航班选座位的学问

时间:2018-02-09  来源:未知  作者:苏州青年国际旅行社

  Airline Seats Available for Elite Fliers Only
  When airline customers try to choose seats while purchasing tickets, what they see may not be what they can get.
  Airlines routinely block coach seats for a variety of reasons, reducing the pool of available seats to reserve free of charge in advance when you book a trip.
  On many flights now, 30% to 40% of coach seats are held back by the airline for premium customers, people with special needs or available only for a fee. Facing what look like, but often aren't, high odds of getting a lousy seat at check-in, sitting apart from children or even getting bumped from an overbooked flight, many travelers feel pressured to pay for a reserved seat.
  That pressure has increased as airlines have expanded the number of seats they block from early assignment and added more rows of extra-legroom coach seats, which are offered free or at a discount to elite-level frequent fliers but sold to others. Airlines say all the seats they block or assign for a fee are opened up shortly before departure and customers without advanced seat assignments almost always get accommodated. There is a higher risk of getting involuntarily bumped off flights if you don't have a seat assignment, but it is rare.
  Doug Berg, a frequent business traveler from Detroit, was surprised to see the only spots open in coach were Economy Plus seats with extra legroom for a United Airlines flight from Denver to Spokane, Wash., in May. He had a seat for his Detroit-to-Denver leg, but didn't realize his travel agent hadn't been able to reserve a seat for the flight to Spokane until he went to check in online and print boarding passes.
  Worried he might get bumped, which would have been a huge problem, since it was a night flight and he had to be at work at 7 a.m. the next day, he paid United an extra $44 to reserve an Economy Plus seat.
  At the airport, kiosks showed lots of available free seats in the economy section of the Boeing 737. At the gate, Mr. Berg polled fellow passengers about when they got their seat assignment and learned many reserved coach seats a few hours before departure. Mr. Berg felt ripped off because it appeared United had created an artificial shortage.
  'Either seats are available or they are not,' he said. 'It frosted me having paid a fee to get an assigned seat to ensure I would get to Spokane while there were seats in my class available.'
  Mr. Berg wrote to United to complain and the airline responded saying if he sent documentation, the airline would refund the $44.
  I had a similar experience on a recent United Express regional jet flight. At booking, no seats were available to reserve. Two days before departure, two Economy Plus seats became available, and I paid $39 to grab one. The next day, 24 hours before departure, 10 seats opened for free seat assignment.
  United says customers with tickets but no seat assignment almost always get seats at check-in. Seats without extra legroom open up as customers decide to pay the fee for Economy Plus and elite-level customers get upgraded to first class or to Economy Plus. Silver-level frequent fliers, for example, don't get Economy Plus seats free of charge until 24 hours before departure. As they get moved to open Economy Plus seats, 'traditional' coach seats open for passengers without seat assignments.
  On average, United says, 22% of its economy seats are Economy Plus. But that runs up to 40% on some planes. When there is little demand for Economy Plus, a significant percentage of passengers may face the anxiety of no seat assignment.
  'In the hugely overwhelming majority of situations, people will get a seat assigned before departure,' United spokesman Rahsaan Johnson said.
  American Airlines blocks a large number of coach seats, both with extra legroom and without, to make them available to customers with top-level status in its frequent-flier program on every flight. Those seats show up on seat maps as occupied for customers without elite status, leading them to conclude seats are scarce. This prompts a portion of them to pony up.
  Two weeks before its July 16 departure, American Flight 34 from Los Angeles to New York showed only two middle seats in the back of the airplane available, plus 11 Preferred seats─regular coach seats toward the front without extra legroom─available for a $56.44 fee. Logging in with elite status, however, showed the same flight had far more regular coach seat availability. Flight 34 actually had 12 open window seats and nine open aisle seats.
