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Airline seat-allocation policies

General Transport Discussion not specific to one state

Airline seat-allocation policies

Postby Roderick Smith » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:51 am


Jul 11 2017 Airlines splitting up families on flights: When seat reservations are not honoured .
Far less can go wrong when family members sit together on a long flight – so why are airlines courting disaster? Photo: iStock .
When is a reservation not a reservation? When you're flying with your family on almost any domestic or international flight.
Recently, a passenger named Matthew Absalom-Wong, a Fairfax employee, paid extra to select seats for his family of five on a Jetstar flight to Auckland, only to discover upon boarding that he and his three-year-old were in the second back row, while his wife, six-year-old and nine-year-old were up the front.
"The flight crew were lovely enough, saying it was absurd to split families," he says. "It's pretty hard sharing an iPad across 27 rows."
Days later, his wife received a call from Customer Service. "They said if we'd read the fine print, we would have realised reserving seats was different from guaranteeing seats and there wasn't any refund to be had," Matt says.
The airline eventually relented and sent them a flight voucher.
But Matt is one of many. Caroline was told to pay extra to be next to her two-year-old daughter after they were allocated seats 23F and 18C. And earlier this year, a family was kicked off a Jetstar flight from Bali to Adelaide for refusing to take their seats in different parts of the plane.
Then there were the parents whose three-year-old was seated separately on a Ryanair flight from Portugal to Liverpool; the mother whose toddler was 18 rows back on United Airlines; and the man who couldn't be with his four-year-old on Delta on a long-planned father-daughter trip.
Airlines sell premium seats – usually windows or aisles – at an additional charge, leaving children scattered throughout the middle seats. Imagine being the poor chump next to a crying child, who can't see their parents?
Now some airlines are rescinding the practice, after an outcry from passengers.
Last year, Air Canada dropped a $40 levy – dubbed "ransom money" – charged to parents for the privilege of sitting with their children. And the FAA reauthorisation bill, recently passed by the US Senate, requires children under the age of 13 to be "in a seat adjacent to the seat of an accompanying family member over the age of 13" at no additional cost.
"Families represent one of the largest economic drivers of the travel industry," Rainer Jenss, founder of the Family Travel Association, says, "so ensuring their satisfaction isn't just the right thing to do. It makes economic sense."
But it shouldn't be confined to children. How about someone travelling with an autistic adult, or a parent suffering from dementia? What are the implications for safety, in the case of an emergency? And would parents ignore evacuation procedures in desperate attempts to be with their children?
Matt has salient advice, after speaking with Jetstar staff at the gate.
"They told us it's better to check in early and NOT pre-book your seats," he says. "Odd advice from a company making coin from add-ons."
Jetstar acknowledges it was "wrong" and blames "human error".
"On those rare occasions due to weight and balance, seat availability, et cetera, when we can't sit a whole family together, we will always ensure a child is seated with at least one parent," an airline spokesperson says. He recommends being on the same booking reference, with pre-purchased specific seating.
Still, there are no guarantees when dealing with airlines which routinely split up families to make a quick buck.
See also: The secret button on a plane seat that gives you extra space
See also: 15 of the weirdest airline rules for flying
www.traveller.com.au/no-seats-together- ... ing-gvm1ch
Roderick Smith
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Re: Airline seat-allocation policies

Postby captainch » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:24 pm

I Recentlly travelled from Townsville to Sydney & return paid extra for front seats with Jetstar on booking in my seat showed 1A on both trips on boarding the Jetstar light was being taken to the rear of plane on asking why my ticket stated seat 1A was told a V.I.P needed my seat I told them my ticket was booked & paid or 3 months ago & I called the night before to make sure it was still the same & was told yes.SO I imformed them I WAS NOT going to sit in the back after paying over $650 return. So they told me I I let the plane I would loose my tickets & no refund, On leaving plane saw the Jetstar airport manager told them was going to local t.v news,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Half a hour latter was put on a Qantas flight in the seat I wanted & given $400 reund on my card & a free return flight! never use Jetstar again! :roll: :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: Airline seat sizes & spacing

