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Us air- preferred seat rip-off

Rehoboth Beach...
posts: 2
Us air- preferred seat rip-off

After a recent bad experience where I had purchased a "preferred seat" (in the front of the coach section) only to have the empty preferred seats be taken by a group of thugs who liked those seats better than their assigned seats, I have confirmed that US Air, considers these seats as fair game to passengers whether you paid. " premium" or not.

Some class action attorneys ought to look into this rip-0ff of what is not a preferred seating area at all and stop this farce.

posts: 1,397
reviews: 1
1. Re: Us air- preferred seat rip-off

Did you mention this to the FAs or did you just start to fantasize about lawsuit jackpots?

Rehoboth Beach...
posts: 2
2. Re: Us air- preferred seat rip-off

This policy has been confirmed to me by their executive offices, after multiple inquiries, I'm not looking for anything, but the only way to stop these practices is through their pocketbook. All I can do is stop flying US Air. , which I have done.

The windfall is for us air collecting $35 per seat for a "preferred section" that there own policies don't recognize even exists.

posts: 1,706
reviews: 167
3. Re: Us air- preferred seat rip-off

What was the rip-off?

You chose to pay for a specific seat, which you got.

If others move into empty seats once airborne, well this happens.

I don't see your gripe, unless it is resentment that others got seats in the row without paying while you got the seat you wanted and had to pay.

posts: 1,397
reviews: 1
4. Re: Us air- preferred seat rip-off

Okay, I'll ask again. Did you try to get an FA to enforce your seat assignment? If not, then how is US supposed to protect your purchase?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 46,292
reviews: 14
5. Re: Us air- preferred seat rip-off

Did the other passengers hold boarding passes for the Preferred seats, or did they make unilateral moves from their assigned seats to those nearer the front of Economy? If the latter, did crew suggest they take the seats shown on their boarding passes?

Were they loud and obstructive during boarding and / or the flight?

Liverpool, UK
posts: 9,671
reviews: 14
6. Re: Us air- preferred seat rip-off

"empty preferred seats be taken by a group of thugs who liked those seats better than their assigned seats"

Exactly what behaviour leads you to call them a group og thugs other than them moving from their assigned seats.

As far as I'm aware from the US Air website the "choice seats" can be assigned free at check in to other passengers - the payment which is not mandatory but simply guarantees that seating.

Yet another incorrect description of the term "rip off".

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 16,153
reviews: 5
7. Re: Us air- preferred seat rip-off

It's not a rip off, assuming you got the seat you paid for.

The question is whether the other pax freely wandered from their assigned - non paid for - seats into the preferred section, or whether they were given those seats bu US at check in or boarding. If the latter, that can happen sometimes if preferreds are the only remaining seats.

However, if US did allow other passengers to freely roam from their assigned - non paid for - seats into the preferred section, then I don't like that policy (and it wouldn't make business sense for US). I don't actually like US's policy anyway, as (apart from exit rows) aside from the location those seats don't have any tangible benefit, such as United's E+ or Delta's EC.

And with United, they don't let pax freely roam from Y to E+ without paying, although they do take payments on the flight.

Dallas, Texas...
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 10,091
reviews: 13
8. Re: Us air- preferred seat rip-off

Were you under the impression that preferred seats remain empty unless someone pays extra? Or under the impression that only non-thuggy classy people can sit near you if you shell out a few dollars for a preferred seat?

You wanted a particular seat, paid for it and got it. You could have taken your chances that you could move to the same seat if it had been empty, or tried to switch to one 24 hours before the flight, but you wanted the guarantee that you would have that seat. That is what you got.

Read the USAir FAQ about preferred seats and it states quite clearly that others can sit in preferred seats. usairways.com/en-US/…preferredseatsfaqs.html

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 33,205
reviews: 76
9. Re: Us air- preferred seat rip-off

Class-action attorneys? Do you work in the legal fields? As everyday consumers, chances of you getting any meaningful money from a class-action suit is remote to none. The attorneys win but everybody else loses, which drives up everybody's airfare cost in the long run.

As long as you got the seat you paid for, the airline is free to assign any open seats to other passengers. Remember you did not pay for the seat next to you so you have no rights to decide who might sit there. A good analogy is where you live and who your neighbors might be. You might not like them but you will have no way of deciding who your neighbors are unless you buy their house.

Manchester, UK
posts: 1
reviews: 3
10. Re: Us air- preferred seat rip-off

I think the reaction to the original user's post is a little harsh here.

One could argue that at $35 per seat per leg, (now $45), the passenger had paid to enhance their experience on the flight, which was ruined by the policy of US Airways.

I'm inclined to agree that entire value of the paid for seats reduces significantly if anyone can hop into them. You would not be allowed to change seats into the next class up. The class is divided by money and service. The same as the choice seats. More money, closer to the front, easier to get off etc.

I believe the user is more than entitled to this opinion. Airlines do upgrade to allow access in lower cabins, but generally they upgrade carefully, factoring in frequent flyer status, pax configurations and even dress code. They do (or should) not want customers who have opted to pay extra, to have a bad time for doing so.

I fly with US airways occasionally but generally only when there isn't an alternative. I find their add-on policies to be very expensive between seats and bags. For a 2 leg return flight as 2 passengers, we pay $292 just to sit together. Bags at $25 each I can live with but it adds up. The extras are over $300. It's often cheaper to fly on another airline even though the actual tickets are more expensive.

And like the original poster, I do protest with my wallet, on a weekly basis.