What to do if you don’t have a seat assignment for a flight – NBC 6 South Florida
For William Dzurilla, traveling to Europe to spend time with his grandparents is a gift.
“I was very excited,” he said.
He booked his tickets weeks in advance and on the day of his scheduled departure, he says he left early for Miami International Airport.
“I live about an hour from the airport, so…I left almost four hours early,” he said.
But when he checked in at an airport kiosk, he worried about what he saw on his boarding pass.
“I immediately noticed there was something wrong because it was written to see the rep at the front desk,” he said.
With no real assigned seat, William headed for the door to speak with a representative.
“I have to get in line,” he said. “As the plane’s departure got closer and closer, it got more chaotic and people just started approaching the rep.”
He says he asked if he could have his seat.
“He says no, you’re on hold,” William said. “He doesn’t even check the computer or anything.”
The flight finally departed without him. The airline, he said, marked him as a no-show.
“They didn’t want to help me at all,” he said. “They basically said I missed my flight.”
The airline told NBC 6 that it had reviewed William’s case and that his boarding pass showed “see agent” for a seat assignment, adding “…we cannot confirm that the customer is is registered with an agent at the time of boarding”.
“If you have the note on your boarding pass to see the gate agent or get your seat assigned through the gate agent, as soon as you clear security, go ahead, proceed to the gate and check in with the gate agent,” said Scott Keyes of Scott’s Cheap Flights.
Keyes said checking in with the gate agent early will ensure you get your seat and save you headaches.
“It was just very stressful until I finally knew I had a secure seat,” William said.
William ended up having to book another flight to get to his grandparents.
“Because of the situation where I just needed to see my grandparents,” William said. “I said, okay to buy this ticket just so I could make it, then I went and tried to sort it out afterwards.”
After sending several emails to the airline, they gave him 15,000 miles and $1,500 in electronic travel certificates for his troubles.
“In the end, the situation was resolved,” William said. “It’s positive so I’m happy.”
“I just wish it was a little smoother,” he said.
If you’re having trouble with an airline, the Department of Transportation recently launched a new airline customer service dashboard. You can access it by clicking here.