Postby Roderick Smith » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:23 am

July 29 2017 'Incredible shrinking airline seat' gets rebuke from US court .
If you think someone should do something about the cramped legroom on airplanes, you've got a friend in a US federal court.
The US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, on Friday ordered aviation regulators to consider setting minimum standards for the space airlines give passengers.
The space between seats in planes has been steadily shrinking over recent years. Photo: Kumar Sriskandan / Alamy Stock Photo.
"This is the Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat," Judge Patricia Ann Millett wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel. "As many have no doubt noticed, aircraft seats and the spacing between them have been getting smaller and smaller, while American passengers have been growing in size."
The court found in favour of Flyers Rights, a nonprofit advocacy group, which had argued that steadily shrinking legroom and seat size created a safety hazard and the Federal Aviation Administration should impose new restrictions.
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The issue of airline passenger legroom has boiled over this year as some carriers said they plan to add more seats to planes.
American Airlines in May announced it would shrink the space between most rows to 76 centimetres on its newest Boeing 737 Max jetliners, while later dropping a move to cut the distance in some rows to 74 centimetres in the face of criticism from employees and customers.
Flyers Rights argued that the average seat width has narrowed from approximately 47 centimetres in the early-2000s to 43 centimetres in the early-to-mid-2010s.
In recent decades, the distance between seat rows, known as "seat pitch," has gone from an average of 89 centimetres to 79 centimetres, and as low as 71 centimetres at some airlines, the group said in the suit.
While the FAA has contended its standards for safely evacuating an aircraft are adequate, US politicians have grilled members of the administration and airline executives on the issue at several hearings this year, and some have drafted legislation to address the issue.
The court said the FAA had used "off-point" studies and "undisclosed tests using unknown parameters" to justify its initial refusal to review the rules. "That type of vaporous record will not do," the court said.
The combination of less legroom and larger passengers has created a safety hazard, Flyers Rights argued, making it more difficult to exit a plane in an emergency and heightening the risk of deep vein thrombosis, a potentially fatal condition of blood clots in the legs that has been associated with longer flights.
"We're really gratified," Paul Hudson, president of Flyers Rights, said in an interview. "We hope the FAA will now take it up as a proper rulemaking."
Airlines for America, a trade group for the large US carriers, said in an email it was not involved in the suit and referred to FAA for comment.
Evacuation tests
The FAA said in an emailed statement that the agency "does consider seat pitch in testing and assessing the safe evacuation of commercial, passenger aircraft. We are studying the ruling carefully and any potential actions we may take to address the court's findings."
The long-term impact of the court rules remains unclear. It stopped short of ordering FAA to create new rules, so the agency could conduct a review and decide not to act.
In a statement last May, the agency said it had already conducted evacuation tests on the smaller seat configurations to ensure they are safe. The agency has no rules on seat width or the distance between rows, relying instead on the evacuation standards.
After American's initial announcement it was shortening the distance between seats, the agency said Boeing in 1998 successfully performed evacuation tests on the 737-400 with seats spaced 71 and 74 centimetres apart. As a result, the agency had certified up to 189 passengers aboard the 737 Max that American is buying.
Maximum capacity
Even as emergency evacuations have become significantly safer in recent decades, a debate continues to rage on how US and other leading aviation regulators around the world certify the maximum number of passengers allowed on an airliner.
In part because full-scale evacuation tests have resulted in serious injuries, the FAA and other agencies have in some cases allowed manufacturers to substitute computer simulation and more limited tests.
US regulations require that Boeing, Airbus and other manufacturers prove that a fully loaded plane can be evacuated within 90 seconds with half the exits blocked and in low lighting conditions.
Hudson, who has served on various FAA advisory panels in recent decades, has argued that the FAA's requirements aren't adequate to protect safety.
Hudson's group initially filed a petition to FAA in August 2015, asking the agency to create rules on seat size and spacing. The agency turned it down in February last year.
