Bamboo Airways Seat Assignment Adventures

Bamboo Airways Seat Assignment Adventures

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Selecting seats with Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways is simultaneously complicated and kind of great…

Limits on Bamboo Airways’ online seat reservations

For my upcoming review trip, I’ll be flying Bamboo Airways on two segments, which I’m quite excited about. While Bamboo Airways isn’t an airline that previously had much appeal in North America, the carrier has a partnership with Air Canada, allowing you to earn and redeem Aeroplan points for these flights.

Once I ticketed my itinerary through Air Canada’s website, I tried to assign seats for all segments, as usual. Air Canada’s website is one of the best out there in terms of allowing you to assign seats on partner airlines. However, it doesn’t work on all airlines, and Bamboo Airways is among those.

Fortunately Air Canada’s website listed my Bamboo Airways confirmation number. So I then headed over to the “My Bookings” section of Bamboo Airways’ website, where I thought I’d be able to assign a seat. After all, “seat reservation” is explicitly listed as a service that’s offered with this.

Bamboo Airways “My Bookings” page

Well, unfortunately that’s not how things worked out. While I could pull up my reservation, there was no option to modify seats. It’s my understanding that this is (at a minimum) a consistent limitation with all tickets that are issued through a partner airline, so if you booked with Aeroplan points, you may have a similar problem.

A surprising phone call with Bamboo Airways

This is one of the few situations I’ve encountered in recent years where I’ve had to assign a seat by phone. Back in the day that was commonplace, while nowadays I find that it’s usually possible to assign seats through airline websites.

I headed to Bamboo Airways’ contacts page. I pulled up the Vietnamese phone number and called through Google Voice. I almost fell out of my chair when Google informed me the call would cost 99 cents per minute. It’s not that I can’t swing that, but aren’t Google Voice calls usually at most a few cents per minute, or is inflation that bad?!

Anyway, the call disconnected almost immediately, so I’m not sure what exactly was going on. I then tried the phone numbers in Singapore and Germany (both destinations that Bamboo Airways serves), but they were both closed.

Then I saw there was contact information in the United States. Specifically, there was a phone number and email address for Aviaworld LLC, which performs services for a variety of airlines. I decided to pick up the phone, and figured there was maybe a miniscule chance I’d get anywhere.

Bamboo Airways’ “Global Contacts” page

That feeling was reinforced when the call went straight to voicemail, and the recording said to leave your name, phone number, and confirmation code, and someone will get back to you. I did that, but figured there was no way I’d hear back.

Well, around 10 minutes later I got a call from an unfamiliar number listed as being in Beverly Hills, and I picked up on the off chance that it was regarding my request. Sure enough, a super professional person was on the other end, and had already pulled up my reservation. A two minute phone call later, I had my preferred seats assigned.

Bottom line

Bamboo Airways’ website isn’t great about seat assignments, at least if you’re booking through a partner airline (like with Aeroplan points). Air Canada’s website didn’t let me select these seats, and neither did Bamboo Airways’ website.

I didn’t have much luck with calling Bamboo Airways in Vietnam, though to my surprise, the airline has a customer service phone number in the United States. While this requires leaving a voicemail, I was pleasantly surprised to get an almost immediate callback.

I’ve had to call a countless number of times over the years to assign seats, though this has to be one of the more interesting processes.

Anyone else have an experience with assigning Bamboo Airways seats?

Conversations (14)
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  1. Emoney Guest

    I went to https://bookancillary.bambooairways.com/ for seat selection.
    It lets me choose the seat but it does not confirm.
    I cannot seem to find the live chat option on their website either

  2. Matt Guest

    Like Harry mentioned above, you can book seats at https://bookancillary.bambooairways.com/

    It appears they use the following APG Reservations Consultants for flights booked with Aeroplan points:

    Office Address: 3 World Business Centre | Newall Road | London Heathrow Airport | TW6 2TA

    t: +44 844 482 1670 | w: www.apg-ga.co.uk

    Hope this helps other users.

