If you want to fly Air New Zealand from San Francisco to Auckland in mid February i.e. after the school holidays have finished, you’ll find some great deals.
Try and select a seat, though, and it’s not such a pleasant experience.
This is what their seat map looks like:
The greyed-out seats are “Unavailable”
No idea what that means – Air NZ hasn’t bothered to answer my request for clarification
If you want to sit together with your travel partner, you’ll need to cough up another $50 each for a “Preferred” seat.
“Extra Legroom”…er…no, you’ve got the same seat pitch as all the others.
Or Better Location On The Aircraft” …er…no, you’re stuck in the middle of the rest of the passengers.
Or right at the back next to the toilets and with restricted seat recline.
I’ve worked out what they’re doing:
The flight isn’t nearly full – they’ve got the maximum number of seats on display for sale. And they wouldn’t be offering $845 seats if they were going to be full anyway.
C4 DC ZC JC U4 E4 O4 A4 Y7 B7 M7 H7 Q7 V7 W7 T7 L7 SC GC KC P7
What they’re doing is trickle-feeding the number of reservable seats to force couples or families to pay a premium for a normal (in some cases – crappy…) seat.
Once they’ve done that, they release a few more “Preferred” seats and pull the same trick all over again.