# Is the "confirmed allocation" string in "A Scandal in Belgravia" a real airline practice? [closed]

(This is a repost of this question on Movies SE. I hope to get better answers here.)

Irene Adler shows the following text to Sherlock:

007 Confirmed allocation
4C12C45F13E13G60A60B61F34G34J60D12H33K34K


He immediately guesses that "these are seat allocations on a passenger jet", claims it must be a Boeing 747 and then recalls a specific flight which takes off at 6:30 PM the next day. Note that only 14 seats are listed. A Boeing 747 can carry about four hundred passengers. The flight takes off tomorrow evening.

Do airlines really document or communicate seating allocations in this way? Shouldn't there be more seats "confirmed" (whatever that means)?

• there's a seat J which means that the row contains at least 10 seats and a row 60 (making for a 60*10 possible seats), though how they are setup is specific tot he airliner Dec 2 '14 at 14:21
• @ratchetfreak: Yes, that was in the movie. But what is that string typically used for and why are so few seats confirmed? Dec 2 '14 at 14:23
• maybe other seats were confirmed before and these were late buyers Dec 2 '14 at 14:25
• @ratchetfreak: Well, perhaps. That's why I ask here and hope that someone who knows airline operations in great details can explain it. Dec 2 '14 at 14:26
• @ratchetfreak - that doesn't necessarily mean 600 seats: some aircraft may use ABC DEFG HIJ, others may use AC DG HJ (in order to preserve the A/J window seats, CD GH aisle seats). There are often a large number of missing rows, and First/Business class will have much fewer seats per row Dec 2 '14 at 21:56

Based on my research for string confirmed allocation, there were no references found related to airlines or their practice.