Platinum sitting in economy - Do the airlines pay extra attention to us? | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Platinum sitting in economy - Do the airlines pay extra attention to us?

Tingss

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Jun 20, 2018
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Hi,

Platinum holder here. I've flown in economy several times since getting platinum status. I tend to always pick a seat at the front of the plane, and from my last flight I realised that the plane has always been packed in the back but I've always had an empty seat next to me.

Am I right to assume that front seats don't get opened to bronze/silver seat selection unless the plane reaches a certain threshold of occupancy? Does this mean as a platinum holder I should always pick a front seat, or have I just been lucky in my past 3 flights? On my last flight I saw another platinum flyer sit in the middle of 3 seats and he got served champaigne while in economy right after we boarded!

I also realised I get called by my surname specifically, but I'm wondering if that flight attendant was just being super nice or they are actually aware of how many platinum flyers are in the economy cabin.

Would love to know if there's any hidden tips, tricks or benefits?

Cheers
 

flyingfan

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In many dozens of domestic Y flights as a platinum (not P1), I can count on one hand the number of times I've received "special" treatment. I don't consider "welcome back" instead of "welcome" at the door terribly special.

There's a chance of getting a shadow if it's not too busy however I tend to fly Y at peak times.

International Y you'll get a bit more love.
 

RooFlyer

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Nothing 'recognised' domestically as far as I can tell in 10-plus years of Plat flying whY, other than the occasional possible 'shadow' ( unoccupied middle seat - an 'unstated' benefit of Plat status).
 

Tingss

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Jun 20, 2018
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Nothing 'recognised' domestically as far as I can tell in 10-plus years of Plat flying whY, other than the occasional possible 'shadow' ( unoccupied middle seat - an 'unstated' benefit of Plat status).
Should have mentioned in my original post I was referring to international flights.

So 'shadow' is a thing!? How exactly does one increase the chance of getting a shadow seat next to them? Selecting seats early? Selecting seats at the front of the plane? And is this all computerised or are we just referring to when people manually check in and airline staff would manually have shadow seats unless the plane is too full? Hope that makes sense. Just trying to understand best practises to fly lol
 

Seat0B

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Sep 20, 2018
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In my experience as a WP flying domestic Y, with Mr Seat 0A who is LTG and on a separate booking but for the same flight, there is usually a shadow on the web site for seat selection. I notice this if I try to get him a seat next to me because it usually shows as unavailable! I've called and had the seats allocated together, so they definitely do try to give you a shadow. However, when it is at peak times on busy routes like CBR-MEL, SYD-MEL etc, by the time you actually board, there is often someone in that middle seat anyway.
 

RooFlyer

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Should have mentioned in my original post I was referring to international flights.

So 'shadow' is a thing!? How exactly does one increase the chance of getting a shadow seat next to them?
I only do J international,😕

The shadow is an Unrecognised benefit, so they try, but if it doesn’t happen, it’s ‘ oh well’
 

AIRwin

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I requested an extra pillow on a QFi flight when the purser introduced himself before takeoff and asked if I'd like anything but it was only lip service...
 

juddles

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I am a complete unbeliever in the concept of a "shadow". It is true that as a WP or P1 you can select seats that are not available to most in pre-selection. Thus, the other flyers who select seats are likely to be initially WP etc and wont choose to be seated beside another pax by choice - hence the appearance of many empty seats between pax in these prime areas. When the plane is not full, these empty seats remain and thus you have your glorious shadow :) But they are, in my opinion, just a myth.

I have never ever seen, EVER, any Qantas reference to such a concept. We on AFF love to beleive that they are there, and we even get peeved when said shadow does not "stick". I have seen that on many flights I can select a seat that is otherwise blocked (as seen on expert flyer or similar). But these are usually because I can get whatever seat, including bassinet positions. So if you can jag one of these you may see on certain sites that the seat beside you is blocked. But I am willing to bet my left test__cle that these are things that are not about shadows :)

Half the time the shadow gets occupied by a late comer with zero status........ A product of different seating parameters as a flight gets near to departure.
 

esseeeayeenn

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I am a complete unbeliever in the concept of a "shadow". It is true that as a WP or P1 you can select seats that are not available to most in pre-selection. Thus, the other flyers who select seats are likely to be initially WP etc and wont choose to be seated beside another pax by choice - hence the appearance of many empty seats between pax in these prime areas. When the plane is not full, these empty seats remain and thus you have your glorious shadow :) But they are, in my opinion, just a myth.

