Seat selection is pretty simple if you ask me. Pick a seat, pay for it if you have to, and then fly away. Of course, sometimes you need to change a seat, especially when your preferred one becomes available closer to flight time.
Regular readers know I have my favourite seats on certain airlines and aircraft. When flying Aer Lingus, I prefer to sit in seat 3A, as it is close to the front and has a good window alignment.
Going Online To Change A Seat
My booking had 3A on the outbound and 6A on the return, which is my second favourite so all good. Today I had a look to see how the seat maps were filling up and lo and behold, 3A was now available on the return.
What does one do on any airline? You go to Manage My Booking, enter your booking reference and change the seat. Not so on Aer Lingus! As I had already selected seats, it was not possible to change them online, as per the error message above. Seriously? It’s almost 2020 here!
Perhaps Online Check-In Is The Answer!
Passengers flying Aer Lingus can check-in up to 30 days before travel, which I think is a nice feature. I figured I’d do my online check-in and just select new seats there.
Unfortunately, this also doesn’t work. When I reached the seat part in the app, I sat there stabbing my phone with my finger, hardly believing nothing was happening. The Aer Lingus seat map looked back at me, useless as a bag of shit.
Let’s Make A Phone Call
It always comes down to this with the Irish airline. Making a call to their call centre, which is strategically located in the Philippines. Happily my call was answered after a wait of less than two minutes. “Hello? Hello? Your line is very crackly and I can’t hear you! Hello?”. I could hear her crystal clear.
Call number two had zero wait time, but fared no better. This time they couldn’t hear me at all. I tested my work desk phone with a colleague and it seemed it was working correctly. Call number three, again zero wait and BINGO! Polite Filipino lady number three could hear me! She was able to switch my seat from 6A to 3A in moments and we were done.
Clearly the Aer Lingus IT is designed to let you select and pay for a seat. After you’ve done that, it really doesn’t want to know you. Surely the IT could be designed to let you move within your block of seats without any trouble. After all, the seats have three prices, with those at the front being one price, the normal seats being another, and then the exit rows.
The fact you can’t even move when it comes to online check-in is pretty astonishing. I’m used to switching at online check-in as some airlines unblock certain seats then. I get it, all airlines are different, but why is it so difficult? Every time I fly Aer Lingus, there’s always something wrong, such as never being able to get certain popular items of hot food from the menu.
Despite the niggles, Aer Lingus offer an experience a cut well above carriers like Ryanair, which is why everyone in Ireland continues to use them. Have you ever experienced any niggles with Aer Lingus before? What happened? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image via Aer Lingus.
Joke image from Irish Craic and Humour.com
Ah, the Irish! For the record, the “Aer Lingus green” worn by the crew is the BEST ever. The first time I visited Ireland, years ago, we wanted to take a ferry from somewhere, I forget which city. At the ferry office, they would sell us a $50 overnight cabin … but they wouldn’t sell us a $3 tix to board the ferry. I made the guy repeat all this 3 times because I assumed I couldn’t understand his charming accent. Finally I asked “So you want me to buy the cabin now, but if I can’t get on the… Read more »
They have new uniforms due in the near future, so it will be interesting to see what comes out of the design process there. That story about the ferry is completely bizarre… I would have been on the same page as you, wondering if I was completely misunderstanding things, as it seems so off the all. At least you managed to get what you wanted eventually! Crazy!!