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American “Premium” Seats on Most of the Plane?
I am a general AAdvantage member (no status) and recently booked a flight from D.C. to Los Angeles. I was presented with a seatmap where the flight appeared mostly full except for middle seats. When I went to check ExpertFlyer, the seatmap showed the flight mostly [I]empty [/I]and that American is now classifying most of the aisle and window seats on the plane (up until row 28) as “premium” seats (requiring elite status)! I’ve never seen them do this before–premium seats usually included those until the exit row. As of now, I can only choose a middle seat or wait until check-in and switch then (which many people are not aware they can do). Most general members won’t even know to check ExpertFlyer (let alone know what it is) and will just think that only middle seats are available for their flight. How does American expect people to keep booking with them if they will only release middle seats or seats at the back of the plane for non-status members?[ATTACH=full]261[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]262[/ATTACH]
They want you to think you have to pay to select a seat. Hey, BA even charges to select business class seats ahead of time, at least on intra-Europe flights.
I’d wait. I booked a round trip flight a while back and on the outbound, it showed no available free seats for selection and on the return, only middle seats. At checkin, I was automatically assigned what American considers a seat in what AA considers preferred seating ($34 seats on your photo) and was given priority boarding, at no cost. For my return, an aisle seat in row 20 opened up for selection a couple of days before departure.