I have never ever seen, EVER, any Qantas reference to such a concept. We on AFF love to beleive that they are there, and we even get peeved when said shadow does not "stick". I have seen that on many flights I can select a seat that is otherwise blocked (as seen on expert flyer or similar). But these are usually because I can get whatever seat, including bassinet positions. So if you can jag one of these you may see on certain sites that the seat beside you is blocked. But I am willing to bet my left test__cle that these are things that are not about shadows :)

Half the time the shadow gets occupied by a late comer with zero status........ A product of different seating parameters as a flight gets near to departure.
Sorry @juddles but the shadows are real.
When I have a booking I can see the seat next to me blocked in expertflyer.
And if I change seats the shadow will move with me.
Also while they have never actually referred to it as a shadow, on several occasions at checkin, staff have observed "and we have kept the seat next to you empty for you Mr S".
 

Mrmaxwell

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I have never ever seen, EVER, any Qantas reference to such a concept.
I have emails from the SST advising they have blocked the seat next to me as a convenience...they don't use the word 'shadow' but certainly there is a process.

Half the time the shadow gets occupied by a late comer with zero status
Also true. If you have a flight with light loadings great...but premium cabins these days seem to be full most year round on my routes so the blocked seat seldom lasts.
 

Tingss

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Jun 20, 2018
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When I have a booking I can see the seat next to me blocked in expertflyer.
And if I change seats the shadow will move with me.
Also while they have never actually referred to it as a shadow, on several occasions at checkin, staff have observed "and we have kept the seat next to you empty for you Mr S".
Thanks for this. So my initial guess was that the front seats were all blocked out so by choosing the front seats it was infact 'shadow' seats up until a threshold is met and they need to release more seats to passengers. Knowing that the shadow moves with you and blocks out the seat next to you is interesting and changes the way I thought the system would work.

I've never heard of expertflyer and just googled and looks like a paid subscription thing. Do you know if it works the same if I'm traveling in a party of 2 and seated in economy in a 3 seater. Would they have shadow seats in those scenarios?
 

serfty

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I've never heard of expertflyer and just googled and looks like a paid subscription thing. Do you know if it works the same if I'm traveling in a party of 2 and seated in economy in a 3 seater. Would they have shadow seats in those scenarios?
Expertflyer will show a seat map as returned by the operating airline - among other characteristics it generally indicates those seats which are allocated, not allocated but 'blocked', as well as those both unallocated and unblocked.

These results can vary; with Qantas for example it can depend on the status of the subscriber for whom the query is made.

It was through the use of Expert Flyer, Qantas online seat selection with different passengers having bookings on the same flight that the presence of an 'auto' seat block was determined. This was done by observing variences in the results when seat selection changes were made. This 'auto' seat block is nicknamed a 'shadow'.
 

justinbrett

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For domestic short haul, Ive never had any special treatment.

However, I fly to/from DRW a fair bit, and usually I get a special welcome (once seated) from the CM, often with a bottle of water. Nothing to write home about, but nor to I expect anything more.
 

EestiTiger

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Not a Platinum but a few years back had a good friend who was a Platinum One - book me a Y seat to SIN. Before we pushed back, someone had brought me down a J headset and J champagne in glass and apoligise for not being able to put me up front! They brought me down business wines the whole flight. It was an awesome Y experience :)
 

marki

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I felt as if earlier they the airline did pay more attention. However, there seems to be more indifference creeping in.
 

RichardMEL

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"Shadows" are NOT defined perks of the QFF program - and members should be aware of this before making assumptions or jumping to conclusions one way or the other (for example at one point a member seemed to think "Shadows" were granted to Golds automatically based on their personal experiences over a few flights).

Yes, they show up. Yes they stick sometimes. other times they do not (even for P1).

Finally re seat blocking or inability for Gold or below to access forward seats before travel - the seat maps will open up at approx T-80 hours for most flights (obviously not Dash8) and then loer grades can select these seats if open (unless blocked). I have a Silver colleague who often snaffles row 4 and thinks he's pretty special I regret I told him about T-80 - sorry guys :) )

So like most things QF do not expect anything much or assume and you'll be right :)
 

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