UNITED AIRLINES bought two seats, only one seat assignment

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Feb 7, 2016
12
0
1
68
#1
On 10/19/17 using MILES I purchased Two ONE way tickets from ORD to LIH with a connection in Denver for Dec 29, 2017 flight # UA1219. Only one of us has a seat assignment on the DEN to LIH segment (I have XX, my husband has NO seat assignment at all). We both have seat assignments in first class ORD to DEN. I have made calls to UAL and emailed the contacts found online only to be told by email to make more calls and the calls said there is nothing they can do to get the second seat assignment until the day of flight, Dec 29, 2017 and we are only guaranteed a seat on the plane. UAL has my FIRST CLASS MILES.
On the RETURN flight which I paid CASH FOR TWO FIRST CLASS SEATS on 1/5/18 UA1292 only one of us has a seat assignment on the LIH to LAX segment, my husband has seat XX and I have no seat assignment, also told the day of flight I would get a seat on the plane somewhere although I paid for a FIRST CLASS SEAT USING CASH. The LAX to ORD we both have seat assignments.
I am told by email to make calls. I called on 10/20, I called on 11/7 I made the most recent call on 11/17/17 and was told on both segments into LIH and out of LIH they have 16 reservations confirmed on a 14 passenger plane BUT THE SEAT MAP shows 16 seats.
What's your desired resolution? On the segment Denver to Lihue on 12/29/17 flight # 1219 I have seat assignment XX and Husband has no seat assignment.
On the segment LIH to LAX on Jan 5, 2018 Flight # 1292 Husband has a seat assignment XX and Edith has no seat assignment.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,031
12,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
If there weren't enough seats for assignment in your fare class you may not be able to get them assigned until you get to the airport. The airlines leave 20% of seats to be assigned at check in. Check 24 hours before to see if seat assignment open up (and check continually from now until then) and get to the airport at least 3 hrs. Before your flight leaves to be there early enough to get a seat assignment
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
1,785
3,039
113
47
#3
Check in online as soon as possible and go to the airport early so as to get a seat assignment. As Neil said 20 percent of seats are held back and of course Hawaii for the holidays is peak demand.
 
Jan 25, 2016
50
60
18
65
#4
For the return they are in F - I'm not sure the 20% hold-back applies (as it does in Y), more likely an overbooking, I think. I'm also confused by the "14 seats" - it's clearly a 757-200 with lie-flat, which is a 16-seat section. There's also the possibility of a UA system glitch, an all-to-frequent occurrence.

@EdieM - if UA is not able to seat you in F for the return flight LIH-LAX, you will be due compensation for an involuntary downgrade. If they offer you a certificate to be used for a future flight, stand your ground and insist on cash.

On the outbound, DEN-LIH, it does look like an overbooked situation, i.e. Y is sold out, F has one ticket, and no seats are available for assignment, so please follow the advice given by Neil and Christina above. However, since it is the 2nd leg which has the issue, this may not be resolved until you get to Denver.

From my perspective, I always check the seat map before actually ticketing, and if I see situations such as this, would definitely pause and consider alternatives before clicking 'Purchase'.
 
Feb 7, 2016
12
0
1
68
#5
If there weren't enough seats for assignment in your fare class you may not be able to get them assigned until you get to the airport. The airlines leave 20% of seats to be assigned at check in. Check 24 hours before to see if seat assignment open up (and check continually from now until then) and get to the airport at least 3 hrs. Before your flight leaves to be there early enough to get a seat assignment
THANK YOU. I travel frequently and have never run into this problem before. This is the problem of flying with a connection and not a non-stop.
 
Feb 7, 2016
12
0
1
68
#6
For the return they are in F - I'm not sure the 20% hold-back applies (as it does in Y), more likely an overbooking, I think. I'm also confused by the "14 seats" - it's clearly a 757-200 with lie-flat, which is a 16-seat section. There's also the possibility of a UA system glitch, an all-to-frequent occurrence.

@EdieM - if UA is not able to seat you in F for the return flight LIH-LAX, you will be due compensation for an involuntary downgrade. If they offer you a certificate to be used for a future flight, stand your ground and insist on cash.

On the outbound, DEN-LIH, it does look like an overbooked situation, i.e. Y is sold out, F has one ticket, and no seats are available for assignment, so please follow the advice given by Neil and Christina above. However, since it is the 2nd leg which has the issue, this may not be resolved until you get to Denver.

