Not able to select Airline seats when booked through Expedia

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Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Yup. And hopefully, EA can take up such cases to push for more transparency and accountability from online booking sites, which will not only give consumers a fairer go, but it will also be music to the ears of travel agents who desire a more level playing field in an age of technological disruption. Gone are the days where banks and large institutions can hide "consumer-friendly" terms and conditions in fine prints and hope that they are not discovered.
Contact your state representatives in Washington. There is a bill that was being proposed for airline transparency but the airlines keep lobbying against it and our representatives haven’t passed it.
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Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
Airlines and online booking services have pots of money to "promote" themselves and their agendas with any regulatory agency in existence. Stuffing pax into coach seats for example ... that won't change until a plane goes down and most of the pax don't survive because the evacuation took so long. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that evacuating real people (not whatever creatures the airlines use for tests) out of seats in a panic situation is a safety issue to beat 'em all. Fortunately, the online booking services aren't endangering anyone's life, they're just making it miserabe when there's a problem. With the kind of war chests they have to protect their interests, nothing will ever change.
Jun 24, 2019
If you are unhappy with the current state of air travel, write to your senators and representatives. Those people travel more often than perhaps any of us. Currently, a bunch of Senators are commuting between Washington and Iowa on very tight schedules. If anyone is adversely impacted by air travel, it's them. Oh, to be sure, some of them, perhaps all, fly in first class, but first class is no picnic, as one of the recent stories reported. Some may be on private planes, but they still have to get from the Capitol to Washington National or Dulles, and then deal with departure congestion.

For myself, I can report that in 1973-74 I worked on a report concerning the Arab oil embargo. One section I worked on recommend that planes not be permitted to take off without a flight plan, taking into account weather and traffic, and a confirmed gate at the destination. This was adopted, and is still in use today. (The idea was to save fuel both in the waiting to take-off and circling at the destination.)

In 1976, I was trying a case in Albuquerque, and my lead witness was traveling on a government travel requisition. Because he had the lowest fare on a sold-out flight, he was bumped, and no amount of arguing (me by phone, the witness in person) that the airline seek volunteers was successful. So I drafted a letter for my agency head to send to the FAA encouraging revision of the bumping rules. That letter became part of the record when the bumping rules were changed to require first asking for volunteers.

A few years back, I complained that an airline was refusing to take my luggage damage claim, asserting the damage was ordinary wear and tear. (A wheel broken off.) I observed others in line ahead of me at the baggage office had the same experience. I wrote to my Congressman, and he took it up with the FAA. I argued that reports on the incidence of damaged luggage were unreliable if front line airline personnel could simply refuse to take reports. I don't think this has changed much, but one very minor result was that the airline's headquarters reached out and had me fill out a report, which the airline then denied, in writing.

If enough folks complain, change may occur.
Nov 27, 2019
It's still not clear exactly what the booking situation here is. Whose "metal" is this, and whose tickets?

There's presumably a flight from your home city (XYZ) to a connecting airport in the US (ABC), and then one from that airport to Sydney (SYD). So, what are the flight numbers and airlines on your ticket for those two flights?

As examples, if you were starting from New York, you might have:

AA 1263 - LGA-DFW
AA 7435 - DFW-SYD (operated by Qantas)

Alternatively, you might have:

QF 3249 - LGA-DFW (operated by AA)


Sep 1, 2015
If I understand this, you have a 6-character confirmation code (also called a PNR) from AA, and another from QF (Qantas). FYI, their computer systems have only basic cross-visibility of your complete itinerary and the PNR is not helpful in your situation.

What's needed is your 13-digit ticket numbers. Tickets issued by AA begin with "001"; QF is "081" Then call the other airline, provide the ticket numbers and ask them to link your AA and QF records. That should allow QF to have the visibility they need to assign a seat (there may be an upcharge depending on the rules of the fare you purchased.

Hope this works. :)