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View Full Version : BA to charge to select seats!


igk
09-25-2009, 05:59 AM
From The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/6228365/Motorists-could-get-bus-lane-fines-refunded-following-High-Court-challenge..html) (the title and link suggest a bus-lane story but currenty do go to the BA story :confused3)

I'm surprised BA would do this. They're losing business to other airlines by being too expensive and now they will alienate loads more people. A family of four flying to the US would have to pay 160 extra just to be able to guarantee to sit together.

Disneynutinlondon
09-25-2009, 06:42 AM
Even more reason for me to choose VA and NOT to fly BA.

Silly, silly man Mr Walsh

kristieuk
09-25-2009, 06:56 AM
I saw this article too, but I have to say, I'm not wholly upset by the news.

It has been a good few years since you could confirm your seats on BA when you booked your flight. Unless you are travelling with infants or children, you cannot choose your seats until you check in online 24 hours before the flight.

I have really missed the ability to choose seats in advance, as there are usually at least 4 adults and 2 children in our party, and even checking in online at the earliest time, it's often difficult to get us sat in a group. I have felt the current system is unfair for passengers who book flights early, as you have just as much chance as getting what you want as someone who might have booked a last minute bargain.

For those reasons, I think it's a good idea, and BA like all airlines are having to raise revenue where they can. However, whilst saying this, I do think that 20 per seat each way is excessive - 160 for a family of 4 is way over the top in my view. Saying that, we are flying with them on the 22nd October, and just to take the pressure off, I'll probably be paying, on the outbound flight at least.

brer_rabbit
09-25-2009, 07:19 AM
We usually fly BA as its the only airline that goes direct to Tampa, but this year we're going with US Airways via Charlotte as it was so much cheaper than BA (we saved over 150 each). BA are unfortunately too expensive these days compared to their competitors.

igk
09-25-2009, 07:57 AM
I agree that it's a good idea that BA should allow you to select seats in advance, but most transatlantic airlines already let you do that for free, so for BA to charge extra when they're one of the most expensive airlines already just seems silly :confused3

Obi Wan Kenobi
09-25-2009, 08:12 AM
If this is a charge for choosing your seat, why does it cost 20 for the Economy seat and 120 for Club World?

Do you get a gold engraved invitation when you choose your CW seat?

The cost are exactly the same, use the same database and same website.

kristieuk
09-25-2009, 08:28 AM
If this is a charge for choosing your seat, why does it cost 20 for the Economy seat and 120 for Club World?

Do you get a gold engraved invitation when you choose your CW seat?

The cost are exactly the same, use the same database and same website.

Really? That is absurd! So effectively, 480 for a family of 4 in Club? Blimey. We don't tend to take the children in Club, but there's another reason not to.

natalielongstaff
09-25-2009, 08:34 AM
how soon before virgin follow them !!

Obi Wan Kenobi
09-25-2009, 08:37 AM
Oh it gets better!
Currently, if you are a frequent flyer, a BA gold card holder, the best seats are held back for you and only released at 24 hours if no GC has booked (so that even if they book late, they can get a preferred seat)
This is going to change, no seats held back, so many GC holders are going to be annoyed when they get on board and find they are in the middle of a row whilst some shell suited, gold bangled "chav" has nicked their seat for their once a year holiday!

Silbver card holders get to choose in economy the emergency exit seats for free and in advance, from now on they will have to pay 50

How to annoy your frequent fliers.!!

So, you book your flights with BA, check out Seat Guru and choose the best seats months in advance.
You get to the airport and find you have been moved to teh middle of a row, as they need to re-assign the seats to a family with children who have not even pre booked their seats and got the flight as a last minute bargain
How happy are you going to be?

Well done Willy Walsh for turning BA in to BR;- British Ryanair! :rotfl:

Obi Wan Kenobi
09-25-2009, 08:38 AM
how soon before virgin follow them !!

Official announcement from Virgin Atlantic:

"With BA's more expensive seating, passengers now have the option to choose a better value-for-money airline like Virgin Atlantic. We do not charge for pre-assigned seats and have no plans to do so"

natalielongstaff
09-25-2009, 09:49 AM
Official announcement from Virgin Atlantic:

"With BA's more expensive seating, passengers now have the option to choose a better value-for-money airline like Virgin Atlantic. We do not charge for pre-assigned seats and have no plans to do so"

pretty much what they said about charging for extra luggage !

Pootle
09-25-2009, 11:32 AM
This is going to change, no seats held back, so many GC holders are going to be annoyed when they get on board and find they are in the middle of a row whilst some shell suited, gold bangled "chav" has nicked their seat for their once a year holiday!


The milk of human kindness lives .......

Funny, I've travelled Club with BA more times than I can remember, and have yet to see anyone resembling this description.

Let's just hope that Virgin do not go the same way. I definitely don't think it's their best move but time will tell.

Obi Wan Kenobi
09-25-2009, 11:58 AM
The milk of human kindness lives .......

Funny, I've travelled Club with BA more times than I can remember, and have yet to see anyone resembling this description.

