reclined or upright. Cattle class is cattle class. :? Have some consideration for fellow passengers.

As for exit rows. This is not what it is cracked up to be. I have been allocated and flown in these seats many times. Not a good idea as I have never had any peace what so ever. As soon as seat belt sign is off I have had people stand/sit in front of me for hours on end talking, coming over to look outside, lining up to go to toilet etc. I try to avoid this area as much as possible as I am one of these type of people. :D :oops:

Did I get this subject line right :?: :roll: :wink:
 

thadocta

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Re: A possible explanation ...

JohnK said:
I have had that suspicion for a while now. Every time I get bulkhead it seems I have less leg room. But i rest my feet on wall in front and no-one can recline their seatback on me. I have been on a flights where people have reclined their seat back as soon as allowed. Have to force them to put their seat upright even when meal is served.
What you do there is put your table down - forcefully - then, 15 seconds later, you put it back up - forcefully. Then constantly repeat this procedure until they get the hint.

(Note, am only talking about during the meal service).

Dave
 

JohnK

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Re: A possible explanation ...

thadocta said:
What you do there is put your table down - forcefully - then, 15 seconds later, you put it back up - forcefully. Then constantly repeat this procedure until they get the hint.

(Note, am only talking about during the meal service).

Dave
Have tried that as well with no success. I have even pushed seat in front with my knee(s), and also tried to rock it as much as possible. Still no success. Almost always need to ask FA to intervene. :?

Some people are just so selfish and rude. :( :shock:
 

Dave Noble

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Re: A possible explanation ...

JohnK said:
thadocta said:
What you do there is put your table down - forcefully - then, 15 seconds later, you put it back up - forcefully. Then constantly repeat this procedure until they get the hint.

(Note, am only talking about during the meal service).

Dave
Have tried that as well with no success. I have even pushed seat in front with my knee(s), and also tried to rock it as much as possible. Still no success. Almost always need to ask FA to intervene. :?

Some people are just so selfish and rude. :( :shock:
Have you actually just tried asking them politely if they would mind to unrecline whilst you are eating?

Can work a real treat. Asking an FA , you are more likely to get a negative response since they cannot force someone to unrecline just to make you happy

Dave
 
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