Seating Allocation??

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by Hammer, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. Hammer

    Hammer Junior Member

    Jul 15, 2004
    12
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    Adelaide
    Hi all - have been an avid reader for a while and now I have summoned up the courage for my first post!

    Question - how do check-in staff allocate seating?

    Flew from Sydney --> Adelaide yesterday. Checked in 3hrs before flight, attempted to waitlist on 2 earlier flights (no complaints here - just all full) got my boarding pass and was on seat 21C - the very last seat on the plane and surrounded by holiday makers!

    This in itself is not a great problem (I would much rather fly for 2hrs in discomfort than drive back from Sydney), but as a Silver FF I thought my seat would have been a little closer to the front...and they lost my luggage on arrival into Adelaide!

    This has happened on more than one occasion in the last couple of months (luggage ok) up until then no real complaints!
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    Also I have noted empty business class seats on occasion - why not upgrade your silver/gold/plat ff's when there are empty seats going begging?

    Once the plane takes off - empty business class seats have no inherent value so why not do the nice thing and send some of your loyal customers up the front for a change?

    BTW I have an upgrade credit to use by 30 Nov 2004 but haven't been able to use it as no seats have been allocated on my flights...

    Sounds if this sounds like a whinge....just had enough! :evil:

    Thanks heaps
     
  2. Warks

    Warks Established Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    2,111
    808
    Sydney
    Welcome to the eternal mystery of QA seating allocation. There was a thread not long ago on this

    Here it is:

    http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/discus/viewtopic.php?t=318

    Some of the other regulars here will offer the reasons for the non-upgrade to the hallowed world of Business Class. As for being a Silver well when I see how many Golds there are these days let alone Platinums I can't imagine Silver registers on their radar. Maybe they don't spit in your food? :lol:

    Have you put your seating preference into your QFF profile on the website? It helps if you nominate forward there. Even so as a Gold I am mystified why I seem to be seated a fiar way back on some flights even when I arive an hour before flying. Do some people have pre-allocated seating?
     


  3. Hammer

    Hammer Junior Member

    Jul 15, 2004
    12
    0
    Adelaide
    Thanks for the reply Warks - it still seems a mystery, the only thing I can think of is all those gold/Plat/CL holiday makers in front of me....!

    I do have seating preference - forward/ailse - but often I don't even get ailse! :?

    I have sent an enquiry to QANTAS customer service but am yet to receive a reply (now 24+ hours)
     
  4. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Travelling at peak times (not sure if this was the case for you or not) on more business oriented routes will mean that you will be competing with a number of Golds, Plats & Chairmans Lounge pax who will get priority when they pre-allocate seats the night before a flight. On a 737 - if you're in Row 21, with say 3 J class rows, that would mean only 34 passengers (including other silvers possibly) were ahead of you. I think you were probably lucky to get an aisle. (As a platinum on some MEL-CBR flights my forward aisle preference often lands me in rows 18-20), and gold colleagues often end up with centre seats. It's probably the case that those who travel the most prefer aisles as well, adding to the competition.
     
  5. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Vic
    Dajop,
    That' a pretty good point you make about the aisle preference forcing you back down to the rear of the a/c. At 6' 3" I hate being crammed into a window seat & only don't mind it if I'm sleepy and can fall against the window instead of into the aisle.
    The point made about all the empty seats in J gets up my goat too especially when you travel on a B767 but I know from experience that you only get a bump up when economy is overbooked. :D
     


  6. Rick93

    Rick93 Established Member

    Nov 10, 2002
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    On the subject of 'not upgrading mid flight' ....

    The reason is, well, not very pleasant.....

    No airline wants to admit to their risk of 'terrorism', or even mechanical fault. So, with a degree of risk on all flights, the airline wants to know EXACTLY where you are sitting (or were sitting, if the plane goes down).

    If you started off in economy, and once airbourne and leveled out, you are 'upgraded' to business... then 'something' happens, and the aircraft goes down.....

    Well, Search & Rescue + the Coroner etc. etc. aren't going to know where you were sitting.... so they can look for what's left of your body !

    I'm pretty sure it's something like that.....

    Have a pleasant flight....
     
  7. hall

    hall Newbie

    Jul 18, 2004
    1
    0
    seating allocation

    Hi
    In regards to your query re seating allocation it is true that preferences in profiles for status members are completed the day prior to the flight date.

    The system also automatically allocates seats to passengers, so you may need to ask to be moved to where you would rather sit when you check in. The system does this so as to evenly distribute the weight of the passengers around the aircraft as they check in. This is particulary important on particular types of aircraft, if there are not many people travelling on the flight. Some aircraft are very nose heavy and hence most of the weight, including freight, baggage and passengers needs to be as far to the rear of the aircraft as possible. Likewise with aircraft that are tail heavy the opposite applies. They are all different.
    So what time in the day you check in prior to your flight or how long in advance you purchased your ticket has very little to do with where you sit. The procedures involved in getting an aircraft loaded and off the ground are a lot more involved than most people realise.

    From an aircraft load controller
     
  8. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    Whilst I agree with you in principal. When the a/c is nearly full (ie most QF flights) the Weight & Balance has very little to do with seating allocations or, alternately the seating allocations have very little to do with the W & B. The status and booking preferences of the individuals will win out on most occasions.
     
  9. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Yup can't help but agree, on my last xxxx flights (can't remember how many) they've all been at pretty full, except 1. The W&B allocations are most evident on Dash 8's where they allocate seating by zone. (front, middle & rear). Often you will get almost full 737's with the first five (Y) rows of middle seats empty (blocked), silly me thought they were actually looking after their high tier fliers, when it is obvious now that they are doing it to balance the aircraft. :wink:
     
  10. sully

    sully Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    238
    1
    Wolloomooloo, NSW
    Gordon, I appreciate this point but why are the rules really lax if you want to relocate within the one class? While I generally get my forward aisle preference I will often slide across to the window or move elsewhere for comfort if there are light loads. What is the difference then?

