I recently booked a flight on American Airlines in Business to Barcelona and the return is from Madrid in Main Cabin Extra in April of 2018. I was looking at the Seat Map and noticed a number of pretty good seat have been taken. Just looking at the rest of the seat map I could tell that no one else has booked this flight yet. So I looked at ExpertFlyer and it can tell the difference between Booked Seats and Blocked Seats.
While there is one thing wrong in this map, ExpertFlyer added rows 15-16 which are nonexistent but it’s still a trustworthy source. It’s telling me that seats 12 A,B and H seats in Main Cabin Extra Cabin have been blocked by the airline for the following reasons.
So AA Elites don’t get stuck in the Back of the Plane
Business Men, Frequent Travelers and others switch flights all the time and most of these travelers have Elite Status. So, AA blocks these seats so when that guy with Elite Status switches flights 1 hour before takeoff. They don’t get the middle seat in the back. They get the front row of the plane in an Aisle or Middle Seat! I know it sounds ridiculous the travelers who book the flight 1 year in advance but AA puts their Elites first.
Passengers with Disabilities get good seats
American Airlines occasionally get passengers with disabilities and they have to make sure there needs are fulfilled with bulkhead window and aisle seats for their comfort.