My fiancé and I travelling together tomorrow, and since this is the beginning of a work trip for me, we had to book our flights separately. When we booked, we managed to get seats next to each other on one leg of our flight, but neither of us was able to select seats initially on the second. A couple of weeks ago, when I called the airline (American) to try and link our records or get us seats for that leg, I was told that we would just have to try our luck when we check in.
Fast forward to this morning, we both check in for our flight. We do not have seats near each other, and there are no standard seats open, so we opted to purchase upgrades to select available seats. I purchased my upgraded seat with no problem, but he received an error that wouldn't let him complete the transaction. He called the airline and was told that because his ticket was under airport control, he could not make any seat changes until he got to the airport.
So my main question is, what is "airport control" and why does it happen? Why would his ticket be affected but not mine? This flight is the second leg of a long trip. Will we be able to change seats when we get to our departure airport, or will we have to wait until we arrive at our layover?
So when we got to the airport, the agent at the check-in desk wasn't able to change the seats. She recommended we try to one of the automated kiosks. For whatever reason, we were able to purchase an upgraded seat from there.