Qantas seat selection for Platinums in economy vs business class Hot Topic

By Wilken | Mar 04, 2017, 04:39 PM

Wondering anybody can give some advice. I used to be platinum but don't travel as frequently these days and therefor have simply gold status. However when I travel I pay for a full business class ticket on all domestic routes I use. Why is it that I can't never select a seat in the first 3 or 4 rows of the business cabin as they are greyed out no matter what flight I take and no matter how many weeks ahead I try to make my seat selection. I understand this may be the reserve of Platinum flyers but I find it very frustrating that on several occassions I'm placed in the back of the cabin and chomping down a rushed meal on a fast sydney melbourne route or told my meal preference has run out, only to find a whole range of passengers in front of me have paid a discount economy fare and simply upgraded. I'm paying a full service business ticket and always placed behind these people in the seating order. I have no problem with the people in front of me, good luck to them. Its just I pay full fare for certain flexibilities that are implied by QANTAS but not delivered on. Has anybody got any ideas how to get around this?

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Ian Landels

By dwightwick | Mar 04, 2017, 04:49 PM

Seat selection for Qantas for all unreserved seats generally opens up 72 hours before the scheduled flight. You still may not get seats in row 1 or 2 but you may be able to snag something forward of what is released for Gold FF status at the time of booking

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By ajstubbs | Mar 04, 2017, 04:55 PM

Not much of a way around it, it's just the nature of tiered loyalty. It can be frustrating but then if they didn't have that perk for P, attaining it would be less attractive and lucrative for QF! 

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By markpk | Mar 04, 2017, 05:16 PM
Hi wilken,
If the experience relates to MEL-SYD or domestic in the golden triangle then there's a high chance they've reserved those first few rows for CL and P1 flyers - if they don't book or show then I suspect Qantas simply releases the seats to upgrade requests. 

On the odd occasion where i've used points to move from economy to Biz (on short haul i.e. BNE-SYD, or SYD-MEL) I've noted my boarding pass often has "catering not guaranteed" or something to that effect. Doesn't bother me - and I wouldn't be bothered if the business crew offered meals to full rev passengers ahead of upgraders...I have noticed this once or twice on longer flights (i.e. BNE-ADL, and BNE-PER). 

I do see your point though, but having had the chance to talk to a few CSM's and 'delve' into the SLF run sheet/data, it's worth noting that as far as I can tell they don't seem to get data from Qantas other than seat and QFF/VIP status. I'm a bit of a data nerd so I'm always keen to see what they are pushing down to the front lines to enhance or fix the UX (hence the curiosity). 

Maybe a Qantas insider lurking here could validate this...

For what it's worth, I did LAX-LAV in January with AA and got talking to the cabin 2ic as he greeted me by my first name and knew I'd flown in from BNE. He showed me their app and we talked quite a bit about what they can and can't see - some interesting visual symbols around mobility status, ESL pax, and loyalty, but very similar to the Qantas situation. 

I'd encourage you to register to give feedback to Qantas via their post flight surveys and use that as a comms tool to tell them they could do better...
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By Wilken | Mar 04, 2017, 10:48 PM

Thanks to all for the good advice.

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By tyson | Mar 05, 2017, 10:21 AM

T minus 80 hrs should be the time you get to pick a better seat. If you can, set yourself a reminder to jump in a select a seat as close to that as possible for a chance closer to the front.

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By JJJJJJJ | Mar 05, 2017, 05:03 PM

I've travelled in row 1 before, never again, it's too noisy! It's like sitting in the galley. Mind you, I accept that your question wasn't asking me to put you off, was it?

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By VNAV | Mar 06, 2017, 02:26 PM

Paid J PER-JFK in Oct 16 for travel in Jun 17. At the time of booking row 5 forward on the PER-BNE A332 flight showed as being blocked. (16 of the 26 seats available for sale) On the upper deck of the 747 BNE-LAX flight, row 14 forward showed as being blocked. ( 10 of the 14 seats available for sale )  Qantas call centre advised that seats further forward may become available closer to the travel date. Travelled J PER-SCL in April 2014 when a similar situation was experienced. Being retired, and self funding travel at a frequency not able to attain or retain status seems to place us at a disadvantage to those travelling with corporate funding and often with a cabin upgrade as a result of status. Surely a situation would never occur where blocked seats would preclude a cash sale.

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By John Phelan | Mar 07, 2017, 05:53 PM
The first few row is reserved for CL and P1 members, and the next (couple on larger aircraft) for Platinum. These blocks are lifted at T-80 and T-24 (depending on a range of factors). So if you check at those times, you will be able to snap any closer seats that are still available. Especially always check at T-24, as all restrictions go at that stage.
  
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Ian Landels

By OzMattyD | Mar 08, 2017, 03:48 AM

I understand the point that if you are paying full fare, then you could expect to choose a seat, but on the other hand, a P1 flyer is spending north of 200 hours a year in a Qantas tin can, and that makes them a pretty high value customer.

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By eminere | Mar 15, 2017, 10:36 PM

Seat selection for Qantas for all unreserved seats generally opens up 72 hours before the scheduled flight. You still may not get seats in row 1 or 2 but you may be able to snag something forward of what is released for Gold FF status at the time of booking

T-80 is the magic number.
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