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United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

Nottinghamshire...
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United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

Hi everyone,

I'm sure I am worrying here over nothing, but I'm a very type A traveller so I like to have everything checked, double checked and checked again just for good measure whenever we go away.

I've flown plenty on various airlines and have never come across this issue, although I'm sure it occurs lots and I'm almost certain I already know the answer to my own question.

When we booked our United flights for October (LHR>SFO, EWR>LHR), we selected seats immediately. So type A am I, that the ability to do so is what actually caused us to book with United rather than one of the other carriers flying the route (prices were much of a muchness).

As we're taking a red eye flight home and I struggle sleeping in public, I really wanted to ensure that we were sat together on a 2 seat block sans strangers as I'll need to do 3 hours driving when we arrive back into the UK, so need to have gotten some shut eye en route.

So, I duly reserved our seats.

I just nipped on to my reservation to check that flight times hadn't changed etc (I do this more often than is healthy, I'm sure, but I never seem to get emails about flight changes!) and while they haven't, our seat reservations on the EWR>LHR leg of the trip have disappeared.

No problemo, I think, I'll just re-reserve them, but now no economy seats are showing as available and a Premium Economy seat will set us back $184 each.

Am I right in thinking this has happened because they've oversold economy and as a result have probably removed everyone's seat assignments to be re-assigned at the gate? With frequent flyers being upgraded?

I'm not fussed about being upgraded (we don't have any status), I'm happy to get what I paid for. I'm not even particularly bothered if they bump us to a flight the following day, in fact I wouldn't mind that one bit. I just don't want to be pinned in against a window by a sleeping stranger for 8 hours; the prospect is driving my anxiety wild already.

I've flown without reservations on a number of airlines, who have all sat us together at check in (even once back when Continental was still around when we weren't even on the same booking!) without even being asked. We always arrive in good time to check in, which I assume helps.

Am I being ridiculous worrying about this?!

Thanks TAers, hopefully I don't sound (too) neurotic and this has happened to you all without issue.

36 replies to this topic
Phoenix, Arizona
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1. Re: United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

I also fly UA, and do reserve seats.

While I have not seen, what you describe, there was a glitch on UA's site on Sunday evening (PDT), and all attempts to book, yielded an error.

Monday night, I booked those flights, plus 8 others, with no issues.

I would definitely look again. If things have not changed, I would immediately call, to get this worked out.

Not sure about overselling. UA recently changed a bit of that policy, in the wake of the Dr Dao (and a few others) incident, as did DL, and maybe AA (?).

I have also encountered issues, some years ago, with the UA seat assignment, and the seat map, which showed a sold out airplane, when it was not. I saw it, and so did several agents. Over a week, the display straightened out, but I had my agent make other changes, by that time.

Good luck,

Hunt

Nottinghamshire...
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2. Re: United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

Hi Hunt,

Thanks for your response! Perhaps not as straight forward as I'd assumed then.

I'll have another look tomorrow and then drop them an email if I can't find a UK telephone number.

I did wonder if overbooking might be a risky strategy given the high profile issues recently, but all but 1 economy+ seat is empty which made me suspicious.

On our last United flight, they overbooked economy (Dec 2016) and were asking for volunteers to take the next flight. I would have obliged, but my other half didn't want the hassle as we would have arrived home on Christmas Day instead of Eve as a result (despite the FA repeatedly saying the flight would land on Xmas eve...which it would've US time, but not UK time).

Houston, texas, USA
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3. Re: United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

Sometimes they change aircraft and that results in a seat change. It tends to be temporary and you normally wind up with the same type of seat, window, bulkhead, exit row or what ever you had but a different seat number.

Lewes, United...
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4. Re: United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

I'm no expert on United, but other theories offered on this forum to explain seat reservations disappearing include the aircraft configuration changing or the computer being reloaded with some data missed off.

Either way, or whatever the other reasons might be, I'd be contacting somebody at United, and asking what's happening. Do you have the details of what seats you thought you had reserved? I assume you did book directly with United?

SWT

Nottinghamshire...
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5. Re: United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

Yes, I booked direct.

I have the original confirmation email with states the seat numbers and the aircraft, which is currently showing as the same, looks like the same configuration (particularly as all the other seat classes remain clickable).

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6. Re: United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

There definitely is a UK phone number. You can find it on their website.

San Diego...
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7. Re: United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

You might consider contacting them via social media rather than emailing if you don't locate a UK phone number. I understand responsiveness can sometimes be better/faster that way though I have never personally tried it.

Nottinghamshire...
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8. Re: United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

@GigiLJ, I had thought of that. I don't have a public twitter account due to my work, however, my partner does and it did help when our Aer Lingus flights were cancelled a year or so ago, we had no response to emails but almost immediate response to social media. #6 says there is a phone number on their site so I should be able to call when I finish work if they're still open.

San Diego
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9. Re: United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

Agree that you don't want to e mail them! You need to talk to someone directly.

Just put-United Airlines UK phone number into Google to see it.

Nottinghamshire...
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10. Re: United Seat Reservation Disappeared?

I now have a local, rather than premium, rate number to call them on when I get home.

Interestingly, the receipt for the booking does state in large print that they overbook flights.

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