In its response to the suit, the FAA cited earlier evacuation studies on seat rows placed as close as 71 centimetres apart to argue existing rules were adequate to protect safety. However, the agency declined to release those studies to Flyers Rights or to the court, arguing they contained proprietary information from manufacturers.
"The problem here is that the administration has given no reasoned explanation for withholding the tests in their entirety, and it has declined to file them under seal or in redacted form," Judge Millet said in the ruling.
If it decides to deny Flyers Rights's petition again, "the administration must provide appropriate record support for its decision." Millet said.
Bloomberg www.theage.com.au/business/aviation/inc ... xl9h9.html
* While timely emergency evacuations are very important, the shrinking legroom means I can no longer fit in many economy seats - yes I am tall but even slightly not over weight.
I'm curious - what are my rights if I turn up for a flight but cannot fit in the allocated seat?
For most flights, I now reluctantly use the budget carriers and pay extra for an exit seat with more legroom. Unfortunately many of the full service airlines eg Qantas will not allow exit row seat selection at time booking, so i no longer use them unless i am flying premium economy.
* I recently flew the new United Boeing 789 across the pacific and back with 32\17 inch pitch\width and it was reasonably comfortable. Even when the pax in front reclined it was passable due to a new reclining action.
BUT I wouldn't want it any tighter. Am 110kg and 183cm
* Finally! This is a safety issue and should be treated as one, not just another way for big corporations to increase their profits by treating us like animals. It rarely affects me any more as I pay the extra and get a decent seat but I do feel sorry for the cattle and I do hear the kids and babies screaming from their tiny little boxed in spaces.
* Well done Flyers Rights and the US Court of Appeals. For too long all the airlines have been taking us for a ride, literally.
* that's easy. Larger passengers can avoid the cheaper airlines with cramped space and fly with those airlines who have big seats (and charge as such).
In reality airlines should all have plenty of space but would need to cover the costs of the seats they can't have. That could be done by charging by passenger scale weight. Freight is charged by weight for everything else
* Too right.
It is standard business practice to shrink the amount of product whilst keeping the same packaging.
Toilet paper, chocolate, chewing gum...most everything.
How dare they try and fit more in.
* I am 201 cm and 115 Kg and I work FIFO. I used to get exit rows, but now the airlines sell the seats - they put a price on safety. As part of my role we train for helicopter underwater escape. Also, firefighting and rescue. But if you pay, then you’re first. My employer won't pay, they are normal sized and don't appreciate the "I just don't fit", part of the equation. Airline staff are generally very helpful and do their best, but bean counters get people fired. So, would I support regulated seat distance - already regulated for Exit Rows? Yes, I would! And, not just for me. No one want’s to sit beside someone who can't help but take the arms rests (both). Will the government choose people before corporate profits - they haven't done it yet...
* Seat pitch does not provide an accurate measure of legroom. It all depends on seat design.
& seat width has not changed at all on narrowbodied aircraft such as modt of worlds fleet of boeing 737/757s & airbus a318/319/320/321
* Why don't they have horizontal capsules like the capsule hotels in Japan so you can just have a proper snooze instead of having a little screen in front of your nose and people bothering you all the time.
* the much talked about saddle seats for short haul flights, increases legroom enormously without touching the seat pitch.
* I doubt it'll ever happen here but it should. Leg room on domestic flights in particular in Australia is pathetic. It's incredibly uncomfortable.
* Are you listening, JetStar?
* It should be part of basic consumer law that the seat pitch be advertised when a flight is being purchased. A traveler has a basic right to know the size of the seat and leg room when purchasing a ticket. It is time for the Government to legislate this as the airline industry total focus is on yield not passenger comfort. I now won't fly unless the seat pitch is a minimum of 79cm, which means I avoid all Qantas flights where they operated a 737 where the seat pitch is generally 76cm. It is time to set up a flyers action group in Australia.
* I would love to be able to see the composition of the passenger group they use to conduct those evacuation tests. I strongly doubt they are representative of the general travelling public. The disabled, elderly, less mobile, overweight and just scared would be missing and replaced with uniform group, all mobile and all briefed and probably experienced in what was required.
* The court may well do something about seat pitch and width, but only the American customer can reverse the passenger size issue.
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