  3. Harry Guest

    Bamboo Airways has another website for a seat selection. Please go to https://bookancillary.bambooairways.com/ for booking your own seat.

  4. Unterwegs Guest

    Ben,
    my recent experience with Bamboo is here: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/other-asian-australian-south-pacific-airlines/2105526-bamboo-airlines.html#post34867449

    Their online chat works surprisingly well with quick response (not an automated system). I would try this for any questions.

  5. Andy Diamond

    This seems to have been a so-called General Sales Agent (GSA) who did accept to make your seat reservation. However, most GSA would only do it, if they can sell the flight, quoting that they are “sales agents” and “customer service agents”.

  6. ROBERT Guest

    Glad I'm not the only one having this seat assignment nightmare with Bamboo. As you, I used Aeroplan points to book Business BKK-SGN-MEL and simply can't get the on-line system, Bamboo Vietnam office, or Bangkok GSA in Bangkok to assign seats. All simply tell me to contact the travel agency who i booked with, and naturally Aeroplan tell me seats are only assigned by Bamboo.
    So going around and around....
    As my flight...

    Glad I'm not the only one having this seat assignment nightmare with Bamboo. As you, I used Aeroplan points to book Business BKK-SGN-MEL and simply can't get the on-line system, Bamboo Vietnam office, or Bangkok GSA in Bangkok to assign seats. All simply tell me to contact the travel agency who i booked with, and naturally Aeroplan tell me seats are only assigned by Bamboo.
    So going around and around....
    As my flight is next week, perhaps I should reach out to the GSA in USA :)

  7. Liam Guest

    It's the same with Gulf Air. You have to call them to get seats.

  8. HLC60 Guest

    I booked a flight on Finnair that wanted to charge me $65 for each leg (x4 RT) in Premium Economy. I had entered my Oneworld Emerald status Acct # in the reservation which should give me free seat assignments, but couldn't override the fee online. I called Finnair and they happily gave me seats at no cost. The problem is when there is a schedule change, I lose my seat assignments. It's happened twice, and I'm still 2 months from the flights. Their IT sucks.

    1. riku2 Guest

      They have only just added premium economy and their system does not recognize one world card status when allocating seats in premium economy. For economy class it works correctly, but not premium economy. I phoned them and they could not give me a seat for free (I have an emerald card also). They came up with various stories like premium economy seats are always chargeable (so economy and business class seat allocation is free but...

      They have only just added premium economy and their system does not recognize one world card status when allocating seats in premium economy. For economy class it works correctly, but not premium economy. I phoned them and they could not give me a seat for free (I have an emerald card also). They came up with various stories like premium economy seats are always chargeable (so economy and business class seat allocation is free but not premium economy??). For finnair cardholders the system works ok but not one world status cardholders.

  9. Eddie Guest

    The same for Turkish Airlines when redeemed via Aeroplan, have to call the TK office to get a seat assignment.... One time have to wait at the phone for 15, 20 minutes.... What a pain in the rear. Same for Gulf Air, so if there's a choice, I would skip these airlines simply for the fact that it involves unnecessary procedures to wait and wait and try to get a seat assignment...

    1. François Guest

      Didn't have any issues when booking through United, just used the TK PNR they gave after confirmation and hopped over to TK site to book

  10. Matt Guest

    “So I called the number and was able to have my seat assigned”…. what a story

    1. --- Guest

      To be fair - like Lucky, I think the last time I had to call an airline to assign seats was in 2018. Airline IT has gotten good enough that I can usually just do it online.

      And as a millennial who will do anything to avoid having to call someone - this is significant. :-P

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--- Guest

To be fair - like Lucky, I think the last time I had to call an airline to assign seats was in 2018. Airline IT has gotten good enough that I can usually just do it online. And as a millennial who will do anything to avoid having to call someone - this is significant. :-P

2
Harry Guest

Bamboo Airways has another website for a seat selection. Please go to https://bookancillary.bambooairways.com/ for booking your own seat.

1
Jordan Guest

Use the TK app next time ;)

1
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