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Advance seat assignment on Qantas using Alaska codeshare?
I’m 6’4” and booked RT economy LAX/MEL in a bit over a week. I want Alaska mileage for this trip so booked it as an Alaska codeshare and it shows up as a future flight in my account on the Alaska website.
I can’t select a seat on this flight. The Alaska website says I must get seat from Qantas. The Q website says seating not available b/c flight “not marketed by Qantas.” I called Qantas, waited on hold for 45 minutes and explained problem. In 15 minutes of dealing with polite Aussie telephone help at U.S. number, was told that I must get my seat assignment from Alaska and only Alaska. I begged for info on how full the flight is (quite full) and that is all I could get out of them. Called Alaska, spoke to someone in Boise call center, then to supervisor in Seattle office. Help? No. “Our manual says” can only get seat assignment from Qantas. Yes, they realize I am caught between a rock and a hard place. No, there is nothing they can do other than raise it as a “pain point” in this “new partnership” with Qantas.
Note that I paid for this economy ticket on Qantas 93/94. This is not an award ticket. Should I have bought ticket on Qantas website and inserted Alaska mileage number there? This is a non-refundable ticket and there does not seem to be anything I can do.
Let me report how this turned out. I was able to check-in online 24 hours before these two 15 hour flights. I had been assigned an aisle seat so my worst fears were not realized. However Qantas has only 31″ pitch seats, making for a long, uncomfortable flight. On the first flight from LAX to MEL I was able to move to a bulkhead seat next to the stair to the crew rest area. This had plenty of legroom and no neighbor. Before the return flight, I attempted to upgrade my seat. I was willing to pay for a bulkhead exit row seat or any seat with better than standard legroom. Again I was not able to check-in until 24 hours before the flight. Again, an aisle seat was assigned. At the airport, I tried to upgrade my seat (at cost) and was told that no upgrades are possible within 24 hours of the flight. Nor was any upgrade possible before 24 hours before flight time. Thus it is literally impossible to upgrade to a bulkhead or better seat when using an Alaska codeshare flight number. Remember, this was a paid coach seat, not an award flight. I hope Alaska and Qantas fix this.
I don’t think this is limited to Qantas and Alaska, [I]i.e.[/I] it is not a glitch per se. It is just not built into their systems. About 3 years ago I flew PHL-MAD-BCN on an AA ticket. PHL to MAD was on AA; MAD to BCN was on IB as a codeshare. I had a Y ticket, and used SWUs to upgrade the AA flights. In Madrid I had a 3 hour layover, and went to the Iberia counter to see if I could upgrade. I was told they cannot do that for an AA ticket. The flight was on an A319 or A320 and business went out more than half empty. I’m not saying computer software couldn’t be updated to address this issue; airlines are notorious for using legacy (ancient :)) software. For instance, I am willing to bet that in my example all Iberia’s systems could “see” was OCTinPHL had an AA ticket and was in seat X. There was no way for their systems to “upsell.”