Aug 20, 2002
I couldn''t believe what went on at the gate yesterday. I finished a trip yesterday and went to the gate to commute home. The employee travel line said there was about 15 seats open...so no problem. While sitting at the gate the agent started asking about free trips if you wanted to give your seat up. I then ask the agent about the load and was told it was way over sold. I then ask about the jumpseats and was told there were two. While sitting near the check-in process I''m hearing the agent tell walk-ups that the flight is full. I boarded along with the other jumpseater only to find out that there was ONLY one jumpseat and I was the alternate so now I''m out a seat that I thought I had...remembering the flight is over sold. I went back up to the check-in agent to inquire about the next flight and listened to her on the phone talking to someone on the jetway about seats. Turned out there were suddenly three open seats and she processed non-revs via senority, which I missed a seat by one. This obvious confused the agent because she counted tickets and the plane SHOULD have been full, so where did the three seats come from? Luckily I didn''t leave the area becaue about two minutes late the phone rang again and the agent started saying things like..How can there be open seats and is everyone on the plane and not in the jetway. She then made an annoucement (with a wondering look) at the gate for anyone wanting to go to Anycity to get on. Ten more of us got on with open seating. The last six rows were wide open except for a few non-revs that boarded earlier. To the agents surprise she THOUGHT is was a 737-300, where in fact it was a 400 with 18 more seats then she thought she had. She didn''t know it was a 400, so she issued 126 seats and called it full leaving standby passengers and non-revs. I sat and watch atleast 20 paying passengers get turned away for that flight from the agent simply beacuse of the fact it was a 400 rather then a 300. I really would have thought atleast one of the three working agents would have known.
Classic example of how things are going in the trenches not only for the paying passenger but also for the jumpseat/non-rever. We lost revenue on that flight and probably lost a few customers for ever simply the way they were treated when trying to check-in.
As we pushed from the gate I could see around me about 8 or 10 open seats, if those turned-away passengers only knew!
Happy Holidays to all from the Carrier of Choice


Aug 20, 2002
'We lost revenue on that flight and probably lost a few customers for ever simply the way they were treated when trying to check-in'

AHHH The wrong seat map...will do it every time!

Lets not be so critical of this agent,she THOUGHT she had a 300 so to her the flight WAS full...what helped YOU out was that she asked if there were any seats open.Yeah she should have checked to see what arcft she had but didn't,she was wrong,but got you on.

She didn't take any DB'S so all revenue got on.

I wish the other paxs could have gotten on and Im sure she does too!


Aug 21, 2002
The bigger question is why USAirways managment did not know there was a -400 there. Surely, the gate agent should have been told. Or it should have shown up on her computer. I can't believe that this slipped through the cracks. Embarrasing.


Aug 30, 2002
I little story. Many years ago I was working as Dispatch Rep while furloughed as pilot. A "Fed" was suppose to give a new Captain a check ride on a Stretch DC-8. The Captain and Fed met in Dispatch and went to the bird. (Right outside the window of Dispatch). In a few minutes, the Fed came back in. Said, "I need a Stretch 8 for this check ride, that is a regular 8". Wrong - it really was a Stretched 8 (DC8-61). Honest, it really happened.


Aug 26, 2002
Re: missed aircraft change

The gate agent is responisble to verify the aircraft type in the FLIFO display against the aircraft type listed for the flight in ACS(Airport Checkin System), part of the 'wonderful world of SABRE". An ACS entry will change the aircraft type in ACS to the correct map and reseat passenger where the seat characteristics changed. The aircraft routing systems in DECS (another part of SABRE) is not integrated with ACS. It's not great and the agent has to be looking, but it does work. Hubs probably do it many, many times a day. Out stations, once in a while. As for the jumpseat, another joy of SABRE, the gate agent must look up the aircraft fleet number in a display table in FOCUS (infomation area) to determine how many jumpseats a particular aircraft has. The base display in ACS will always show 2 since some 737 have 2 and some have 1. Since the jumpseat info in ACS is included in the passenger counts sent to the weight and balance program, it can only be used by allowing for 2. The gate agent has to look it up for each departure.

As background, US FLIFO is a vast improvement over what American uses.

Hello Newman

Aug 23, 2002
In response to UAL6's story, Capitol Airways (CL)
had both stretch DC8's seating 250 and the standard 8s seating 178. There were a few occasions where a standard 8 was sent to work a LAS charter when the Sales dept sold enough seats for a stretch 8. So, Capitol had to buy 72 seats to LAS on UA or whoever they could get the seats on. This kind of thing ain't just a USAirways
screw up.