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Answered Virgin Platinum seat selection on Etihad

Stealthflyer

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Does anyone know if Virgin WPs get complimentary seat selection when flying the cheapest Etihad fare? I understand Etihad Guest status holders do, but Etihad’s website doesn’t say if status holders of partner airlines do or not.

I know Singapore Airlines doesn’t give Virgin WPs complimentary seat selection; however, Singapore seat selection isn’t nearly as dear as Etihad’s. I‘ve never flown Etihad before (I always fly Singapore to Europe), and I am now wondering if I’ve made a mistake.
 

Must...Fly!

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I've actually been wondering this. I'll try it and get back to you, I've got some flights in February and there is no way known I'm paying their exorbitant fees to select a seat.
 

Stealthflyer

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I've actually been wondering this. I'll try it and get back to you, I've got some flights in February and there is no way known I'm paying their exorbitant fees to select a seat.
I’ve got my flights coming up in February too. Over $200 to select seats just for a standard seat one MEL - AUH leg! I didn’t even bother adding the other 3 legs to the cart. As a comparison, I paid less than $100 to select all four legs to Heathrow and return on SQ. The base ticket price was about the same, even though this time I’m flying in and out of the cheaper MXP (the HBA leg at the end made the SQ flight times from MXP less desirable than EY).
All I can say is the First Class lounge at AUH better be worth it!
 

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The F lounge at AUH is great. It's not big, but it's nice and though it lacks a buffet the menu and food has been excellent in my handful of visits.
 

jase05

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Unless things have changed recently I was under the understanding that VA status pax have to pay for Y seat selection.
The F lounge is great in AUH but I wouldn’t be flying with them just for that.
I have never flown in Y with them but have a couple of friends who do regularly and they have commented that their last couple of trips they have really noticed the cutbacks in quality and service and are considering other options for their next trip.
 
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Unless things have changed recently I was under the understanding that VA status pax have to pay for Y seat selection.
The F lounge is great in AUH but I wouldn’t be flying with them just for that.
I have never flown in Y with them but have a couple of friends who do regularly and they have commented that their last couple of trips they have really noticed the cutbacks in quality and service and are considering other options for their next trip.
Yep I've flown EY in Y a couple of times when SQ wasn't an option e.g. to northern Africa. The AUH F lounge is nice but 45 minutes of F lounge in no way makes up for a miserable 24 hours in EY Y. The tiny seats (9 across 787s and 10 across 777s), generally unpolished nature of the Y service, chaotic AUH transfer experience plus the recent semi-LCC changes make them a distant second to SQ for VA status-holders in Y.
 

Stealthflyer

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Yep I've flown EY in Y a couple of times when SQ wasn't an option e.g. to northern Africa. The AUH F lounge is nice but 45 minutes of F lounge in no way makes up for a miserable 24 hours in EY Y. The tiny seats (9 across 787s and 10 across 777s), generally unpolished nature of the Y service, chaotic AUH transfer experience plus the recent semi-LCC changes make them a distant second to SQ for VA status-holders in Y.
Dang. I was looking at some flights to Jordan, which is in the same boat as Africa re airline choice, but I might hold off until after my Feb flight.

I’d totally trade AUH lounge access and the 75% partner WP bonus in exchange for advance seat selection.

I think the thing that gets me is the lack of transparency. There are no charts with seating pricing that I could find when first comparing flights. I assumed that the seat selection rates were similar to other full service airlines. The EY pricing is in no way reasonable (it’s over 50% of the price of my ticket). I wish Google flights could bring up these kinds of details (like it does credit card fees), but I guess that’s why airlines don’t publish the rates. It makes it difficult to compare true flight costs.
 
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I think the thing that gets me is the lack of transparency. There are no charts with seating pricing that I could find when first comparing flights. I assumed that the seat selection rates were similar to other full service airlines. The EY pricing is in no way reasonable (it’s over 50% of the price of my ticket). I wish Google flights could bring up these kinds of details (like it does credit card fees), but I guess that’s why airlines don’t publish the rates. It makes it difficult to compare true flight costs.
After reading this post, I tried to find some more information about Etihad's seat selection fees but also found this info lacking.

For those with upcoming Etihad Y bookings, could you perhaps post a screenshot (or just a list) here please of what the airline is asking in seat selection fees for each leg and different seat type? I would be interested to know exactly what these fees are, and I'm sure others would be too.
 

jase05

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After reading this post, I tried to find some more information about Etihad's seat selection fees but also found this info lacking.

For those with upcoming Etihad Y bookings, could you perhaps post a screenshot (or just a list) here please of what the airline is asking in seat selection fees for each leg and different seat type? I would be interested to know exactly what these fees are, and I'm sure others would be too.
I don’t know the costs of different legs but from a friend who recently did AUH-CDG he said it worked out to $40 for a standard seat, $50 for what they called a preferred seat which is in the first few rows of Y and $200 for extra legroom seats. He ended up forking out the $200 as he is quite tall. The standard seats can be selected for free I believe at >T24.
Would be quite a costly expense for a family doing 4 legs
 
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I don’t know the costs of different legs but from a friend who recently did AUH-CDG he said it worked out to $40 for a standard seat, $50 for what they called a preferred seat which is in the first few rows of Y and $200 for extra legroom seats. He ended up forking out the $200 as he is quite tall. The standard seats can be selected for free I believe at >T24.
Would be quite a costly expense for a family doing 4 legs
Is that AUD or USD?
 

Must...Fly!

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I received a reply e-mail tonight from Etihad customer service that the benefit applies only to Etihad Guest cardholders and not to partner airline status members. Unfortunately not what I (and others including OP) would've been hoping for.
 
