Ambassador Harrock (harrock) wrote,
Ambassador Harrock
harrock

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Northwest Airlines, PR Genius

I can imagine why you might prohibit seat selection prior to checking in. It irritates me, and I doubt it serves any actual purpose, but I can see a thought process that leads to it.

I can understand, in this oversold/overbooked world, that when you check in, you might check in and select seats late enough that there are no longer two adjacent seats left for you and your travel companion (both tickets bought as part of the same transaction), and hence be forced to sit apart. I mean, if you've oversold the flight, you have an excuse (though not a good one) to not bother to at least pencil in adjacent seats for people who bought their tickets months ago.

But I'm really at a loss to understand why, if I check in 22 hours ahead of the flight and there actually *are* two adjacent seats available, not in a premium row, not in the very back row, or in any other condition (that I'm aware of) which could possibly prejudice me against selecting them, the site would *not* auto-select the adjacent seats, and instead, auto-select two middle seats.

Sure, it's true that I can now change them. But really, once you've started by refusing to allow seat selection until 24 hours before the flight, and you've oversold all of your flights, why put that extra little cherry on top, saying, in effect, "We would really prefer to screw you, if we were given the choice."

We learned about Northwest's seat-selection treachery last year, when we checked in at the airport and got split up, not having selected our seats beforehand. This time, it's true, I chose to go to dinner instead of being at my computer at 5:55pm this evening; but I barely managed to avoid the natural consequence of my irresponsible behavior at around 8 o'clock, with just two adjacent seats left to grab.

I am usually willing to pretend that the airlines are interchangeable, and compete only on price, but I think it actually is time to start selecting against Northwest. I've had it.
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  • Decamping to DW

    ...with a different username, "fearless_prime". Because I am that way.

  • Word of the day

    metricute -- verb 1: to put into effect a system of measurement; 2: to measure as provided or required by an operational procedure; 3: to measure…

  • A Territorial Dispute

    When we moved in here in 2004, there were a couple of cats living across the street. One (Apollo) has always been super-friendly, and the other…