American Airlines Mistakenly Tweets Free Seats for Everyone

Mar 21, 2018

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A tweet from American Airlines on Tuesday morning sent its nearly two million Twitter followers into a frenzy when the airline (accidentally) offered free seats to passengers. The tweet, which was deleted an hour after it was posted, read, “You never have to pay for a seat. Our team will help you with free seats if you arrive at the airport without.” While some customers might have been throwing clothes in a bag and hauling it to the nearest airport, others on Twitter seemed skeptical of the more-than-generous offer from American. One follower tweeted his apprehension: “Job available: Twitter manager for a national airline. (Our previous manager fired for tweeting drunken nonsense).”

While the tweet had many reactions, the airline clarified that it was simply a response to one of its followers who had a question about seat assignments. The reply “inadvertently left off the Twitter handle of the person who had asked the original question,” a representative for American told Travel + Leisure.

“However, the tweet is true,” the representative added. “Customers are not required to purchase an advanced seat assignment,” in reference to main cabin fares. “Customers may select a free seat, or pay for a preferred or main cabin extra seat. If a free seat is not available, a seat will either be automatically provided at check-in or at the airport.”

It should be noted that American Airlines does offer free seat assignments for passengers who make reservations with select fares; passengers who book in the basic economy cabin must pay extra for seat assignments, however. Basic economy passengers are assigned a seat when they check-in.

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