Seat Select

It’s just a standard part of booking a flight online these days, but back in 2011 booking a flight on Air New Zealand meant a reservation to a particular class. It wasn’t until a few hours before departure that the airline’s Departure Control System would allocate passengers a seat. And it certainly wasn’t something the customer could pick.

Adding Seat Select to the booking journey meant a lot of new plumbing was needed! We needed to be able to ask the Departure Control System what seats were actually available, we needed flight control staff to be able to price particular seats accordingly and we needed customers to be able to visualise and select the seats they actually wanted.

And then we had to do it all again for mobile – because this is 2011 and mobile is a whole new thing and needs a lot of special care! The original mobile site used jQuery Mobile and trying to render a seat selection interface on some of the cutting edge phones at the time was way harder than it should have been and relied on a lot of phone specific hacks and customisations! But if you book a flight today on your phone and select a seat I guarantee some of the code you use will still be from that original implementation.

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