This is in regard to Ron Gower's editorial on airline pre-selected seating. Here is my experience, and I have a lot of it.
You go to the airline's website, select your flight(s), and pay for the reservation. You get a confirmation number and select your seat. Twenty-four hours before departure, you go online, and print your board pass that contains your pre-selected seat.
Unless you are checking in with bags, you do not deal with an airline employee until you reach the boarding gate. The only time I have ever had my seat changed was on the rare occasion when the aircraft had a mechanical problem, and the airline changed aircraft, and the replacement aircraft had a different seating configuration.
Most airlines charge for preferred seating in economy class, unless you are an elite frequent flyer. Those seats are a bit larger and/or with more leg room. Experienced flyers gladly pay the extra fee.
Airlines are flying at almost 100 percent capacity for all flights. Consequently, it is a seller's market. And service diminishes.
Airlines make little revenue from families. I guess because most families only fly during summer months, and they hold no loyalty to one airline. They go for the cheapest fare.
Bob Marouchoc, Nesquehoning
United Airlines Million Mile Flyer