Northwest Airlines told me I would have to pay $10/per person/each way if I wanted assigned seats ah


Mar 3, 2000
We have tickets on Northwest Airlines through Priceline. When I called to ask about seats, they said it would be $10/per person/each way to assign seats. The agent said our flights are very full and if we show up 90 minutes ahead of time, we might get seats together. Or we could pay $80 for our group of 4. I am travelling with children and the Northwest agent said it made no difference. Are you aware of this policy? It appalls me.



First I've heard of this. While the airlines are not required to give advance seat assignments to Priceline-ticketed passengers, it certainly doesn't sound right to me that if they do that they could charge for this. My suggestion would be to call back and see if you are told the same thing by another agent. It's possible, though, that your record has now been documented that you were told this and another agent will not tell you anything different, but it certainly can't hurt to try. Let us know.

I'm going to put up a post on the Priceline bidding forum I host and see if anyone else has had a similar experience. I'll update here if I learn of any.
Definitely call Northwest again. That sounds unreasonable to me.

I have a Priceline ticket on US Airways, so after reading this I called to ask about seat assignments. The airline had already assigned seats to me (great window seats that I knew nothing about!), so I was able to confirm them using the phone's keypad. Now if only the airline would change their flight times so I'll have a better schedule!
Part of the problem is that you (like us) need to depart from a NW hub city. I would call again though, just to make sure. Don't you just love the on-line check in they have? It ALMOST makes it worth the higher prices we have to pay in a hub city! I love getting my boarding pass from my computer and then just walking to the gate when I get to the airport. Curb check in for luggage is always faster than waiting in the ticket check in inside! :)


I called Northwest again and was told that they changed their policy 2 weeks ago. Previously, Priceline customers could never get assigned seats. She implied that I was a lower-class of passenger and I shouldn't expect any frills. I'm not kidding. I asked if Travelocity or Expedia had to pay to get assigned seats and she said no, just Priceline. I was totally pleasant and she was very derogatory. It was really shocking.

So I called Priceline and told them that Northwest had changed their policy and only Priceline customers had to pay extra for assigned seats. He said he would pass that along to his supervisor.

I won't use Priceline again for travel with children.



Disneydiane, I don't think she is flying out of a NW hub city. Mufreesboro is outside of Nashville. Memphis is NW's hub.

In fact, fares can be quite low between both Nashville and Memphis to Orlando. Nashville-Orlando is served non-stop by two lowfare carriers, Southwest and Delta Express.

Memphis-Orlando is served by Airtran with a connection in Atlanta. Northwest usually (but not always) matches those fares.
Hi Mary

It is appalling.
Northworst has some nerve.

Don't pay it and DO show up early. I'm certain the ticketing agent who gives you your boarding pass will get you seated with your children.
(I wouldn't tell the ticketing agent that you booked thru priceline, just be pleasant and ask if she can get you seated with your children.)

If they can't make it happen at check-in time, then you can be sure there will be some kindhearted people on the plane who will swap seats so you can sit with the kids.

Good luck and try not to worry---don't let them bully you into paying more for something that should be rightfully yours!

I agree. I think this policy is deplorable. I've now posted it on my Priceline board as well as on the newsgroup I know that the newsgroup is read by NW employees.

I think you should email this discussion to Northwest Customer Service.
We just got back from Disney and our family of 6 flew from Kansas City to Orlando with a connection in Memphis. I actually didn't even think to get seating assignments ahead of time since we used Priceline. We just showed up early and they seated us all together. The flights between Kansas City and Memphis were only about 1/2 full but Memphis to/from Orlando was booked solid and we still had no problem.


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Thanks guys. :) I'm glad I'm not the only one who was surprised. I'm staying at a hotel through Priceline soon -- will I get the one that stinks? :D

My flights are into Ft. Lauderdale for President's Weekend. Northwest said they were full. :( Our departure is 6:35am so arriving 90 minutes early with 3 kids will be no treat.

I'm really hoping they don't wait until 10 minutes before departure to assign seats. That happened recently to us on an overbooked flight with TWA. People were already boarding before we got our seat assignments. My kids were scared.

I will let Northwest and Priceline know that I think this is unfair.



OK, do you think this intentional? I received an email today from Priceline offering to add $25 to any airline bid I wished to make. It looked like the kind of thing that comes periodically. Did someone think this was funny?



Purely coincidental. It was a general mailout. I received the same thing at both of my email addresses I've used for Priceline bidding.
We traveled to WDW in September, DH, myself and DD who is disabled and can't walk. We could not get preassigned seats because we were using frequent flier points. The gate agent was able to get 2 of us sitting together, but on a flight to Orlando and back with a stop (??Atlanta?? I don't remember), we were all sitting together only once. On one leg, there were 3 seats that were blocked on the computer, the agent asked a supervisors permission to unblock them for us and before she could get us all put in the computer, someone had taken one of those seats. She got me an aisle seat about 3 rows back and said someone would probably agree to trade. If I had not had an aisle seat, that woman would not have traded with me. There were other people in the same predicament who could not get anyone to trade with them. The gate agent and flight attendants told us that if you can't all get together, you have a better chance of someone trading with you if you have an aisle seat. Good luck.$

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES
Southwest and Spirit airlines do not assign seats in advance. Why should Northwest? If you want a seat assignment then pay for it.

Neither Southwest nor Spirit is a full service airline. Priceline uses only full service airlines. You're not comparing apples to apples.
And we "paid" for our seats on Northwest with frequent flier points that we got (every one of them) by traveling on Northwest in past trips.h

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES
I'm travelling on NWA next week on FF miles. I had no problem getting assigned seats. (Although they weren't together.) One phone call to NWA and I picked two that were together, with no problem whatsoever.

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This also applies to tickets bought thru Hot Wire.I called NWA today and the CSR told me I could pick up my seat assignments 24hrs prior to departure at the airport. This is convenient for me since I go by there everyday. They also told me how many seats were still available on the legs of my trip so I could get an idea if they had overbooked the flights and possibly make me subject to bumping. I guess thats the gamble we take when buying cheap tickets.
Hi Mary!

I would call again and see what someone else has to say. We used Priceline this past June. There were 5 of us and we had our seating assignments months before our flight. We flew US Air...Baltimore-Charlotte then Charlotte to Orlando and the same on the return flight. We were together each part of the way except one. The airline was very helpful to at least get us somewhat together on that one. (3 and 2)

I don't think I would use Priceline again..I think it is too much of a gamble with flight times. We have used them twice, once to Orlando and one to Salt Lake City. We were never treated any different on either trip though. I do think we lucked out with the times though!!



I'm sorry if i'm in the minority here, but I think the $10 fee is perfectly acceptable and fair. Rates from any place during that time are going for $350 round trip to Orlando. I'm guessing that you got a much better rate than that. It all comes down to this...if you want Northwest to allow some better rates to be available so that you can purchase tickets at a much more reasonable rate, then you are going to have to pay for any additional services. $10 is hardly robbery, and is quite fair if you want to gurantee assigned seats if you purchased discounted tickets from an outlet. When you compare the price you paid plus the extra $10, as opposed to the normal rack rate for the same tickets purchased directly through NWA, you still probably have a great deal and it's definitely not something to lose any sleep over. Granted, though, it would have been nice if Northwest or Priceline had let you know about this policy when making your original reservations so there would be no surprises.
Also remember, where you purchase your tickets is where you have paid for customer service. Since you didn't buy your tickets from NWA, their customer service deparment for reservations are under no obligation to even accept your calls. Priceline's customer service is the only place you can deal with. This maybe how NWA justifies the $10 charge. At least that's the way a travel agent explained it to me.


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