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BA charges Exorbitant for Seat allocation

Walloper

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Jul 4, 2009
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Greetings

I have just booked a couple of business seats on a BA cross Atlantic return with AA points. I'm really pleased with the flights - even after reading some of the comments about redeeming on BA and costs etc - the costs for this booking have been reasonable for available direct flights booked ten weeks out.

But - I then went to BA for seat allocations to be advised that I would have to PAY for seat allocations made more than 24 hours out from time of travel.

The cost is USD416 or GBP150 for two adjacent (but NOT guaranteed) seat allocations.

I can not believe that any airline would charge for Business Class seat allocations - left alone this exorbitant amount!

I find that this is absolutely outrageous?? Or am I getting carried away??

Tally ho ...
 
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Unfortunately this is the case for BA without status. If you are OW ruby you can get free selection 7 days prior. Higher status gets you outright free selection from time of booking.

all seats are free from on line check-in opening.

If you are after the two centre seats as a couple i wouldn’t bother paying. they’ll be among the last to go. (actually i wouldn’t pay at all!)
 

kelvedon

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This is a surprise to many who haven’t dealt with BA before. For BA it’s a business decision and I guess most of their customers in J are regular flyers who would hold some level of status so the charges wouldn’t apply.
This system also allows their regular J flyers, who would often book at the last minute, a wider choice of seats, and this type of PAX is more valuable to them than the occasional non status ones. I agree though, it’s hardly an encouragement to convert those infrequent J flyers to regulars.
 

serfty

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You will almost certainly end up allocated with seating together; this same policy generally ensure this since most PAX will not pay those fees to allocate seats.
 

Shikakui

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It's clearly not worth it to pay that kind of money....Incredible that they can get away with it!
 

TonyHancock

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One of the side benefits for those with OW status is the avoidance of this fee. In my experience it has allowed me to book late and still get my preferred seats.
 

ajw373

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The fee is outrageous. It would be OK, well actually not ok but bearable IF BA pre-allocated seats to passengers on the same booking next to each other without fee and only charged if you wished to select specific seats. Pretty low to be booked togther, not pay the ransom money only to find when free seat selection comes online that you cannot be seated together. Read some horror stories about parents and young kids being separated by BA due to this policy.
 

ermen

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The fee is outrageous. It would be OK, well actually not ok but bearable IF BA pre-allocated seats to passengers on the same booking next to each other without fee and only charged if you wished to select specific seats. Pretty low to be booked togther, not pay the ransom money only to find when free seat selection comes online that you cannot be seated together. Read some horror stories about parents and young kids being separated by BA due to this policy.
actually BA have a policy that a child will be seated with an adult so no problems there.

what is unclear is if there are 2 adults + 2 children - will there be an issue?
 

ajw373

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They may have a policy of that but still read plenty of horror stories on the BA forums in the UK that it doesn’t always work.

For me everyone on same booking should be seated together by default. Sure don’t let them choose (like Qantas 10 years ago) and make them pay for choice. But on same booking should be together regardless.
 

lonewolf

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Nov 5, 2009
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I actually think its a joke that any full fare airline charges for their seats even for economy. They didnt always do this, it only started a few years ago and seems to have caught on and more and more of them do this now. Defeats some of the purpose of flying with them over the budget airlines.
 
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We are flying J with BA from Japan to UK return next week and was shocked to learn when I went to book seats a couple of
months ago the ridiculous fees.
We wish to seat together away from toilets and staff preparation areas so had to pay extra $560 for the privilege.

We will not fly BA again !
 

ajw373

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Airlines started as they cottened onto the fact that people want a lower headline fare. Hence why even now full service airlines can charge for seats and meals etc.

And it wasn’t all that long ago no one could choose their seat, except maybe unless you booked through an agent. Or am I now showing my age as that may have been 20 years ago now.
 

mannej

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Airlines started as they cottened onto the fact that people want a lower headline fare. Hence why even now full service airlines can charge for seats and meals etc.

And it wasn’t all that long ago no one could choose their seat, except maybe unless you booked through an agent. Or am I now showing my age as that may have been 20 years ago now.
Online seat selection for QF prior to OLCI has only been introduced within the last 10 years or so. Before that it was always a phone call.
 

Lynda2475

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I recently flew BA SYD-SIN, SIN-LHR as part of a Qantas classic reward (unfortunately there were no Qantas metal seats available on the outbound leg). I got free seat selection on the return leg which was Qantas metal as Im silver, but was annoyed to find I had to pay to select my seat on the BA flights, unless i waited til 7 days out.

My nightmare is being stuck in a middle or window seat on a long haul flight, Id been keeping an eye on the available seats and slowly watching the aisle disappear , so 4 months out i cracked and bought seats. It was AU $28.50 for SYD-SIN and another $51.70 SIN-LHR - a revenue raiser for sure. I just didn't have confidence there would be any aisle seats left 7 days out, given there were only 15 available 4 months out on the SIN-LHR flight.

I found BA service was below what im used to on Qantas, BA only offered dinner and breakfast on the 12 hours from SIN-LHR, Qantas offer those plus mid flight hot snacks (if you are awake).

Also on two short haul international flights (LHR-MAD and DBV-LGW) was disappointed that BA dont even include a soft drink/water, yet dare to call themselves a full service airline - i mean even southwest give you a soft drink and southwest fares are significantly less expensive than BA.
 
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djd

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Apr 14, 2011
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Paid the extortionate BA charge for aisle seats in J upstairs in a 747 BKK LHR. Aircraft was changed to A380 with comparable seating on the upper deck. On departure, aircraft was changed back to a 747 and, despite my protests, was allocated a window seat (which would have cost less) on the lower deck.
 

mannej

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Paid the extortionate BA charge for aisle seats in J upstairs in a 747 BKK LHR. Aircraft was changed to A380 with comparable seating on the upper deck. On departure, aircraft was changed back to a 747 and, despite my protests, was allocated a window seat (which would have cost less) on the lower deck.
And let me guess, no refund from BA...
 
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My nightmare is being stuck in a middle or window seat on a long haul flight, Id been keeping an eye on the available seats and slowly watching the aisle disappear , so 4 months out i cracked and bought seats. It was AU $28.50 for SYD-SIN and another $51.70 SIN-LHR - a revenue raiser for sure. I just didn't have confidence there would be any aisle seats left 7 days out, given there were only 15 available 4 months out on the SIN-LHR flight.

Also on two short haul international flights (LHR-MAD and DBV-LGW) was disappointed that BA dont even include a soft drink/water, yet dare to call themselves a full service airline - i mean even southwest give you a soft drink and southwest fares are significantly less expensive than BA.
I guess the odds in the seat roulette vary by route. For flights such as London-New York where there must be a lot of last minute business bookings, as well as huge J class cabins, I've never had a problem selecting a good seat at the 7-day mark for silver (not worth paying). Perhaps longer-haul flights with fewer services and more advance planning for business pax would fill up.

BA is a bit cheap on the lack of water or soft drinks. I only fly BA Euro out of London City, which still provides a full bar service for free. But I find in general BA fares out of LCY and LGW to be very competitive - quite a bit cheaper than Southwest. My last flight LCY-AMS was £11... the bag was £10 extra, and then taxes for using LCY made up the difference to £79. That base fare is much cheaper than many Southwest offerings.
 

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