Qantas often blocked empty seats for me for international flights but sometimes won't. Who decides ?

20 replies

dpare

Member since 10 May 2017

Total posts 3

Hi,

I am a Qantas platinum FF from Australia and I usually travel Economy for international flights. Many times, when I stop at the business or first class lounge, usually in Qantas Singapore or Emirates Dubai, I can ask them to block a few empty seats or even a full row (so I can sleep horizontal) if the flight isn't full but sometimes the person at the desk tells me "No, I am unable to block seats. Our system does not allow it.". I know this is not true because other clerks have blocked seats for me many times in the past, but when I challenge them I get a blank look and I don't know what else I can ask or what right I have (if any).

Who decides if a seat or row can be blocked and do I have a more formal way of "asking" or "demanding" if the clerk is not playing nice ?


Thank you

David

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,056

David: Please do not post the same topic multiple times. Once is enough.

coastflyer Banned

coastflyer Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Jul 2019

Total posts 14

Originally Posted by dpare

Hi,

I am a Qantas platinum FF from Australia and I usually travel Economy for international flights. Many times, when I stop at the business or first class lounge, usually in Qantas Singapore or Emirates Dubai, I can ask them to block a few empty seats or even a full row (so I can sleep horizontal) if the flight isn't full but sometimes the person at the desk tells me "No, I am unable to block seats. Our system does not allow it.". I know this is not true because other clerks have blocked seats for me many times in the past, but when I challenge them I get a blank look and I don't know what else I can ask or what right I have (if any).

Who decides if a seat or row can be blocked and do I have a more formal way of "asking" or "demanding" if the clerk is not playing nice ?


Thank you

David

Go 'demanding' it next time and see the sort of deserved response you get ;)

patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 402

I as a platinum also fly economy (unless upgraded) and virtually always have spare seat next to me without asking let alone ‘demanding', being very pleasant at check in helps. I may ask ‘any chance of an empty three seat row', with a non-demanding smile. Asking twice in these cases never works. I think the system will attempt to give a single spare seat next to you and this is on any airline on the booking (eg on an AA very full flight I still had it), but to go further is entirely at the discretion of the agent, and how busy they are etc. So a single pleasant ask is the best you can do.

Nichokiu

Member since 13 Apr 2018

Total posts 23

DYKWIA and chucking a massive tantrum in front of the agent works best :-) I'm sure that will make the agent “play nice”

coastflyer Banned

coastflyer Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Jul 2019

Total posts 14

Originally Posted by Nichokiu

DYKWIA and chucking a massive tantrum in front of the agent works best :-) I'm sure that will make the agent “play nice”

Well said, still amazes me people who think abusing or 'demanding' will make somebody give them want they want, DYKWIA all over!

ChrisB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Mar 2018

Total posts 15

I think you'll find this is called a ‘courtesy block' and typically only available to P1's in my experience.

Also worth noting it is not ‘guaranteed'

It is only ever available in Economy, and if you've been getting it as a Platinum then you're lucky. Someone has been kind to you.

I would suggest that the best way to ensure a courtesy block in the future is to raise your voice, slam your platinum card on the desk of the Qantas staff member, and threaten to move all of your business to another carrier if they don't heed your request.

Do let us know how you go

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,056

My tip here is to use Expert Flyer to check which seats are open / blocked / occupied close to the time that check-in closes when you're already in the lounge. Then, if you can't do it from your own device, approach the service desk in the lounge and ask about moving to seat X, because it looks like you'd have nobody next to you and check-in is about to close. That way, you have a much better chance of having a spare seat beside you, without requiring a favour such as a seat block: you're simply moving into a row that already had some space, at a time when it's highly unlikely that anybody else would occupy that vacant seat beside as most boarding passes will have already been given out.

plad

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

Member since 16 Jun 2017

Total posts 48

The original poster was only asking a question. I think some of the replies have been less than courteous.

dpare

Member since 10 May 2017

Total posts 3

Originally Posted by patrickk

I as a platinum also fly economy (unless upgraded) and virtually always have spare seat next to me without asking let alone ‘demanding', being very pleasant at check in helps. I may ask ‘any chance of an empty three seat row', with a non-demanding smile. Asking twice in these cases never works. I think the system will attempt to give a single spare seat next to you and this is on any airline on the booking (eg on an AA very full flight I still had it), but to go further is entirely at the discretion of the agent, and how busy they are etc. So a single pleasant ask is the best you can do.

Thanks Patrick for your response. Just to clarify, I never "demanded" free seats and I was always very pleasant really just trying to subtly ask if at all possible. I just found that most of the times they were able to "block" the seats and lately I'm getting the "no, we can't do that" response so I am wondering if this request is legitimate or really at the discretion and mood of the agent at the desk.

dpare

Member since 10 May 2017

Total posts 3

Originally Posted by plad

The original poster was only asking a question. I think some of the replies have been less than courteous.

Thank you plad, I think people got stuck with the word "demanding" I wrote. But I've never demanded this and always asked politely but since I am getting mixed responses based on the agent, my question was really to know if as Platinum FF I have certain rights, availability permitting of course. It looks like it is really at the discretion of the agent, which isn't great and depends on mood rather than right. Will have to stick to a soft, pleasant and polite demeanor ;).

John Phelan

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Oct 2011

Total posts 199

You seem to be very keen on the "rights" of Platinum members. The only "right" you have is to be transported in accordance with the ticket you purchased. Anything else that the airline does for you, or gives you, is at its discretion - and that means at the discretion of the agent (who, by the way, is not a "clerk").

patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 402

It seems platinum Ones get the three seat deal as a ‘right' (for want of a better term); for us mere Ps we get two seats as a ‘right' ( for want of a better term) anything else is a favour so to be grateful for, so don't knock it. I do note gold often get a spare seat as well.

Ian_from_HKG

CX

Member since 05 Jun 2012

Total posts 53

Let's face it, this isn't a "right" - at best, it is an unpublished possible perk. As a CX FF of many years' standing I often managed to get empty seats next to me, but that perk seems to have fallen by the wayside. Partly, I suspect, this is because airlines are becoming much better at predicting demand, using dynamic pricing, and filling their aircraft, so there simply aren't enough spare seats to go around. Furthermore, the ability of passengers nowadays to book seats ahead using websites or apps reduces the flexibility of airlines to wait until the punters are queueing up at check-in desks to allocate seats. All of this means that is just harder nowadays to offer this perk.

My advice is - have low expectations, ask politely (as you say you do), be grateful when you get it, and gracious when you don't.

Personally, and again as a CX rather than QF frequent flyer, my priority is normally getting an extra-legroom seat on the aisle (I am 6'3") rather than an empty seat next to me Fortunately, I can book those in advance. Keeping the next seat empty is a gamble, though. Lovely when it happens, but it doesn't ruin my day when it doesn't.

patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 402

I noticed on the Dallas flight each way this last month while PE and business were full the upstairs economy seemed to have plenty of spare seats to stretch out. My seating companion in business suggested that maybe because that is where they put Platinums and Golds flying economy and so they block surrounding seats. One had a full 4 seat block. They may have been a P1.

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