Seat Assignment & Flight Schedule Snafus

May 31, 2018

in Odds & Ends Stories

This story took place on March 30, 2018. We left our home at 5:30 am to catch Alaska Airlines Flight 2092 out of Redmond, Oregon to Portland. All seemed normal until we passed through security. I happened to check the flight schedule board and discovered that the flight was delayed from a 7:15 am departure to 8:05 am. That was not enough time to catch our Hawaiian Airlines 9:15 am flight. The agent checking us in knew this but said nothing.

In panic mode I called Hawaiian and was told I would not make my Flight 25’s 9:15 departure, and that my first class tickets in Row 1 would be reassigned. Now in major panic mode, I called Alaska realizing I wasn’t going to make the Hawaiian flight. I was told no worries, and that they had me transferred to Alaska Flight 2612 for Seattle to connect with Delta Flight 1397 departing at 11:57 am. I was assured I had first class seats on Delta. I decided to call Delta to confirm, only to be told my fiancé and I were not in the system and did not even have a reservation, let alone assigned seats in first class.

I found an Alaska ticket agent who went on the computer and confirmed my new reservations to Seattle to catch the Delta flight. At that time it had been announced that a replacement aircraft had been secured for the 2092 Alaska flight, suggesting it might depart before 8:05. I pressed the agent if we should not stay with our original flight. He insisted that we had at least a 75% probability of missing our Hawaiian flight. He proceeded to change tickets on our bags. He also transferred 2500 hours to our accounts for the inconvenience. Now stuck in the terminal for another couple of hours, we were offered a $25 Alaska voucher for the day which we never able to use thanks to what happened next.

I again called Delta to get a confirmation number and confirm seat assignments. Again I was told that we were not in their system and had no reservations. In super panic mode I went back through security to the Alaska ticket counter for an explanation. The same agent that rechecked our bags kept assuring me I had first class seat assignments on Delta. He printed out an Alaska boarding pass that said Flight 1397 FIRST. I insisted on seat verification on the Delta flight. It went south from there real quick.

The Alaska agent went to the Delta agents to figure out why they couldn’t get seats confirmed. After 20 minutes of discussion the Alaska agent came back to inform me they were mistaken – we did not have first class seats. At that point I knew my carefully planned birthday surprise for my fiancé had completely disintegrated. We were now too much invested to cancel flights for the next day. Besides we had reservations in Maui for only a week.

After going back through security, I discovered to my shock that my Alaska 2092 was boarding. It departed at 7:50 am. If we were on that flight we would have made our Hawaiian connection. All I could do now is wait for our Alaska 2612 to Seattle.

We boarded Alaska 2612 on time. Unfortunately it was not allowed to take off due to conditions in Seattle. We waited a half hour on the plane at the gate for take-off. Now we were looking at missing the Delta flight.

Thanks to the delay in Redmond we were forced to run to Gate A on the other side of the terminal. When we got there the plane had already started boarding. We managed to get a Delta agent’s attention and showed her the Alaska tickets for the flight. She told us we were not on the flight and didn’t have reservations. Fortunately she didn’t give up and tried to figure out what was happening. To our relief she was able to get us on the flight – Seats 42 in the back of the bus, four seats from the bathrooms, on a 6 hour flight.

When we finally arrived in Maui my bag never made it. Delta’s bagging agent was kind enough to track it and eventually deliver it to me at 12 midnight Maui time, 3:00 am my time.

– Mike

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

B. Groves June 4, 2018 at 3:23 pm

Hey at least you made it to Maui


James June 5, 2018 at 9:29 am

You have my sympathy — I've been advised by my doctor that, due to the risk of blood clots, I should not fly coach for more than three hours. I am not sure what i would have done under those circumstances.


Nat Geopolis September 18, 2018 at 8:06 am

Good news on making it to Maui


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