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Anyone Had This Experience-- AA:Miami to St Croix?

Posts: 285
Reputable Member
Topic starter

I'm posting this here because there seem to be more active St Croix posters and I need help. We impulsively decided to head down to St Croix this coming Tues for vacation. I've never planned a trip so close to the time we leave.

The AA flight from Miami to St Croix is not giving out seating anymore, but when we talked to a representative last night she said she's seeing at least 40 available seats. I hate to not have FIRM reservations, but she promised they were available and the airline took our money. Have we done a crazy thing?!?! Has anyone booked seats on this flight like this? Online it's showing a full airplane with one seat left, but she's telling us there are 40.

Help-- I need reassurance that we haven't done something stupid.:S


Posted : October 16, 2010 9:35 pm
Posts: 3919
Famed Member

Paula, we take this flight fairly often and it is usually near capacity. But you have confirmed reservations, yes? then they must think they can fit you in. I've never traveled without seats assigned.

Posted : October 16, 2010 10:43 pm
Posts: 862
Prominent Member

American often blocks off seats that are not available for regular travelers--preferred seating shows up as occupied if you don't have the criteria to select it. This close to departure they often don't release those preferred seats in case of last-minute bookings by people with status. If you made a reservation, you should get a seat on the plane.

Posted : October 16, 2010 10:58 pm
Posts: 525
Honorable Member

You haven't done anything stupid.

Sometimes when a flight is nearly full or fully booked the airline will not assign seats to some passengers. In these instances if you try to use the "on-line" check-in feature you may get a message saying you'l have to check-in at the airport. In some cases even when you check in at the airport you will be issued modified "boarding pass" that does not have a seat number but will get you through the security checkpoint and you'll be told the "gate agent" will assign you a seat and issue you the true boarding pass.

This happened to us once when flying American Eagle and we were fortunate to get seat assignments once we arrived at the gate. We made sure we arrived at the airport early just in case there was some type of waiting list. Anyway, in our case, we got seat assignments but the flight itself was fully booked and the gate agents were looking for "bump" volunteers. I have no idea if they were able to get enough volunteers but it was fairly evident our flight was full and some people didn't get on the plane. Whether they were volunteers or just bumped is anyone's guess. I suspect that's what you are dealing with on your flight.

If i were you I'd first try to do on-line check-in as close to 24 hours prior to your flight as possible. If you are able to check-in and get your seat assignment at that time all well and good. If the system doesn't let you check-in on line then you should show up at the airport fairly early (say 2 or 3 hours prior to departure) and if you are lucky you'll get your seat assignment then. If you still don't get your seat assignment you'll at least be ahead of any other passengers who, like you, do not have their seat assignments.

Good luck.

Posted : October 16, 2010 11:13 pm
Posts: 285
Reputable Member
Topic starter

Thanks for the answers--- this is making me a nervous wreck. The ticket agent my husband talked to on the phone said on her computer she saw no more than 50, no less than 40 seats still available. She said we could not have the priority seats. We start out from Houston with a layover in Miami around 2 hrs so we'll be hooking it for the St Croix gate! Oh well, it will all work out. Usually it's calm and enjoyable because we've had time to think about the trip for months, this time my husband (who is on vacation) out of the clear blue asked me''How'd you like to head down to St Croix on Tues? Could you be packed in time?" Silly man. My husband's been saying we need to be 'more spontaneous'.... but I don't think this is what he had in mind.;)


Posted : October 17, 2010 2:15 am
Posts: 2138
Noble Member

Maybe a lot of the remaining unassigned seats are in the exit rows, which are not assigned to passengers sight-unseen. I think you're fine. Just don't show up late.

Posted : October 17, 2010 2:17 am
Posts: 62
Trusted Member

Came back on this flight of a Friday a few weeks ago and it was less than half full.

Can't you go online, check your reservation and select your seat?

Posted : October 17, 2010 11:44 am
Posts: 23
Eminent Member

I returned to STX Tuesday from MIA. I did not have a seat assigned but was at the gate 2 hours ahead of time and made it on the flight just fine. The plane was full.
I suggest you check in on-line and try to get a seat assigned at the Houston AP/

Posted : October 17, 2010 12:11 pm
Posts: 19
Active Member

Paula- is showing at 7 in Y which is economy and at least 7 in J which is Biz. I did not see any non-elite seats open together but most likely the elites will be upgraded into the empty FC cabin opening up plenty of economy seats and you will get a seat assignment at checkin. Worst case scenario they deny you boarding and re-route you to San Juan and hop AA eagle over to STX. And if that is not possible on your day of travel you will get meal, hotel vouchers plus compensation for denied boarding. Usually cash vouchers for use on AA. Have a great trip and when you check in at IAH if they offer you to purchase a upgrade that means all elites have been accommodated and Y class is good to go.


