A question about losing booked seats on the airplane

Dear Heather,

I have a question. We have a flight booked to Orlando with an airline that has seat assignments. Twice they have changed our seats so that we are not sitting together. The first time we were able to have it corrected. But this time, I guess the flight is completely booked and so far they have not been able to find us two seats together. My concern is that my mother is a senior and afraid to fly. Is there anything I can do? And why do the airlines do this? We booked months in advance and used this airline to make sure we would be sitting together. We flew to Orlando last year and did not have this problem. Does this happen often? Just wondering and looking for advice.

Thank you.


Dear Sue,

I’m sorry to hear of your troubles with the airline. What happened to you is not right and unfair. Now I could tell you why I believe this keeps happening, but the truth is I don’t know for sure, so I emailed your question to my friend who is an agent for the same airline I work for at the Los Angeles International Airport.

Before I share what my friend, the agent, had to say, I just want you to know that I understand what you’re going through, having to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to sit next to your elderly mother, as I have a two year-old I travel with regularly. When traveling on my flight benefits, the odds of getting two seats together are slim to none. There’s nothing worse than having to beg and bribe people to switch seats. Talk about stress.

Sure, you can ask the flight attendant to help you, but due to the fact that the flights are staffed with minimum crew, and the crew is busy checking emergency equipment, setting up the galleys, greeting passengers at the door, and dealing with all that carry-on luggage that will not fit into the overhead bin, the flight attendants will not be able to assist until the boarding process is over. Boarding, by far, is the busiest time for a flight attendant, which is why you probably won’t see one until seconds before the aircraft door is shut, which just adds to your stress. You don’t need more stress. You’ve been through enough already.

Now here’s what my friend, the agent, had to say about your lost seats, and what you can do about it in the future…

To read what my friend had to say (trust me, you want to read this) go to GALLEY GOSSIP: A QUESTION ABOUT LOSING BOOKED SEATS ON THE AIRPLANE on Gadling.com


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