On-Line Seat Selection Is A Waste
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- NEVER USE CheapTickets' ON-LINE SEAT SELECTION!
I'VE Been a customer of CheapTickets (CT) for years. May continue, but will never use their on-line seat assignment feature. Here's why:
Based on experiences on 11/4 when I ordered Christmas trip tickets, and today, when I tried to recover from the damage, here's how their on-line service actually works.
CT reads the current data from whichever airline for the flight in question, and populates CT's display. You pick the seats as displayed. CT STORES your request, and moves onto your next flight leg. After you have ALL your selections for ALL your flights, and finish, THEN CT sends your seat requests to the airline(s). If ANY of the seat requests are rejected by the airline(s), CT throws away ALL YOUR SEAT REQUESTS without telling you. You may even have a screen shot print-out with the seats you asked for. Too bad.
After purchasing tix and picking seats on 11/4, for flights on 12/19 and 12/24, I forgot to check the SECOND e-mail confirmation they sent that evening, since the first one had my flights, the airline's record locator number, my freq flier numbers, and the price.
BUT it's the second e-mail, the one with the airline's actual ticket number, that said I still needed to select seats.
Today, two months later, the day before the flight, I went through EXACTLY the same process at CT, with GREATLY REDUCED selections (no kidding!) and found two legs out of four that still had a pair of seats side-by-side, for me and my wife. Went through the whole selection process, then went back to my CT itinerary, and it STILL said I needed to select tickets. So I went over to the airline's site, used to locator to find my flights, and one of the two pairs of seats had become a single seat. All the other seats I had asked for, on all other flights, were still there. So I did all my seat reservations through the airline's site, and I have those confirmed now.
Spoke with the folk (singular) at CheapTickets, after a 40-minute wait, and she confirmed that a) they bundle and send the requests to the airlines at the end of your transaction, that it's not really interactive, and b) CT does not guarantee their seat selection process.
Well, I learned the hard way. Save yourself the trouble. Just pick you seats at the airline's web site.
Better yet, have Cheaptickets find the best seats for you, then order them on-line at the airline's web-site. Why give CT money when their service isn't reliable? Airlines themselves are bad enough.
Especially when this 'ordering airline tickets' example is the standard example problem used in all computer schools to demonstrate database data locking. When two reservation clerks are looking at the same seats on the same flight, who gets told their request was rejected?
Apparently, NOT CheapTickets Customers!!!