Posted : October 17, 2010 3:36 pm
Posts: 285
Reputable Member

Greetings fellow travelers;
If you use AA.COM on the Internet you can select and book your seats up to 1 year in advance of the date of the flight, plus get some really good pricing for selected flights.
There are even applications for smart phone and Iphones to use AA.COM.
Use of the budget travel web sites doesn't place you into the best available seat bookings and prices on American...remember the budget site is also looking for the best commission that American will pay them plus American Airlines wants to keep the best for their customers!!!
Everybody wants a piece of your money.
Round trip tickets are always less money per segment than one way tickets...always.
It should be noted that a one way ticket can cost as much as a regular round trip ticket.
You can probably save money if you need a one way flight to book a round trip and the return at a realy future date.
It may cost you to change the future date, but it may be less cost than the original one way ticket.
American Airlines guarantees the best available price if you use their site to book your all know it cost to talk to a person, use you computer!!!
Also e-tickets cost less than mailed tickets.
E-tickets are picked up when you get to the airport.
You can also print your own off your computer when using AA.COM.
I am an extreme frequent flier on American Airlines, doing the MIA-STX-XXX connector flights at least 30 times a year, sometimes many more, sometime a few less.
My present rollabout travel bag has just slightly more than 1.000,000 miles on it and its only 2 years old!
Year before last I traveled STX-MIA 50 times in 12 months...and rarely had a seating problem nor any conversations with agents.
I always use the kiosks at the airports, after booking online with AA.
I hate lines!!
Most every airport that American flies into have self-service kiosks in the ticket entry area, some even inside the gate areas for changes and ticket re-issues.
St Croix has two (2) units located at the left end of their ticket sales counter, adjacent to the American Eagle counter.
You can also check you bag(s) at these terminals plus any of the flights for American Eagle, you have to talk to an agent when you check you bags via the kiosk, since they will have to tag you bag with the bar code strip.
Need only a standard credit card with magnetic strip to key your name into the kiosk's computer, ATM cards and some other ID cards also work to key the system to operate. the system does not charge anything against your credit just needs the name data from the magnetic strip.
The kiosk also accepts the bar code/data stip on your USA passport for proof of carrying your passport for international travel (STX-MIA to a foreign country).
There is also a pile of customs clearance cards on-top of the machine to pass through the customs area.
You can select or change seats immediately at the kiosks with a touch screen layout of the seating area of the cabin you have purchased your seat in...and usually not even have to speak to an agent, unless you are checking a bag.
The machine also prints and dispenses your boarding passes for all e-ticket purchases.
Additionally, the exit rows are limited to adult fliers only (no small children) and are usually booked that way on the last day of the flight.
A good way to stay away from those crying babies.
Row #7 seats, the bulkhead or front row of the coach section, on the Boeing 737 series aircraft presently coming to St Croix, and most any other place is now considered a premium charge seat, being sold at an additional fee over the cost of the regular coach seat cost. I have heard that it can be as high a $35 additional per seat!!!
Please remember that there is no floor storage for any items in row #7 during take off and landings, plus there is limited overhead storage due to physical location of airplane emergency equipment located in part of the overhead locker at this row.
These seats, unless purchased and paid for in advance are only released 51 minutes prior to departure time for general coach seat re-selection, also, these seats are many inches narrower than the regular coach seat!!.
This smaller size is something many people do not realize until they are trying to "shoehorn" their butts into them, something to remember!!!!
The closer you purchase tickets to the date of departure, the greater the chance that you're only to select which remaining middle seat you may occupy, or no seat to select since America Airlines Yield Management department will not issue duplicate seats once sold...forcing you to select a seat when you get to the airport!
Remember, there are 18 seats (emergency exit rows and bulkhead) that are generally blocked and only issued for coach positions at the ticket counter or kiosk on the day of the flight..
Just a note: for good money savings; purchase tickets minimum of 17 days in advance to flight, sometime longer is better and flights in middle of week are less cost than Mondays and Fridays.
You can put different travel dates into AA.COM and see the cost differences prior to purchase.
You would be sup prised the difference that a day can make...hundreds different.
Same for return schedules.
Check it out...make sure you get you Aadvantage miles club membership, the miles add up quickly and free flights are great.

Posted : October 17, 2010 3:46 pm
Posts: 285
Reputable Member
Topic starter

Thanks very much for the replies. We just looked again at and two seats were shown to be available-- which we grabbed. They're window seats on opposite sides of the plane, but at least we have seats now! We will check in at Houston to see if any other ones have opened up that may be together. From the near hysteria on this end, I guess it's obvious we're not frequent flyers.:-)

Posted : October 17, 2010 8:26 pm
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