Some of you might know by now that the days of rushing to board an Air Asia flight just to get “good seats” is over. The low cost carrier actually assign seats by the time you check in. No need for that Xpress Boarding gimmick anymore, a relief, right?
You see, now there is this wonderful offer from Air Asia aptly named “Pick A Seat” service. For RM 25 per person, you get to choose the hot seats (first 5 rows, and the 2 rows next to emergency exits) that comes with extra leg rooms.
Well, we figure our legs aren’t exceptionally long, so we chose the standard seats. On the way to Bangkok, everything was well good. On the way back, we got this little surprise thrown to us by the airline.
Despite checking in together almost 3 hours in advance, we were assigned SEPARATE SEATS 19A & 20A.
Naturally Mell and I thought it must be a mistake, so we asked the ticket issuing officer if we could be seated together. The answer was very simply, no.
The seats were assigned randomly by the system and can’t be changed. You can however, pay RM 25 for hot seats if you want to be seated together (the RM 5 “standard” seat arrangement deal was not explained)
We then went to the sales counter (there was no customer service counter at Bangkok Airport for Air Asia) to state our case and tried to get it all sorted out without avail. The lady politely asked if we want to have the hot seats, or we could talk to the ticket issuing lady again. Ding dong.
We weren’t exactly very happy with their explanation of how their system works, and why we can’t get seats that are next to each other cos they are already “assigned”. I even asked them to show if the seats are all assigned to those who paid extra with no free adjacent seats anymore, but of course my request was rejected.
So we boarded the plane and seated separately. Apparently there were quite a few parties who had the same treatment. People started exchanging seats as soon as everyone boarded the plane, and we eventually moved to a row of empty seats at the back of the plane.
What I want to know is how that seat assignment algorithm in their system is written.