Subject: Sitting together on airplanes
Hi Ziners, for JoAnne and others who like to sit with their family or companions while traveling, you cannot imagine what the airlines do to groups ! Even though we pre assign seats for our groups, every time the airline changes their schedule by as little as one minute, the seat assignments are wiped out. I can understand this if they change equipment, but a schedule change? The airline agents have explained to me that it's a computer thing.

If you want to empathize with a travel agent's situation, one year I arranged seats for a group of 80 going to three countries in Asia - that's a lot of flights. The airline kept wiping out all my seats and I ended up doing it over and over SIX times. That's 10 flights times 80 people equaling 800 seat assignments. I burned a lot of midnight oil. The last change was while we were standing at the gate in Chicago, they announced an equipment change and whoops ! there went all our seats again. The hours that costs us - and it also costs the airline for their employee to have to work with the travel agent again and again on those seats.

Yes of course, I've written letters, but nobody's listening. And believe me, our group customers are just like individuals and families - they expect to be seated together - and we want that to happen, too.

Even so, individual travelers should look at then call the airline to get your seats pre-assigned.