I was checking my seats on my flight for the PubCon conference in Vegas in a few weeks and noticed that I was no longer in the first row in economy. Having the first row, on long flights, is nice - to say the least. When I booked early, I was able to grab the first row on the way to and from Vegas.

Now, when I look, I have the same seat number, but on the way to Vegas, it looked like they put in two more rows in front of my row. On the way back, the plane is still the same, so I still have the front row coming back (which is a red eye, so it is nice).

Here is the before and after...

Before:

continental plane seat before

After:

continental plane seat change

When I called Continental to ask, they said they didn't add new rows, but they changed the plane on me. They then told me that the front row is reserved for handicap. I decided then not to complain and thanked the person for the information. Thankfully, I am not handicap - so sitting in a normal row is just fine for me. If I remember, I'll try to call a day before the flight to see if those seats have been taken. Just too bad they changed planes on me.

I am told this is fairly common.