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Seeking advice regarding Qantas seat selection - USA flights

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Hi to all,

I am looking at booking flights for an up coming trip in September between Australia and the US flying with Qantas.

I'm not sure what flights I will be booking just yet, so I am unsure whether the aircraft will be an A380 or a B747.
I will be travelling in Economy and if flying on the A380 would like to book a seat in rows 32/33/36 (do these rows have windows?), or specific seats 70E/71D/80AK of the lower deck.
For the B747 - any of the 'twosomes' rows (69-71) are preference.

Being very inexperienced when it comes to international travel, I would like to learn what options I have to give myself the best chance at selecting these specific 'good' or 'popular' seats on on either these aircraft.

*Can these 'popular' seats be selected/requested if making a booking by phone?
*Would booking a 'flex fare' instead of a 'saver fare' improve ones chances?
*I am currently a QFF bronze member, I'm about $1800 worth of flights away from upgrading my status to Silver by the end of this month (I am considering a mileage run).
Would silver status have a significant impact on ones seat selection availability at the time of booking?

My other option is to not spend the $1800 on the mileage run to upgrade my membership status; rather remain on bronze level for another 12 months and perhaps put that money towards a Premium Economy ticket for this trip instead.
Trying to balance whether or not Silver status is worth it ( as I will only have 1 or 2 International trips and a handful of Domestics during the next membership year) compared to a one-off flight in Premium Economy.


Lastly being slightly off topic; I will most likely be flying out of Australia on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Are passenger loads about the same on flights QF15, QF11, QF107 and QF93 or is one a little less full then others on these days?

Thanks for your time.
Regards
-Adam
 
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legroom

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Hi

3 months away so it's likely those plum seats had been taken.

AFAIK, 71D / 80 A/K are not status dependent but bulk head (32) is.

Your best chance would be at T + 80 when they might become available due to pax upgrade etc ...

QF 15, 107 will be 747 whereas QF11/12 will most likely be A380.

Good luck
 

Mwenenzi

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.....My other option is to not spend the $1800 on the mileage run to upgrade my membership status; rather remain on bronze level for another 12 months and perhaps put that money towards a Premium Economy ticket for this trip instead....
Certainly not worth spending $1800 to get silver. $180 may be ;- $1800 never! Far better to spend the $1800 to PE seats or on activities or hotels in the USA. As above many of the better seats may have been selected by others already. (Have a read of the threads about getting QF status quickly at a lowish cost in the USA)

Flying Friday or Saturday or may be even Sunday loads will be high.100’s finish work on Friday and fly out as soon as they can. Mid week tends to have lower loads.
 
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Thankyou both Mwenenzi/legroom for your replies. I'll certainly check in on seat availability at T+80; but would prefer to know at the time of booking....or just prior to if the seat alerts feature on the Expert Flyer program is accurate.

Unfortunately I can't fly out during the week, but would consider flying out of BNE, SYD or MEL if one of those Ports had a flight more empty then the others.

As for my potential mileage run; I still require 180 Status Credits to upgrade to QFF Silver status.
I work on the theory of $100AU ~ 10SC's. From $1800, it looks like I can now reach those 180SC's for $1400 after playing around with a few route options around the domestic network.

I just need to weigh up whether or not being a Silver status member will be of clear benefit to my preferred seat selection, or if I will end up having the same available selection of seats as that of a Bronze status member booking the flights at the same time as me.
 

legroom

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Thankyou both Mwenenzi/legroom for your replies. I'll certainly check in on seat availability at T+80; but would prefer to know at the time of booking....or just prior to if the seat alerts feature on the Expert Flyer program is accurate.

Unfortunately I can't fly out during the week, but would consider flying out of BNE, SYD or MEL if one of those Ports had a flight more empty then the others.

As for my potential mileage run; I still require 180 Status Credits to upgrade to QFF Silver status.
I work on the theory of $100AU ~ 10SC's. From $1800, it looks like I can now reach those 180SC's for $1400 after playing around with a few route options around the domestic network.

I just need to weigh up whether or not being a Silver status member will be of clear benefit to my preferred seat selection, or if I will end up having the same available selection of seats as that of a Bronze status member booking the flights at the same time as me.
As far as seat selection on QF goes, not much difference between Bronze and Silver, so I'd suggest you don't agonise over that point.

But Silver in the States on AA does have some weight - free check in luggage IIRC.
 

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As far as seat selection on QF goes, not much difference between Bronze and Silver, so I'd suggest you don't agonise over that point.

But Silver in the States on AA does have some weight - free check in luggage IIRC.
You rai36se a good point, thank you.

Having a look at EF's seat availability for the same flights, both 3 and 9 months away and all of Y in the upper deck is blocked out except for 36J/K.
For the flights 9 months out, the search suggests both 71D and 80A/K are available unlike the flights this September.
"The early bird catches the worm" it seems....
 

ozbeachbabe

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Echoing the thoughts of others I wouldn't do a status run just for the hell of it to go from bronze to silver - I would just pay the AUD30.00 pp per sector & snag a pair of seats down the back of a 744 but go for the second row of two ie if the first row is 69AB JK select 70AB or 70JK because then you can stretch out into the space in front.

What cities do you plan to visit while in the USA ie just west coast or further afield. If you plan on flying within the USA why not get some status credits up on QF by flying on US or AA so you're doing the flying to get you from A to B with the added benefit of earning points & status credits.
 