From my perspective, I always check the seat map before actually ticketing, and if I see situations such as this, would definitely pause and consider alternatives before clicking 'Purchase'.
I did check the seat map, saw the alert that said there were three seats left for this flight. This is the problem with flying with a connection and not a non-stop. It was only after purchase did I run into the problem of the into LIH and out of LIH. I immediately called United none of the agents were helpful blaming the computer system saying three seats available but only one seat assignment available into Lihue and out of Lihue.
Thank you for all your suggestions. I am a very frequent flyer so this was a surprise.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,031
12,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Unfortunately part of the problem is that you are booking very late for a popular time to travel so there are very limited seats available. Holiday flights start selling as soon as they are released- you are stuck with what's left.

Just keep checking too- sometimes seats free up.
 
Likes: jsn55
Feb 7, 2016
12
0
1
68
#8
Unfortunately part of the problem is that you are booking very late for a popular time to travel so there are very limited seats available. Holiday flights start selling as soon as they are released- you are stuck with what's left.

Just keep checking too- sometimes seats free up.
THANK YOU NEIL. I was aware making reservations at this late date might be a problem in coach but I did not think that UAL would say 'there are seats availablein FIRST CLASS' and then go back on their word after I purchased the tickets. It is odd that ONLY one of two seat assignments are available into Lihue and out of Lihue and not for the same flyer either. On one flight I don't have a seat assignment and on the other flight my husband does not have a seat assignment. It is also ODD that UAL took my FIRST CLASS MILES and my money for the entire trip. I am an experienced traveler that is why I am not waiting until 24 hours before the flight to make my case with United.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#9
As an experienced traveler you should know that purchasing a ticket for a flight and having advance seating reservations are not the same thing. Many airlines do not open all their seats for advance assignment, even in first and business class. Even if you do obtain, advance seating, there is no guarantee to those seats, as changes in equipment, accommodation of special service request or other premier status customers can result in the loss of the seat assignment.

Even when purchasing a first class ticket, there is always the chance (with or without seat assignment) of being downgraded due to overbooking. This is especially true if you purchased a discounted first class ticket.
 
Feb 7, 2016
12
0
1
68
#10
Thank you all for your reservation advice. I am fully aware that a seat assignment is no guarantee. I am also aware that having a seat assignment is one step closer to having the seat a passenger would like to use the day they fly. Not having a seat assignment has a greater risk of being bumped.
I will contine to advocate for myself with United.
I often read these posts and rather than suggesting that I bought discounted, less than true value seats therefore I should not expect a seat assignment, I am ending this thread.
Thank you for all your suggestions.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,408
6,466
113
San Francisco
#11
Edie, I think you're a 'victim' of a glitch somewhere at United. They may be playing roulette with the aircraft assigned to your flight. Eventually UA should figure out how many seats are in the cabin you booked and give you the seat assignments. I would just keep checking, both the website and by phone. I agree with you, having a seat assignment is one step closer to actually sitting in that seat on the flight.
 
Jun 30, 2017
45
42
18
71
#12
On 10/19/17 using MILES I purchased Two ONE way tickets from ORD to LIH with a connection in Denver for Dec 29, 2017 flight # UA1219. Only one of us has a seat assignment on the DEN to LIH segment (I have XX, my husband has NO seat assignment at all). We both have seat assignments in first class ORD to DEN. I have made calls to UAL and emailed the contacts found online only to be told by email to make more calls and the calls said there is nothing they can do to get the second seat assignment until the day of flight, Dec 29, 2017 and we are only guaranteed a seat on the plane. UAL has my FIRST CLASS MILES.
On the RETURN flight which I paid CASH FOR TWO FIRST CLASS SEATS on 1/5/18 UA1292 only one of us has a seat assignment on the LIH to LAX segment, my husband has seat XX and I have no seat assignment, also told the day of flight I would get a seat on the plane somewhere although I paid for a FIRST CLASS SEAT USING CASH. The LAX to ORD we both have seat assignments.
I am told by email to make calls. I called on 10/20, I called on 11/7 I made the most recent call on 11/17/17 and was told on both segments into LIH and out of LIH they have 16 reservations confirmed on a 14 passenger plane BUT THE SEAT MAP shows 16 seats.
What's your desired resolution? On the segment Denver to Lihue on 12/29/17 flight # 1219 I have seat assignment XX and Husband has no seat assignment.
On the segment LIH to LAX on Jan 5, 2018 Flight # 1292 Husband has a seat assignment XX and Edith has no seat assignment.
Were any of your segments on Island Air? United used this airline to travel inter-island in Hawaii. Island Air is bankrupt and has ceased operations. Any flight segments on this airline no longer are serviced and Island Air has taken no responsibility to rebook.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,031
12,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
Were any of your segments on Island Air? United used this airline to travel inter-island in Hawaii. Island Air is bankrupt and has ceased operations. Any flight segments on this airline no longer are serviced and Island Air has taken no responsibility to rebook.
If they were in Island Air they wouldn’t have flights now period. I don’t think this this has anything to do with their issue. There are probably no seat assignments left - they will be assigned at check in. The airlines withhold 20% of seat assignments from being booked online. They leave them to be assigned at check in at the airport.
 
