The Travel Factory Blog
Picking Seats On Airplanes
One of the more challenging tasks that a travel agent has is helping a client pick just the right seat on an airplane. That has proven to be more challenging since most of the airlines have gone to several tier pricing in the coach class section.
They have started putting additional collection premiums for aisle seats and window seats, as well as the exit row and bulkhead seats. Depending on the airline's policy, about the last 6-8 rows of the airline these seats do not cost extra. And those folks in those seats are the last to board the airline, so the overhead storage bins are generally full.
This practice over the past few years has put millions of dollars in the airline's pockets, and as a result, it is a practice that will continue......just like charging for luggage.
So....we do the best we can at the time the reservations are made.
Generally the last row of an aircraft are the least desirable because they don't recline, and most of the time they are near the lavatory and that means that there is generally a lot of traffic in the aisle and sometimes an unsavory smell during the flight.
Most folks don't like the middle seats because of the uncertainty of whose arm rests belong to whom, plus you are typically interrupted when the person in the window seat needs to go to the restroom, or just wants to walk around.
Some folks like the exit row or bulkhead seats because they offer more leg room space. But.... there is no storage under the seat in front of you. In addition, those are the seats and sections that the airlines like to seat parents with their babies or young children. Another objection to the exit row seat is that this area is generally a lot cooler than the rest of the cabin.
Another frustrating action is that it really makes no difference what all you have done to get just the “right” seat, the airline substitutes another airplane with a different seat configuration, and they have moved you to a seat that is totally unsatisfactory. Sometimes the traveler finds out about this change in equipment, sometimes they don't find out about it until they check in at the counter.
It is also important that one does not show up late because about 15 minutes before the flight, and you have not checked in, then they will assume that you are a “no show” and give your precious seat to someone else. To avoid this, you can check in with the airline on-line up to 24 hours in advance of the flight, or be sure that you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to be able to check in at the departure counter in a timely manner. That's one of the reasons we always encourage our clients to be at the airport at least 2 hours before departure. I'd rather be waiting at the departure gate reading the newspaper or a book than having to rush, rush, hurriedly through security and get to the gate when the last person in line is just checking in.
The professional and experienced travel agents at The Travel Factory will help you with all our might to select the very best seat that is available at the time of reservation, so give us a chance to make that a good seat by planning ahead; the earlier the better. We can be reached at 698-1421 or drop in for a face to face visit at 4150 Southwest Drive between Rosa's and Chick-Fil-A. It's our absolute pleasure to serve your travel needs.