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On the Spot: Why seating on flights is up in the air
Question: Can an airline bump passengers from previously purchased, extra-legroom seats? Last summer we checked in online for a United Airlines Boston-to-San Francisco flight and learned that we had been bumped back to regular coach from our previously purchased Economy Plus seats. We thought paying for the extra legroom seats essentially guaranteed us those seats. Could the fliers in "our" seats have had some frequent-flier elite status giving them priority?
By Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times
January 6, 2013