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First Choice Premier Warning...

London, United...
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66 posts
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First Choice Premier Warning...

We are flying to the Maldives this weekend and a couple of weeks ago we upgraded our flights to premium as the cost had dropped down considerably.

We are booked to a 'Premier' resort and had group seating included as part of our package.

I'm quite a nervy flyer and when I called and upgraded I was advised that seating was allocated on a first come @ check-in basis, and it would be worth our while doing 'day before check-in' at Gatwick so we could have the pick of the seats. Obviously as we have group seating included I was told that we would be sat together in most circumstances. So this Saturday we were going to do the 80 mile round trip to Gatwick to ensure this was sorted.

However, I just called First Choice to book day before check-in, and I have now been advised that because we upgraded we have lost our group seating, something I wasn't told when we upgraded, and that again, contrary to what I was told seating is allocated 4-5 days in advance and irrelevant of when you check-in we could be separated, be it the day before or the hour before.

I was also told that seats are allocated on a first booking first served basis, so whoever upgraded first will be seated first, and that as we only upgraded two weeks ago we're probably near the bottom of the list and could be stuck at separate ends of the Premier section, even though we booked the actual holiday 6 months ago.

Had we realised this I don't think we would have upgraded, as however better the standard in Premier, I can't think of anything worse than an 11 hour flight separated from my partner.

I thought I'd post about this as 1. I really need to rant but can't as I'm sat at my desk, and 2. so that others realise the consequences of upgrading seats close to departure date. Even if you booked the holiday a year ago, it is irrelevant.

Has anyone else found themselves in this situation, and do you know how likely it is that we could be split up? First Choice said that Premier on our flight is fully booked, so there will be no room for manouver with our seats.



Dorset, United...
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1,371 posts
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21. Re: First Choice Premier Warning...

I must say this seems to be a very recent phenomenon - we've never even been THREATENED with being separated on a flight anywhere. I think it's a case of one airline making a charge to guarantee you sit together and others thinking that was a bit of a money-maker so they start doing it. I think they make a point of splitting up people who haven't paid extra so that they WILL pay extra next time to avoid it.

Monarch and the other upgrades on charters to Maldives (with the exception of Caledonian which was really almost proper business class) we have been on (not recently though) have had two seats allocated to a couple on a row of 3, with the extra seat left empty so you could spread out and not have stuff under your feet.. Since MOST people going to the Maldives travel in pairs this worked out fine. The non-charter flights we have been on to the Maldives have not been problematical either - we have just turned up early on the way out and have been lucky with our transfer times on the way back, or have pre-booked our seat numbers. I'd be really pi***d off if we were separated for 11 hours - we do that nearly every day but we don't expect to do it on holiday when we're paying for the privilege of spending time together! The flight CAN be part of the holiday if you enjoy flying (and get on with your travelling companion!) but not if you're sitting with a stranger, especially if you're nervous. I wouldn't do the trip in one go anyway - it's too long IMO - I'd rather break it in the middle and if separated on the plane at least you'd get a chance to see each other half way!

I think it's it's definitely a money-making scheme, like starting to charge for meals, or charge skiers carriage for their skis a few years ago, when they never had before. I bet if they tried they could seat almost everyone together, although obviously not EVERYone could be window and the one next to it. I'd rather sit in the middle of the plane than be separated but, especially going to the Maldives I'd like to have a window seat too. It's an opportunity, pure and simple.

Hope you get sorted Steph and everything works out fine. Have a great time - at least you may have a starter tan before you go but take it really easy with the sun out there - it's really fierce and you don't want to spoil your holiday.

At least there are no reports of seaweed at Meed (that other place you were going to apparently has seaweed, according to our friend).

Bon Voyage!


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22. Re: First Choice Premier Warning...


Me and my partner are also booked on a premium class flight for our honeymoon in August to Vilamendhoo. Having read the posts I was a bit concerned so I called First Choice. Apparently we have 'group seating' so we are safe and will be seated together. We're flying from Manchester though so not sure if this makes any difference.


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783 posts
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23. Re: First Choice Premier Warning...

As you all know the first choice premium seating plan is 2-3-2. If everybody is couples then its impossible for everybody to sit together if the plane is fully booked.

The real question is if you sit right behind your partner is that classed as sitting together?


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24. Re: First Choice Premier Warning...

Not in my eyes!! I'll certainlly have something to say about it if that's the case!! Fingers crossed it won't be....

25. Re: First Choice Premier Warning...

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