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It was dramatically different for elite frequent fliers. They could pick from 75 seats, including nine rows with four or more seats together.
Another flight — New York to Los Angeles on Delta — offered its most loyal fliers almost twice as many seats for free, 111 versus 60.
What families can do
New seat assignments can be snagged for free starting five days before departure as some elite fliers are upgraded to first class.
Another block of seats is released 24 hours in advance when online check-in starts.
Gate agents can sometimes put families in seats set aside for disabled passengers or ask others to move.
Booking through sites such as Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity can add complications. If somebody inadvertently selects an elite seat or one requiring a fee, airline reservation systems won’t hold a seat. Passengers should confirm selections with the airline.
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