  A week later on Tuesday, the seat map available to non-elites showed only one available middle seat, 38E, in the back of the Boeing 767-200, plus the same 11 Preferred seats at $56.44 each. But elite-level customers saw a total of 41 of 128 coach seats empty.
  American says it doesn't think blocking open seats from view pressures customers into paying for extra-legroom or Preferred seats. The number of seats blocked for elite-level customers varies with demand and 'a large percentage of specific seat assignments are still available to all customers at no additional cost,' spokeswoman Cameron King said. 'And for our customers who value additional legroom, a certain type of seat or the ability to reserve a specific seat, we have made products available for them as well.'
  Unlike American, Delta Air Lines shows the Preferred seats it has held back for elite customers, but doesn't allow regular customers to book them until 24 hours before departure. At that time, Preferred seats are offered for a fee to nonelite-level customers.
  US Airways also blocks seats for elite-level customers and labels them Preferred. The airline sells what it calls Choice seats in rows near the front of the cabin for $5 to $99 one-way that don't have extra legroom but do have early boarding privileges. On the whole, US Airways says 9.5% of its coach seats are labeled Choice. Preferred, Choice and exit-row seating, which is sometimes sold for a fee, account for an average of 30% of coach seats on the airline's planes.
  Those seats open up to customers without seat assignments who don't want to pay starting 24 hours before departure, US Airways said.
  Consider US Airways Flight 12 from Phoenix to New York on Wednesday. Two days before departure, a seat map showed only 12 Choice seats available for purchase. A day later, less than 24 hours before departure, nine coach seats, five of them middle seats, were available free of charge. Also, 11 Choice seats remained and two exit-row seats opened.
  许多飞机乘客喜欢在购票的同时选择座位,但所见和所得并不相同。
  基于诸多因素,航空公司常会锁定一些经济舱座席,这使得人们在预定机票时可以提前免费预留的座位有所减少。
  如今在许多航班上,航空公司会为贵宾乘客和有特殊需求的乘客预留30%到40%的经济舱座位,普通乘客预定则需要付费。面对可能出现的情况(可能性看似很高,其实通常来说并非如此),例如办理登机时被分配到糟糕的座位、和自己的孩子分开坐甚至由于航班超额预定而坐不上这趟飞机,许多旅客倍感压力而选择付费订座。
  如今这种压力更大了,因为航空公司将更多座位划分在了可提前预留的范围之外,并增加了多排加长了伸腿空间的座位,这些座位会免费或打折提供给贵宾常旅客,而向普通旅客则需要收费。航空公司表示,他们锁定的或者收费的座位都会在起飞前不久全部开放,没有优先分配座位的乘客一般总还是会得到安置。此时如果没分到座位,坐不上这趟航班的风险更高,不过这种情况很少见。
  道格?伯格(Doug Berg)来自底特律,商务出行非常频繁。5月份他搭乘美国联合航空(United Airlines)的航班由丹佛飞往华盛顿斯波坎(Spokane),他惊讶地发现,经济舱内开放的都是拥有加长伸腿空间的豪华经济舱座席。在从底特律到丹佛的航程中,他订到了一个座位,但直到他在线办理登机并打印登机牌时,才知道旅行代理人未能帮他在飞往斯波坎的航班上预留座位。
  他很担心自己会无法登机,这将是个大麻烦,因为那是夜间航班,而他必须在第二天早上七点开始工作。于是他多付了44美元预定了豪华经济舱的座位。
  到了机场,自助值机台显示这架波音737客机的经济舱仍有大量可免费预定的空座位。在登机口,伯格询问同行的乘客何时被分配到座位,得知许多人都是在起飞前几小时预定了经济舱座位。伯格感觉自己被敲诈了,因为美联航似乎是人为制造了座位短缺的假象。
  他说:“座位无非就是有空没空两种状态。在我的舱位有空座的情况下,我被迫花钱选座以确保自己能到达斯波坎,这很让人寒心。”
  伯格写信向美联航投诉,该公司回复说如果他发来证明文件,公司将退还44美元。
  最近我乘坐美联航快运(United Express)的一趟支线航班也有相似的遭遇。订票时,没有座位可供预定。出发前两天,有两个豪华经济舱的座位可以预定,我花了39美元抢到一个。第二天,也就是起飞前24小时,又有了10个免费分配的座位。
  美联航说,订票未订座的乘客一般都会在值机柜台分到座位。当有乘客决定付费预定豪华经济舱座位、贵宾乘客升级至头等舱或豪华经济舱时,常规空间的座位就会开放。以银卡常旅客为例,他们在起飞前24小时才会免费获得豪华经济舱座位。随着这些人的座位移至豪华经济舱,“常规”经济舱座位就会开放给没有分配到座位的旅客。
  美联航表示,他们平均22%的经济舱座位是豪华经济舱,但在有些飞机上会达到40%。当豪华经济舱的需求很小时,相当一部分乘客可能就得因为座位分配问题而焦虑了。
  美联航新闻发言人雷萨恩?约翰逊(Rahsaan Johnson)说:“在绝大多数的情况下,乘客在出发前都能分配到座位。”
  美国航空(American Airlines)在每架航班上锁定了大量经济舱座位,不仅有加长空间座位,也有常规座位,以便提供给常旅客计划中的高级别乘客。对于非高级别乘客来说,这些座位在座位图上显示已被占用,令他们认为座位紧缺。这促使他们中的一部分人加钱选座。
  7月16日由洛杉矶飞往纽约的美国航空34号航班在出发前两周只显示后排有两个中间的座位有空,外加11个预定费用56.44美元的受欢迎座位──靠前而无加长伸腿空间的经济舱座位。以贵宾身份登录系统,则显示同一航班上有多得多的经济舱座位可供选择:实际上有12个靠窗的座位和九个靠过道的座位。
  一星期后的星期二,非贵宾身份登录后的座位图显示,在这架波音767-200型飞机上,只剩后部的一个中间座位38E,以及同样的每个需收费56.44美元的11个受欢迎座位。但是贵宾级别的乘客看到的是128个经济舱座位中的41个都有空余。
  美国航空公司说他们并不认同在显示图中锁定空余座位会迫使乘客购买加长空间的座位或者受欢迎座位。其新闻发言人卡梅伦?金(Cameron King)说,为贵宾乘客所保留的座位数量因需求而异,“大部分特定区域的座位仍向所有乘客开放而无需额外付费。至于那些喜欢加长空间的乘客,我们同样为他们打造了特定产品,让他们能够选择特定类别的座位或者提前预定某一个座位。”
  与美国航空不同,达美航空(Delta Air Lines)会在图上显示为贵宾乘客预留的受欢迎座位,但直到起飞前24小时才允许普通乘客预定。那时,受欢迎座位会收费提供给非贵宾乘客。
  全美航空(US Airways)同样为贵宾乘客锁定部分座位,并标为受欢迎座位。这家航空公司销售所谓的“精选座位”,这些经济舱座位单程售价为五至99美元、靠近机舱前部、没有加长空间但可以优先登机。全美航空表示,总体来看,有9.5%的经济舱座位被标为精选。受欢迎座位、精选座位和靠近逃生门的座位平均占据机上座位的30%,有时会收费提供。
  全美航空还说,那些座位会在起飞前24小时开放给还没有安排座位、不愿付费的乘客。
  以全美航空7月10日由菲尼克斯飞往纽约的12号航班为例,出发前两天,座位图显示只有12个精选座位可供付费选择。一天后,也就是起飞前24小时,九个经济舱座位免费提供,其中五个是中间座位。同时还剩余11个精选座位和两排靠近逃生门的座位开放供选择。

  (实习编辑:于晓伟)



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