    Surely if there was a change in seating arrangments couldn't the passenger folio be updated on-line during flight? Failing that some form of communication could surely be sent back to the central database.
     
  11. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Ye gods sully, you're actually attributing some kind of advanced communications to today's a/c :shock:
    On a B744/A333 maybe, but everything else is labourously typed in on the flight deck ACARS.
    I'm afraid there is nothing sophisticated enough for the older B767/B737 types for this type of comms.
     
  12. Rick93

    Rick93 Established Member

    Nov 10, 2002
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    SULLY,

    Whilst I'm not an employee in the aviation industry, I therefore don't have all the answers, or the 'official' line...

    I was actually told by a 'supervisor' at the boarding point, that I couldn't be upgraded from economy to business on an international flight.... because of the 'new' rules after 9/11.

    This person was an 'associate' from another organisation. He recognised me as I was standing in the queue to board. He attempted to get me upgraded, but was informed by his supervisor above him... that "that's all gone now - post 9/11, we need to know where everyone is exactly".

    I needed to have been approved for upgrade prior to getting to the boarding point.

    As for 'moving about in the same class'...

    Well, I suppose it's too difficult to stop passengers from moving to a vacant seat once airbourne. The cabin crew can't always recognise that a person has moved, given that they have plenty of other things to be thinking about at any given time....

    regards,
     
  13. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Well in my experience, cabin crew don't actually give 2 hoots once the plane has levelled and seat belt signs are off. On the 1 (relatively) empty flight I've been on this year, they actually made an announcement that pax could move to more comfortable seats once s/b sign off, and on other occasions I have requested to move (row behind, window, exit row etc), the only answer I ever get is "no problems, just wait until s/b sign off"

    I think there are very sound commercial reasons why Y--> J is not permitted on aircraft, it is not a particularly good look to see someone being ushered forward to the front (or even just moving to the front to take a seat), especially when those in the front few rows of Y are probably your most valuable customers and can see exactly what is going on.
     
  14. Rick93

    Rick93 Established Member

    Nov 10, 2002
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    I guess we all retain impressions from our personal experiences.

    I have been on flights where the cabin crew definitely said 'no way' to a change of seats. Other times, I have seen people moved.

    I think there is a definite 'stay where you are' during take off, and maybe, there is a form of 'online' inflight update of passenger seating that accounts for those times where we have seen passengers moved in the same class.

    It is interesting to hear the experiences of other FFs on these types of issues...

    regards,
     
  15. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    OK as soon as you post something on this board you automatically get the opposite experience. Flew MEL-WLG today, moved to empty exit row after levelling out, and for first time ever I got a tap on the shoulder midway through descent, asking me to move back to my original seat! There you go. Plane was probably 85% full.
     
  16. Dazzler

    Dazzler Junior Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    13
    0
    SYD
    Seating Allocation

    Seating Allocation on Domestic flights is allocated 6 hours before the flight departs.
    Requests aren't generally permitted but everything else aside, they place Platinum/Gold FF in the seat that best suits their request in their profile and then allocate the rest of the passengers randomly throughout the aircraft. Sometimes if there is special circumstances they will make a change but it is usually not permitted.
    Seating Allocation on International Flights is different. You can request a seat on an INTL flight but there are still NO guarantees.
    Generally the person you book the flight with is the one who can allocate your seat based on what is still available.
    On code share flights it's the same but they have only been allocated so many seats that they can allocate. Sometimes the travel agent willl override your seating request by accident as they haven't entered all the fields propoerly when booking your flight.
    Exit row seating has to be requested at the Airport. This is generally reserved for special situations like if your 6'6".
    Exit Row has huge demand and will only be given to you if your capable of opening the doors in a crash or complication. So generally is never given to children.
    I suggest that you get to the Airport ASAP before departure if your looking to secure that seat.

    Hope this helps....
     
  17. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

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    Re: Seating Allocation

    On Jetstar they have one flight attending patrolling the exit row to make sure of this - no pax that don't look terribly fit and no children.
     
  18. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    Re: Seating Allocation

    Rubbish. It is done overnight for ALL flights, even the 2220 SYD-MEL will have been done the night before.

    More rubbish. They also pre-seat Silvers and Qantas Club members according to their profiles, and you neglected to mention Chairmans Lounge members.

    Even more rubbish. When I worked for QF at SYD actually doing the checking in of people, we often changed people around. The only ones we weren't allowed to touch were the FF elites who had been seated according to their profile, and groups. Everyone else could be changed as long as it did not involve swapping a passenger who had already checked in (and even then it was sometimes possible).

    Anyway, if it isn't possible to change allocations, why does the QuickCheck machine allow you to do exactly that?

    [...remaining mindless drivel snipped...]

    You seem to be going out of your way to post dis-information on this board Dazzler.

    Dave
     
  19. rormad

    rormad Junior Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    43
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    Sydney
    I tend to side with doc on this one regarding the timing of seat allocation. I'm a Gold and I've been there more than 3 hours early and still found myself halfway down the plane sometimes.
     
  20. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
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    ... and the incentive to stay in your allocated seat (as a plat) would be the pleasant flight I had across the pond (MEL-AKL) at the beginning of the week. Recent changes to company policy have forced me into the back of the cabin :( where thankfully my prefs put me very close to forward again. The CSM came back and welcomed me to the flight and asked me what sort of drink I would like from the J section. It kinda makes you feel special when you're singled out in this way :)
    These type of gestures go a long way to righting the other wrongs endured over the years.
    A very pleasant trip indeed.
     
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