Let's just hope that Virgin do not go the same way. I definitely don't think it's their best move but time will tell.

the comment was meant ironically Pootle. i.e. the Businessmans thoughts when he gets onto the plane..

steve76
09-30-2009, 03:29 PM
This is just making money out of people's fear that they might not be able to sit together. That may be fine at Ryanair prices but at BA prices I think it's a really bad move. When you're paying that amount of money for a flight in the first place, you should be able to expect to be able to sit together. You shouldn't feel forced into paying 40pp to do so. What next? Are restaurants going to start charging extra for you to sit together?

If they really need to make more money, and they really have to start charging for things that are currently included, the why don't they start charging for alcoholic drinks? How can it be right that someone who only drinks water pays the same as someone who downs six or seven miniature bottles of wine? Why should I have to pay for someone else's drinking binge and yet have to pay to sit with my family? (Note, BA - this is a suggestion instead of the seating charge, not as well as.

What really irks me is that they are bringing this in in the next couple of weeks. They should have announced it before the relevant flights are available for booking. I have existing bookings with BA. Had I known about this charge, I would have certainly booked with one of its competitors. The price is about the same (slightly cheaper, in fact) and the one advantage that BA had (slightly better flight times) has been thrown out of the window when BA cancelled that flight and booked us on another one (with rubbish flight times).

I will certainly try to avoid BA in the future. Rant over. :)

starrysky
09-30-2009, 03:50 PM
I'm actually glad about this because DH can't fit in a normal seat (6 foot 10) and we have had problems in getting these seats for him if you can't get them until 24hrs before. So I am ok with paying a small ammount more to get these seats as at least it means he can fly in comfort.
I do agree that paying to sit together is a bit much though.

wickesy
09-30-2009, 04:30 PM
If they really need to make more money, and they really have to start charging for things that are currently included, the why don't they start charging for alcoholic drinks?

Unless you are a gold or silver member of their frequent flyer scheme seat reservations have never been included with BA before, you have always had to wait until online check-in (or if you are travelling with infants then seats were allocated three days before the flight).

steve76
09-30-2009, 05:19 PM
Unless you are a gold or silver member of their frequent flyer scheme seat reservations have never been included with BA before, you have always had to wait until online check-in (or if you are travelling with infants then seats were allocated three days before the flight).

I beg to differ. Previously, you could check-in online 24 hours before your flight, and select your seats. All of the seats were available at that point, and everyone on that flight could choose from the same set of seats. It was a level playing field.

Now, you can choose not to pay, and still select your seats 24 hours in advance. But you are left with whatever seats are left over, once everyone else who has paid has selected their seats. Plus all of those who are eligible for whatever reason to do so for free. So, the chances are that larger groups of say four or more would have to split up.

My point is that previously, you could choose your seat and ensure you sit together at the same time as everyone else - included in the price of your ticket. Now, you are pushed to the back of the queue and have to pay extra if you want to choose your seats and have a good chance of getting what you wanted.

Time will tell what effect this new policy will have. Maybe very few people would choose to pay for reserved seating, and it won't have much effect on those using the free selection at 24 hours. Maybe lots of people will. Plus, on certain routes, there will be many young families etc. who are eligible for free seat selection. But either way, they are playing on the fears of people who want to sit together, and the needs of people who (for whatever reason) need to sit together.

kristieuk
10-01-2009, 04:58 PM
I beg to differ. Previously, you could check-in online 24 hours before your flight, and select your seats. All of the seats were available at that point, and everyone on that flight could choose from the same set of seats. It was a level playing field.

Now, you can choose not to pay, and still select your seats 24 hours in advance. But you are left with whatever seats are left over, once everyone else who has paid has selected their seats. Plus all of those who are eligible for whatever reason to do so for free. So, the chances are that larger groups of say four or more would have to split up.

My point is that previously, you could choose your seat and ensure you sit together at the same time as everyone else - included in the price of your ticket. Now, you are pushed to the back of the queue and have to pay extra if you want to choose your seats and have a good chance of getting what you wanted.

Time will tell what effect this new policy will have. Maybe very few people would choose to pay for reserved seating, and it won't have much effect on those using the free selection at 24 hours. Maybe lots of people will. Plus, on certain routes, there will be many young families etc. who are eligible for free seat selection. But either way, they are playing on the fears of people who want to sit together, and the needs of people who (for whatever reason) need to sit together.


Actually, until about 4 years ago, you could select your seats when you booked and change at any time. This facility was removed, and you could only select your seats 24 hours before at online check-in, but you would never have the pick of all of the seats - those trvaelling with infants were allocated seats at the time of booking which could be changed, and those with children were allocated seats 3 days prior to the flight, although these were again moveable at online check in.

Last year DD travelled as an infant, so our seats were pre-allocated to the bassinet seats, but when I checked these months before the flight, it was showing quite a number of seats as unavailable for selection (and not just emergency exit seats etc).

I agree though, the new policy puts an extra pressure on families to pre-pay to ensure they are seated together - I admit that we will be paying just to be sure we are not split as DD is only just 2, and the thought of ferrying her up and down the plane to be with Mummy or Daddy as she chooses is too much to bear. If it was just DH and I, I probably wouldn't pay as it wouldn't be the end of the world if we sat apart for a flight.