View Full Version : Please exlain seat mapping...

03-18-2012, 09:02 PM

Okay, so even though Delta tried to dupe us into their "military discounted" seating...:sad2: at over twice the discounted prices I found through Orbitz, etc. it looks like we'll be flying with them anyways...

BUT, when I clicked on their seat mapping for the two flights available, even though it says there are 5 seats at the price and I am looking at booking 4 of those seats, it only shows 3 as "available" and the rest either have an X (for unavailable) or a star (for priority seating which we dont' qualify)...So does that mean if I booked that flight for 4 of us and it shows only 3 available...could we be bumped/flight be overbooked at that point?

Thanks again for taking the time to reply....

03-18-2012, 09:10 PM
It is a bit disingenuous for you to keep posting that Delta tried to trick you. They didn't.

There are probably plenty of seats on your flight, they just aren't available to you for advance seat selection (reserved for elite flyers), or seats being held back. You might want to review seat selection policy at Delta's web site to see when you will be able to chose your seats.

03-18-2012, 09:38 PM
Well, I did post in my first one (regarding Delta and their military discounts) that I might be ignorant about everything because though I have flown before, this is the first time I am booking the flights myself... It appears (according to everyone's subsequent posts) that Delta isn't the only airline who employs this tactic. It is a tactic, isn't it? I mean, why didn't the agent then say "but if you book with us online, you might be able to find cheaper tickets, etc." if she REALLY wanted to help out, etc. However, that is not reality and she was just doing her job though- offering the military discount, but with a * attached to it...;) I may just remove my initial post as it appears Delta isn't the only airline who does this.

Anyhow, I am not implying in THIS thread that Delta is trying to 'trick me' with their seat mapping...I just wanted it further explained perhaps by someone who has flown with them or knows if that seat mapping actually means I am picking our seats- because it appears so...again, obviously I am confused..hence me asking here!

03-18-2012, 10:54 PM
We had a similar issue with Contiental. We were able to purchase tickets online, but we werecnot allowed to pick seats at that time since the available seats were set aside for other types of tickets. After much annoying phone calls, my DH talked with an old high school friend who works with the airline. He explained that they wouldnt pre-assign us seats because someone with higher Frequent Flyer standing could purchase the remaining ticket and get priority in choosing seat location. We were would have seats, but we just could not select seat assignment until check in. Lucky for us, the friend was able to get into the computer and make the seat selections for us.

I don't know if this is the same with Delta.

03-18-2012, 11:39 PM
Thank you for your reply... I understand any airline holding certain seats for priority fliers as they've earned it, etc. Makes sense...

I am going to call Delta to see what they say... the flight back up appears that I can pick our seats, just not the flight down. I really don't care where in the plane we're seated but because we have two young children, one especially who is hesitant about flying, I just want to be sure we're at least grouped in pairs...and not having children flying by themselves in a separate part of the plane/far away from one of us parents.

03-19-2012, 02:46 PM
Airlines typically hold back seats for airport use so the gate agents have something to change people's seats when they are not together, need handicap access, etc., as well as for higher priced tickets and elite frequent flyers. Delta typically holds back 20-25% of the plane from pre-assignment. Some might show up assignable 24 hours prior to your flight, others at released close to flight time.

03-19-2012, 06:36 PM
IME, if you have paid a deeply discounted fare, and seats are still being sold, but you cannot select seat positions, it usually means that what is being sold at that very low fare are anticipated isolated middle seats. If you buy a non-refundable fare on an airline that charges a premium for changes, it is always a red flag if you are not allowed to select ANY seat in advance on a seriously discounted fare.

It's a tactic, and while I wouldn't go so far as to call it a trick, it's calculated on the idea that most folks grab a bargain without thinking of why they might be getting it. Basically, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

If the fare that you paid was about average, then you are probably dealing with a situation where a large bloc of seats is being kept open in order to give first dibs on them to possible last-minute full-fare business travelers. Those folks generally will choose another flight if the only seats left open are single middles.

03-22-2012, 12:49 AM
Thank you for everyone's replies. :) Learning as I go here- and everyone's info has been helpful!

I called Delta..and as said earlier and suspected- the lady on the phone said that what happens is that they would *try* to keep families together- but no promises. So we can either risk it, get to the airport early (which I like to do anyways) and *hope* we can get seated together...or just fly with someone else. I do like this new (to me anyways) seat mapping though so you know already where you're sitting (barring last-minute changes, etc.).

03-22-2012, 01:57 AM
My kids are 9 and 16, so it wasn't quite the worry if we did not get seats together. I did enjoy thinking about someone else having to spend 3 her sitting next to my ADHD kid who talks constantly for three hours while I might get to sit quietly and actually take a nap or read my book. Didn't happen though. We were able to get seats together :rotfl:

03-22-2012, 02:07 AM
http://www.infoocean.info/avatar3.jpgWe had a similar issue with Contiental. We were able to purchase tickets online, but we werecnot allowed to pick seats at that time since the available seats were set aside for other types of tickets.

03-22-2012, 03:59 AM
Even if you end up with separated seats at the gate, and the gate agent isn't able to move you, the flight attendants will almost always be able to move people once onboard. Who wants to sit next to someone elses small child?

03-22-2012, 11:08 AM
Even if you end up with separated seats at the gate, and the gate agent isn't able to move you, the flight attendants will almost always be able to move people once onboard. Who wants to sit next to someone elses small child?

Sometimes FAs will assist you, other times they won't. Don't count on people giving up their seats, especially if they have paid a premium for seat selection. I have refused to switch seats a number of times (not to seat a child with a parent, an issue I'm not getting into here, but usually for couples or friends who wanted to sit together).

03-22-2012, 11:57 AM
Military discounts are pretty much the same as corporate discounts, aaa, senior citizens etc etc. (Rental cars, hotels etc all use this method) Its usually a discount off the regular fare (thats the fare with the most flexibility) I always check all options before purchase, sometimes the web special is cheaper sometimes the standard rate is cheaper and works the best if you need flexibility. Ive found that SATO often has the highest prices. Usually the more work you have to do the cheaper the fare (for example booking online yourself is usually cheaper as that cuts back on agent workload which equals less agents which equals less payroll)
You just have to remember that an airline, like a hotel or a rental car agency is in business its not a government agency or a charitable organisation, they have to make money (or at least cover their costs) in order to exist. Offering a discount is not necessarily a obligation, its occasionally a courtesy but more often its a business decision in order to continue to operate.

As far as seats, Id say the majority of flights I work we have families seperated. We work hard to move people around (trying hard not to upset any of the parties involved) to accomodate families. Its usually impossible to get 3 seats together but we can usually get at least 2 together. I cant remember the last time it didnt work out. My advise would be to keep checking the website, pick any "good" seats (wrindow, aisle and especially those window and aisles that are towards the front of the plane) even if they arnt together or close to each other. These will be good "trading" seats. Its easy to ask someone in a middle to move to an aisle but an aisle to a middle is definately more challenging. Check in early (both online as soon as you are able and at the airport) Mention your seating concerns to the agents and be at the gate early. Prepare your family for being seperated and be prepared to board later on in the boarding process as the agent needs to work his/her magic.
Good luck

03-22-2012, 06:01 PM
Alaska8- thanks for the tips/info! :) I will put it to good use.:thumbsup2

03-23-2012, 09:49 AM
Now, when you show up at Delta please don't start this "YOU TRICKED ME" rant you have going on here.

You get much farther with airline employees and other passengers being NICE. If everyone sees you 'ranting" their "sympathy" level goes down to zero and they are much less likely to move to help you!