Bronco59

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I was booked to fly syd-lax-den on 30th sept but last week the flights have been changed to syd-dfw-den. Not sure where you are going but might need to check to see if your flights are the same. I have no status but managed to get 71D on the way over and 80A on the way home so pretty happy about that
 

Mwenenzi

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Echoing the thoughts of others I wouldn't do a status run just for the hell of it to go from bronze to silver - I would just pay the AUD30.00 pp per sector & snag a pair of seats down the back of a 744 but go for the second row of two ie if the first row is 69AB JK select 70AB or 70JK because then you can stretch out into the space in front...
Or pay $$ for an exit row. More legroom than PE
 

rickylee

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You have to be careful doing seat selection on AA flights (even as QF codeshares) on the QF website. I fly AA flights frequently and I can say that I have never actually got the seat I allocated to myself on the QF website. Seat allocation only truly works on AA flights if you do it on the AA website, I found.
 

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Echoing the thoughts of others I wouldn't do a status run just for the hell of it to go from bronze to silver - I would just pay the AUD30.00 pp per sector & snag a pair of seats down the back of a 744 but go for the second row of two ie if the first row is 69AB JK select 70AB or 70JK because then you can stretch out into the space in front.
Thank you for this advice. Is the $30 a 'seat selection fee' ? Can it be done through on-line bookings or can it only be requested with phone bookings?
I'll keep that in mind about row 69 on the 744's too.

As for the US domestic flights - luggage costs and IFE are two factors I consider. For flights longer then 3 hours I feel a seat-back TV is a must, unless you bring a good book to pass the time. IFE does limit airline choice, but I will look at flying with US or AA if there will be FF points on offer.

Bronco59 said:
I have no status but managed to get 71D on the way over and 80A on the way home so pretty happy about that

Congrats on your seat allocations, you have done well there.
Interesting to learn that FF status does not hold as much weight as what I first thought when it comes to priority seat allocation.


I had a look at all QF93 and QF11 A380 flights to the US over a period of two weekends in March 2015 whereby ExpertFlyer's seat maps currently show all (bar 2 seats) blocked out in Y of the upper deck. Would they still show up as blocked if I had a higher FF status or do these seats not become available prior to
T-80?
Will these seats ever be shown as available on FE or is it just a case of 'book and hope' they are available at the time of booking?

Cheers
 
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Mwenenzi

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Thank you for this advice. Is the $30 a 'seat selection fee' ? Can it be done through on-line bookings or can it only be requested with phone bookings?
On line
... As for the US domestic flights - luggage costs and IFE are two factors I consider...
If your are concerned about luggage you are taking/buying too much. Many here are HLO- Hand luggage only. In the USA people take a lot as carry on luggage. This is why they want to board first to get the overhead space
 

Mattg

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Interesting to learn that FF status does not hold as much weight as what I first thought when it comes to priority seat allocation.
I think it's worth noting that you do get access to more seats in advance depending on your frequent flyer status, however the difference between bronze and silver is minimal. If anything, you might be able to select from a few rows further forward, but all the "good" seats (bulkheads etc.) would likely remain blocked. For gold or platinum however, it can be a different story.
 

mannej

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Interesting to learn that FF status does not hold as much weight as what I first thought when it comes to priority seat allocation.
Trust me it does. The predetermined zones are much better the higher up you go.
 

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Thankyou all for your replies.

The predetermined zones are much better the higher up you go.
When I search random dates for QF93 and QF11 flights between today and June 2015 (except for those which currently fall within T-80); ExpertFlyer's seat maps show all upper deck Y seats as blocked except for 36J/K.

As a QFF Bronze member, if I were to book a Y ticket on flight QF11 today for a May 1st 2015; would some seats in the upper deck (other then 36J/K) be available for pre-selection straight away or would I have to wait until T-80 to try my luck?

Would this be same for a QF Silver status member?

Thanks.
 
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mannej

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Thankyou all for your replies.


For all QF93 and QF11 flights between today and June 2015; ExpertFlyer's seat maps show all upper deck Y seats as blocked except for 36J/K.
As a QFF Bronze member, if I were to book a Y ticket on flight QF11 today for a May 1st 2015; would some seats in the upper deck (other then 36J/K) be available for selection straight away or would I have to wait until T-80 to try my luck?
Would this be same for a QF Silver member?

Thanks.
As others have mentioned, there isn't much difference between NB and PS. From memory the last time I was PS on a 380 I was initially offered a limited number of seats on the UD. I ended up in 32A/B, but that was more chance than anything as they swapped the config very late in the piece leaving 32A/B wide open.

The upper deck does open up closer to the flight. Keep in mind that PS is basically NB zone plus a few more seats without having to pay for it, SG get better seats, WP get better again, WP1 better again and CL have the cream of the crop. QF have got much stricter protecting the zones as it wasn't too long ago a QPNB member could call up and get very close to the front.
 

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Thanks for that mannej. I am still trying to work out whether a status-run before the end of the month is worth it or not. So this helps with my decision making a little more now.

One last question from all this;
In a scenario where I were to book a flight on an A380 whereby seat 71D was available at the time of booking and I select that seat straight away.
What would happen if a Qantas Silver or Platinum member books the same flight a few weeks after me and (for whatever reason) books a Y class ticket and rings the airline to request seat 71D - Will the airline allocate the seat to the member who has a higher FF status then me, or is it most likely I will keep the selected seat on the basis that I 'booked it first' ?
 

QPProletarian

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Just pay the extra for the upper deck exit or first row (48?) exit if you still can.

You shouldn't get bumped from the seat, but it does happen - as discussed here. Usually this would be bulkhead for family or CL on plum J seats or domestic row 4 if it happens.
 
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