Likes: Barry Graham
Feb 7, 2016
12
0
1
68
#14
Were any of your segments on Island Air? United used this airline to travel inter-island in Hawaii. Island Air is bankrupt and has ceased operations. Any flight segments on this airline no longer are serviced and Island Air has taken no responsibility to rebook.
NO, DENVER TO LIHUE is UNITED and LIHUE TO LAX IS ALSO UNITED, none of them are code sure flights.

I have called and checked the website daily. We now have two seats from LIHUE to LAX but still ONLY ONE SEAT ASSIGNMENT DENVER TO LIHUE ON UNITED.
As I stated when I posted this thread, there were ample free seats for me to purchase with miles or $$ or I would not have made the reservations.
 
Feb 7, 2016
12
0
1
68
#15
If they were in Island Air they wouldn’t have flights now period. I don’t think this this has anything to do with their issue. There are probably no seat assignments left - they will be assigned at check in. The airlines withhold 20% of seat assignments from being booked online. They leave them to be assigned at check in at the airport.
NONE OF THE SEATS WERE ISLAND AIR
 
Feb 7, 2016
12
0
1
68
#16
If there weren't enough seats for assignment in your fare class you may not be able to get them assigned until you get to the airport. The airlines leave 20% of seats to be assigned at check in. Check 24 hours before to see if seat assignment open up (and check continually from now until then) and get to the airport at least 3 hrs. Before your flight leaves to be there early enough to get a seat assignment
UNITED, we will not be in DENVER THREE HOURS BEFORE DEPARTURE SINCE WE ARE FLYING FROM CHICAGO. This is quite a disappointment for us. We will be at OHARE at 4:30 AM for our 7:30 AM departure but we are told we will not get a seat assignment for the DENVER TO LIHUE segment until we reach DENVER.
This is all quite sad. And the comments about flying in December to Hawaii so I should not expect much from United, well I DO EXPECT BETTER FROM UNITED.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,031
12,257
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#17
Just keep checking and get to the airport 3 hours before your flight is to leave. They leave 20% of the seats for booking at the airport.

This is not unusual. They’ll be able to assign you at the airport and probably move you together. Just get there early so you have first shot at the seats.
 
Feb 7, 2016
12
0
1
68
#18
Just keep checking and get to the airport 3 hours before your flight is to leave. They leave 20% of the seats for booking at the airport.

This is not unusual. They’ll be able to assign you at the airport and probably move you together. Just get there early so you have first shot at the seats.
 
Feb 7, 2016
12
0
1
68
#19
WELL I FOUND OUT SOMETHING INTERESTING, actually very 'sneaky' by UNITED AIRLINES. On the SEAT MAPPER on my Desktop computer the flight from Denver to Lihue shows 16 seats. On the same flight on MY PHONE SEAT MAPPER there are only 14 seats available. I BOUGHT my tickets using my Desktop computer. I did not think I had to confirm seat availability on my phone as well. So all the time, since October 19 that I have been trying to get a second seat for my PAID reservation, there wasn't a seat MAPPED on the plane they were using. 4 rows of 2 on one side and only 3 rows of 2 on the other side = 14 seats and not 16 as on a normal plane.
I WISH someone from UNITED read these posts. This is very disturbing.
 
Dec 26, 2014
91
139
33
66
#20
WELL I FOUND OUT SOMETHING INTERESTING, actually very 'sneaky' by UNITED AIRLINES. On the SEAT MAPPER on my Desktop computer the flight from Denver to Lihue shows 16 seats. On the same flight on MY PHONE SEAT MAPPER there are only 14 seats available. I BOUGHT my tickets using my Desktop computer. I did not think I had to confirm seat availability on my phone as well. So all the time, since October 19 that I have been trying to get a second seat for my PAID reservation, there wasn't a seat MAPPED on the plane they were using. 4 rows of 2 on one side and only 3 rows of 2 on the other side = 14 seats and not 16 as on a normal plane.
I WISH someone from UNITED read these posts. This is very disturbing.
If you want the airline to see something like this reach out to them on Twitter and/or Facebook. Many people are finding that twitter works best for getting a quick resolution.
 
Likes: VoR61