We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Delta seat assignment

Des Moines, Iowa
posts: 5
reviews: 5
Delta seat assignment

We have purchased tickets in advance on Delta only to find our seats will be assigned at the gate. Even with early arrivals to the gate, we do not get assigned! This is so frustrating and adds unnessisary anxiety to travel. I am going to look into ANY alternative to using Delta. When we asked why this was happening the gate attendant couldn't say, just that we were to watch and see when we made the "cleared" list on the monitor. It wasn't until we were actually boarding the plane that we were given seats. I've done this with Southwest but there you knew it ahead of time and the tickets were much more reasonable. Shame on you Delta.

52 replies to this topic
Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 39,446
reviews: 49
1. Re: Delta seat assignment

There's no shame involved. They didn't have seats available when you purchased your ticket. They hold some back at the gate for a variety of reasons. Like all airlines do.

So you purchased a ticket, and they put you on a plane and got you to your destination. That's the way it works. If that's not a good resolution for you, I'm not sure what to recommend. Would you have preferred they double booked the seats and let you fight it out with the other passenger assigned to the same seat once you boarded?

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
posts: 13,203
reviews: 216
2. Re: Delta seat assignment

My daughter flies Delta four or five times a year to visit us. She generally is not able to purchase tickets far in advance due to her work schedule, and she does not have status to permit her to select seats in Economy Plus. Accordingly, she always has to receive her seat assignments at the gate. I appreciate the frustration. They have a little boy and their only goal is to try and get two seats together so that their son does not have to sit between two strangers.

As the previous poster indicated, this is common with all airlines. I make lots of plane reservations for an older daughter who travel extensively for business. She always books at the last minute, and it is rare when I am able to select a seat for her. She never flies on Delta as her loyalty program is with another airline. They have identical seat selection and boarding policies.

If I arrive at my destination within a reasonable amount of time, and my luggage arrives with me I consider my flight to be successful. I never purchase a ticket with the expectation that I will have a guaranteed seat assignment.

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 20,622
3. Re: Delta seat assignment

Were you unable to select seats when you purchased? Your other post makes it sound like you waited until check-in to try to select seats.

Edited: 2:33 am, July 10, 2013
Des Moines, Iowa
posts: 5
reviews: 5
4. Re: Delta seat assignment

I would prefer they state all seats will be assigned at the gate or assign seats within 24 hrs.

Des Moines, Iowa
posts: 5
reviews: 5
5. Re: Delta seat assignment

When we try to select seats at time of purchase it says seats will be assigned at the gate

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 39,446
reviews: 49
6. Re: Delta seat assignment

And then they were! So....that's done, and they got you to your destination. Usually when you see that message it simply means they don't have any more pre-assigned seats to assign.

Of course when you see that message you're free to stop the purchase and book with another airline, too.

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
posts: 8,759
reviews: 39
7. Re: Delta seat assignment

Being in Detroit (major hub of Delta) I fly them almose exclusivly. The only time seats are not shown as available is when everything but the seats they hold back for premium fliers are all taken. This typically happens when you book close to when you are leaving or near a holiday.

They do overbook (not often) but generally there are seats when you get to the gate and lucky you, most were meant for premium passingers so you might get an exit row, economy comfort, front of coach or even the golden ride, first class (have only seen that once).

Edited: 11:22 am, July 10, 2013
Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
posts: 8,759
reviews: 39
8. Re: Delta seat assignment

Forgot to mention, they have a new lowest fare class, "E" I think that does not allow you to preselect your seats. Sort of like the old standby fares.

kentucky
posts: 4,422
reviews: 40
9. Re: Delta seat assignment

OP writes, "we". That may be a factor, as well. How many would "we" be?

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 20,622
10. Re: Delta seat assignment

Yeah, it sounds like you booked at the last minute? Normally you get to select seats for free at time of purchase, unless it's a late booking. BUT: you can always see what seats are available BEFORE you book, if you don't want to book a flight without knowing that you'll have pre-assigned seats. If knowing where you'll be sitting is that important to you, check first. (I travel with a baby, so I always check before I book to make sure there are two or three seats available together in a row that's appropriate for the carseat.)

Reply to: Delta seat assignment
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted