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American Airlines -booking seats

London, United...
posts: 169
reviews: 29
American Airlines -booking seats

Hi all,

I booked a multi destination trip through travelbag who released my flight info today.

I logged on to AA and managed to book my seats for most trips, however when trying to book seats for Austin to NYC (22nd dec) all regular seats were unavailable.

Does this mean I have to book a paid one? They have preferred and cabin extra available.

Surely this isn't right?

19 replies to this topic
Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 33,750
reviews: 49
1. Re: American Airlines -booking seats

It might be. It's possible that all of the "regular" seats are taken. American, like all airlines, holds some seats back for gate assignment. I can easily see the available seats being taken 3 weeks in advance for flights around Christmas.

London, United...
posts: 169
reviews: 29
2. Re: American Airlines -booking seats

So I would have to pay extra to get seats? Or can I just wait until the gate to get allocated regular seats?

My other flights (all within a week of each other) all had regular seats available.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 41,612
reviews: 57
3. Re: American Airlines -booking seats

Usually here in the USA folks buy tix and pick their seats at the same time. It is possible that many people have already booked this flight and it is very full! I have never heard of "travelbag" so not sure what you saved booking with them instead of with American Airlines directly where you would have been able to see available seats at the time of your booking.

I suppose you can try calling and it is also possible that more seats become available as time gets closer but if it were MY trip I'd book one of the pay extra seats to make sure I have one and don't get bumped off the flight from it being too full!

London, United...
posts: 169
reviews: 29
4. Re: American Airlines -booking seats

Thank you Riff, I think I will call them.

I booked with Travelbag (a uk company) as it saved my quite a big chunk to when I priced flights and hotels separately.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 41,612
reviews: 57
5. Re: American Airlines -booking seats

Thanks for explaining. It does sometimes save money when you buy the tix and hotel together! I always worry about changes in air schedules and so don't like to use middle men to book my flights. Everyone travels differently!! Hope you have a great visit!

London, United...
posts: 169
reviews: 29
6. Re: American Airlines -booking seats

Thank you! Really looking forward to visiting USA.

Will call AA tomorrow.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 8,971
reviews: 14
7. Re: American Airlines -booking seats

I had a similar situation a few years ago and it was due to the flight being overbooked which is quite common with US domestic flights (any airline) - it was a case of waiting at the gate whilst they sorted it out although we couldn't get seats together.

Madrid
posts: 2,618
reviews: 7
8. Re: American Airlines -booking seats

If all the regular coach seats are taken with AA,you can book a Main cabin extra seat for no charge.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 5,143
reviews: 75
9. Re: American Airlines -booking seats

Usually if all the seats are taken, you have to show up at the gate and they will assign you a seat. They hold seats back and will assign them out to everyone that does not have a seat assignment at the gate. It is possible you'll be bumped, but most of the time they have extra seats and if they don't, they find volunteers to be bumped. If there's no seats for you to select, it does mean this is a little more likely to happen than if there were seats left.

I do not think they will give you the main cabin extra seat at no charge ahead of time, although I've never tried it. If that's all that's left, they may assign you a main cabin extra seat at no charge at the gate. But more likely they won't.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 32,383
reviews: 77
10. Re: American Airlines -booking seats

As far as I know, AA allocates a certain number of seats for online selection. They then hold back the rest for check-in counter/gate assignment. It doesn't necessarily that you will be bumped. Keep checking frequently to see if a seat opens up. Also, remember to use online check-in prior to going to the airport. You still might not get a seat but AA will at least know you intend to fly so they likely won't bump you.

I don't know if they let you book MCE seats for free if the regular seats are filled (I have Oneworld status so MCE is always free for me). At the gate, they won't charge you extra though should they need to put you in a MCE seat.

Well, I have got 5 AA flights coming up next week myself. That should be enjoyable...

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