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Thibault

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Hello, hope you are all well.
I have an Etihad booking next Sunday and you will be able to find the different prices requested per seat by Etihad.
I usually do not choose my seat and let the system do it for me as they have put me three times on a Economy Space seat free of charge for my last two trips with them.

And just to correct, you can choose your seat free of charge 30 hours prior the flight.

First leg, MEL AUH 15/12 on EY461.
EY MEL AUH 1.PNG EY MEL AUH 2.PNG EY MEL AUH 3.PNG EY MEL AUH 4.PNG

Rows 21 to 29
Eco Space is AUD 219.49 / EY Gold 109.80
Rows 30 to 32.
Eco Standard is AUD 65.85 / EY Gold 16.50
Rows 33 to 50
Eco Standard is AUD 43.90 / EY Gold Complimentary
Rows 51 to 55
Eco Standard is AUD 65.85 / EY Gold 16.50. Middle row seats are complimentary I believe (didnt check).

Second leg, AUH CDG 16/12 on EY37.
EY AUH CDG 1.PNG EY AUH CDG 2.PNG

Rows 40 to 49
Eco Space is AUD 146.33 / EY Gold 73.20
Rows 50 to 52
Eco Standard is AUD 51.21 / EY Gold 12.80
Rows 53 to end
Eco Standard is AUD 29.27 / EY Gold Complimentary.
There are two or 3 exits rows seats that I did not took screenshots here after each galley and they can be selected for the same fees of row 40/49.

Third leg, CDG AUH 27/12 on EY31
EY CDG AUH 1.PNG EY CDG AUH 2.PNG

Rows 40 to 49
Eco Space is AUD 118.53 / EY Gold 59.30
Rows 50 to 52
Eco Standard is AUD 51.21 / EY Gold 12.80
Rows 53 to end
Eco Standard is AUD 29.27 / EY Gold Complimentary.
There are two or 3 exits rows seats that I did not took screenshots here after each galley and they can be selected for the same fees of row 40/49.

Fourth leg, AUH BNE 27/12 on EY484.
EY AUH BNE 1.PNG EY AUH BNE 2.PNG
Rows 15 to 23
Eco Space is AUD 218.03 / EY Gold 109.10
Rows 24 to 26
Eco Standard is AUD 65.85 / EY Gold 16.50
Row 27 to end
Eco Standard is AUD 51.21 / EY Gold Complimentary.
Row 31 is AUD 218.03 / EY Gold 109.10
 

Must...Fly!

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@Thibault you are EY Gold, presumably?

I believe for partner status members, the status will only show/trigger on a check-in event so there is no such ability to get given a better seat at OLCI. And it's a bit of a gamble waiting until getting to the airport in case one ends up with a very undesirable seat...
 
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Notyourbag

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Can confirm from recent EY flights in Y that VA gold and platinum get no special seating treatment from Etihad at check-in.
 
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Must...Fly!

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Can confirm from recent EY flights in Y that VA gold and platinum get no special seating treatment from Etihad at check-in.
Thanks for the update, good to have recent reports. It's been about a year since boarding EY for me, but the treatment was disappointing on all but one of those flights.
 

klm597

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I can confirm as well no different treatment as a VA Gold travelling in Y when it comes to seat selection. I gently pushed for a seat as far forward as possible at check-in on my four latest flights with EY and the best they could offer was in the 4th or 5th row of economy, despite the first few rows all being mostly empty on all flights (confirmed on-board and with ExpertFlyer).

The best advice if you want to avoid paying seat selection fees would be to check in online and select your seat the second the online check-in window opens (30 hours prior to departure for EY). I had no trouble selecting an aisle or window seat in the front third of the economy section on all of my flights but that obviously varies by route and time of year.
 
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Stealthflyer

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I can confirm as well no different treatment as a VA Gold travelling in Y when it comes to seat selection. I gently pushed for a seat as far forward as possible at check-in on my four latest flights with EY and the best they could offer was in the 4th or 5th row of economy, despite the first few rows all being mostly empty on all flights (confirmed on-board and with ExpertFlyer).

The best advice if you want to avoid paying seat selection fees would be to check in online and select your seat the second the online check-in window opens (30 hours prior to departure for EY). I had no trouble selecting an aisle or window seat in the front third of the economy section on all of my flights but that obviously varies by route and time of year.
Do you know if it’s possible to select seats at the 30 hour mark without checking in? I have this annoying problem always that I can’t check in because of my domestic codeshare connection from Tasmania. I know SQ lets me choose seats at the 24 hour mark without checking in.
 

Thibault

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@Thibault you are EY Gold, presumably?

I believe for partner status members, the status will only show/trigger on a check-in event so there is no such ability to get given a better seat at OLCI. And it's a bit of a gamble waiting until getting to the airport in case one ends up with a very undesirable seat...
Yes correct, Gold with Etihad.
Status is easier for me to attain with them as it is distance based regardless of the fare paid.
It's the same for EY Gold looking for a better seat with Virgin, it looks like partner status does not matter on VA metal.

Do you know if it’s possible to select seats at the 30 hour mark without checking in? I have this annoying problem always that I can’t check in because of my domestic codeshare connection from Tasmania. I know SQ lets me choose seats at the 24 hour mark without checking in.
And yes, you can definitely choose your seat without checking in either through their app or their website providing you have the EY PNR.
 

klm597

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Do you know if it’s possible to select seats at the 30 hour mark without checking in?
And yes, you can definitely choose your seat without checking in either through their app or their website providing you have the EY PNR.
I agree - as soon as the check-in windows opens I'd assume you'd be able to select seats in the usual "manage booking" area, although I only ever did it via the online check-in process.
 

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