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Seat Allocation

Old 13th Apr 2011, 08:10
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Angry Seat Allocation

As a family of five (with three young children) we booked flights from MAN - TLV via FRA about ten months before the journey this week. I did not bother doing on-line check-in as we had a fair amount of luggage and the Lufthansa check in counter and bag drop are the same counter in Manchester.

The flight from MAN - FRA was full and we were all given seat E (middle of three) one behind the other. This is not ideal for a group of five people especially a group with children.

I thought airlines did some allocation of seats a couple of days before the flight and would make some sensible allocation for a group where three passengers were child tickets and would presumably need to sit near a parent?

I am rather disappointed as over the years I have had very good service in this regard from Lufthansa. However the flight is now operated by BMI and the standards and seat pitch appear to have reduced. Now less leg room than on Jet2!
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 08:39
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It seems that this is the norm across many carriers. The idea of lining five people in that way is silly. As a child, we were three children and parents and, with only narrow bodied craft we were put all across in one row!

I fear that you have met 21st century airline 'service'.
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 19:22
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Yes

We managed to stay within the 20th Century for service right until 2011, but I have now learnt my lesson and have to do on-line check even when there is no point.

It is a pity that Lufthansa only give you 23 hours to check in. At least the locos let you check up to a month before.
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Old 14th Apr 2011, 09:08
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Personally, I would feel very uncomfortable these days having an unknown child sat next to me, especially if female. I gather that for unaccompanied minors, some airlines make sure it doesn't happen, but even when travelling with parents, especially if a parent is not in the same row, it seems undesirable. It also depends on the child's age, too.
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Old 14th Apr 2011, 11:59
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We managed to stay within the 20th Century for service right until 2011, but I have now learnt my lesson and have to do on-line check even when there is no point.
The point is that other people won't have to be shuffled about to accomodate you at the last minute. For you to get your way, someone has to shift from the seats they chose in good time. So if you know you've got young kids with you on the flight, get in early please?
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Old 14th Apr 2011, 12:21
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That does not always work - have selected seats at time of booking only to find they are not the ones we end up getting when checking in. So always carry the confirmed seat allocation email as well.

Now if United would only stop moving me from the 11am flight to a 1pm flight when flying Appleton to O'hare it would be appreciated (3 years running now) and put the 767 back on the LHR / ORD route rather than 747 as well.
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 06:24
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But no-one would have to be shifted around if Lufthansa had blocked off five seats right when we booked the tickets.

As has been previously said, five seats all on one row or three in front and two behind would be acceptable, but doing nothing and leaving us with five E seats with my six year old daughter sitting next to two strangers.......is not.
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 08:41
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I did not bother doing on-line check-in as we had a fair amount of luggage and the Lufthansa check in counter and bag drop are the same counter in Manchester.
But at least you would have a valid argument if you did check in on line.

But no-one would have to be shifted around if Lufthansa had blocked off five seats right when we booked the tickets.
But again, you had the opportunity to block off 5 seats yourself - but you 'did not bother'.

I am not disputing that airlines can and do amend pre-booked seating, but by checking in on line does give you an increased chance of getting the better available seats than not being bothered to do so expecting the airline will seat you together by default.
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 11:52
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Do LH have a policy regarding placing young children next to strangers?
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 13:24
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By not seating a family together the airline is really expecting the PAX sitting beside the young child to take responsibility to ensure they are looked after in an emergency, helped with feeding, ensure they don't choke, are keep entertained and stopped from annoying other passengers.
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 13:54
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People generally choose aisle and window seats as a preference, it's a bit rich to not bother using the facilities in advance or even phone the airline in advance and expect them to automatically accommodate you when you arrive at the desk.

A lesson learnt for next time I feel.

However harsh that is, on a flight that short I'd have offered up my aisle or window seat to help a family sit together no problem if I'd been asked.

Did you ask the crew when you boarded if they could find a couple of seats for you and your youngest?
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 14:07
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I've generally found Lufthansa entirely accommodating with pre-assigning seats if asked (or arranged through the website). I have no idea why those who do proactively arrange their preferred seating should be moved around - or why Lufthansa should arrange things on behalf of passengers when there's a straight forward avenue to doing it oneself - just to accommodate those too lazy to do it themselves in advance, whatever the extenuating circumstances
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 15:00
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or why Lufthansa should arrange things on behalf of passengers when there's a straight forward avenue to doing it oneself
Maybe Lufthansa could either

(a) show a little bit of common sense and allocate pax on the same PNR seats together and
(b) follow CAA recommended guidelines on seating children next to their guardians

Not a lot to ask, is it?
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 15:19
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Try AA

It could be worse.

On a flight back from JFK to LHR, on a 744 with 2-5-2 seating, American very kindly allocated a family party of six, the centre seats in six rows. So technically they were next to each other, just running along the cabin. I'm guessing that this was because the plane was full and the group was late to check in (as they arrived at the plane well after everyone else).

The cabin crew did what they could, but on a boarded, full plane they don't have many options to shuffle passengers around to find space for a family of six. The kids were crying because their parents were rows away, the parents were taking it out on the cabin crew, and several of the passengers were being actively unhelpful. Sigh.

TOS
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 15:54
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Are you sure ...

Originally Posted by theothersimon View Post
It could be worse.

On a flight back from JFK to LHR, on a 744 with 2-5-2 seating, American very kindly allocated a family party of six, the centre seats in six rows ...
AFAIK AA has never operated a 744, I believe their last 747 (an SP) left in 1994.
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 16:31
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I'd have been really annoyed if I'd gone to the trouble of checking in online so I got a decent seat and then finding out that I'd been bumped because of a family who couldn't be bothered to check in online. You know they do online check-in so why did you expect all the other passengers to move for you? You could have thought "we want seats together so lets check in early online".

Personally I'd have been miffed if I'd had to move because of someone else being lazy and expecting me to move.
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 17:01
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Just sit where you like - it works for some it seems....

I had the pleasure of flying from London to Jeddah the other day. There were at least 40 people in our cabin in the wrong seats, one of the party had all the boarding card stubs. After about 20 minutes of argy bargy the cabin crew gave up and left everyone to it.

Coming back, the same situation - my seat was within a family group all of whom were seated together (none in their allocated seats). This time I gave up asking for my allocated seat and went aft to an almost empty cabin and a choice of rows to myself.
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 17:04
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I'm not sure the OP deserves quite the whip being handed out. They have admitted thinking the best of an LH code share flight and having lost out. The enquiry seems logical and without anger.

On previous occasions in here when the co-location of families has been discussed, it is oft asked why the computer cannot be told that 2+3 children on one ticket need to be allocated together, without waiting for check-in time, is a really simple and obvious question. In the past, I have moved for this reason and would move again BUT, what the OP is saying, is that there should be no need as any sensible planning of seats would put the five together before check-in opens.

Given that carriers always like to say how good, kind, decent and beautiful they are and that they love people to travel with them - it would be the easiest thing to advertise that families sit together with pre-allocation. If you have different surnames, then there only has to be fact of making all the reservations in one go and paying for them collectively. It is that simple.
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 17:26
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2-5-2 seating is a characteristic of the DC-10, which AA did fly on these routes for many years, so probably that is the source of mix up. But regardless, the issue is the 6 separate seats.
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Old 18th Apr 2011, 10:52
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So what has the OP learnt from this?

Various options:

1. Call the airline at the time of the booking and explain to make-up of the party

If the airline can't/doesn't want to block 3+2 adjacent seats

2.Check in online 23 hours before depart

If there are no 3+2 combinations available,

3. Talk to the check-in supervisor and sort it BEFORE getting onto the aircraft
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