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BA Charges To Select Business Class Seats.  
User currently offlineoctubre299 From Mexico, joined Jul 2013, 15 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3979 times:

While making a rather long flight with segments done with 4 of the major Oneworld partners I realized BA was the only one that charges revenue business class passengers to select seats online ahead of flight.

I personally think it's a slap in the face but even further than that the question becomes, why the other don't follow suit and why do they let BA do it?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBA677 From UK - England, joined Jan 2012, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3788 times:

Hmm, BA love to add extra charges wherever they can, like for example spending Avios. ( see thread, What's going on at the Executive club). Dear I say it, they are becoming the Ryanair for the upper end of the market.

User currently offlineroseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9642 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3686 times:

If I remember correctly seat assignments are only available for elite members in one world. Otherwise there is a fee. I find this as an insulting practice to people pay thousands for their business or first class tickets. If the goal is to keep seats available for last minute elites, then they hold block a few good seats in front. In general I think BA has one of the worse benefit packages for the normal flyer. The fees associated with spending miles are so high and charging premium passengers for seat assignments gives me a negative feeling about them. I almost wish all my AA miles were with a different airline so that I would have better access to Europe.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinefoppishbum From Taiwan, joined Mar 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3661 times:

We flew LAX-LHR-NCE, CDG-LHR, LCY-(SNN)-JFK in CW/CW-LCY last summer and I paid big bucks to select the seats we wanted. I was very annoyed but what could I have done? Having flown with many other OW members in premium cabins, I was shocked that BA charged a fee for premium cabin passengers.  


I'm a Taiwanese-American living in NYC and LA.
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8114 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3629 times:

I'm a big fan of BA but I think it's absolutely outrageous to not only charge for seat assignments in business, but charge quite a lot more than in economy! Y is £10 I think, and J is £50. I had a silver card last year which meant I could reserve a seat a week in advance, which allowed access to most seats, and now with a gold card I can choose my seat at booking or anytime after that, so I'm not actually affected personally, but I still think it's daylight robbery and makes BA and even the UK look bad. I guess oil is $120 a barrel and that has to be paid somehow, but this seems unfair.


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlinefbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3708 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3603 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 4):
I had a silver card last year which meant I could reserve a seat a week in advance

Silver allows pre-assignment at booking.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1360 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3571 times:

Agree to what was said before, charging or seat selection in business class is really something nobody other than BA does. That said, this is been for years now and nothing new.

User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3544 times:

Clearly BA have seen that the vast majority of their Biz class passengers are also OW Sapphire and Emerald passengers who can select for free, and are not affected by the fee. People with OW Sapphire and Emerald status have nothing to worry about, and should actively like this situation as it means that there is a better choice of seats when they get their tickets.

I imagine a lot of people don't really mind where abouts they are sat on the plane, so don't worry about the fee. Families with small children can choose their seats for free at T-72, so young familes won't be spilt up.

BA are trying to keep their best passengers (by definition the ones with top tier cards) sweet by giving them the best choice of seats when they book (often last minute). I flew QR on a full J ticket a few months ago, but only booked a few days before....no good seats left - they were probably taken by people buying in the sales for a lot less than my ticket many months before - I wasn't happy.

When I flew BA before I got status, I would always be waiting at T-24 to check in....more often than not, there was still a good choice of seats as a) people didn't bother to pay to select a seat, and b) people didn't care enough about their seating to be waiting at T-24 to get the best of what was left for free.

Either way (seat selection for free/fee), you are going to annoy people. Free seat selection generally annoys the higher paying last minute business travellers as there are no good seats left. Fee seat selection annoys the lower paying advance bookers (the group many a.netters belong to)...BA i'm sure have done their research, and decided to please their top tier last minute bookers.

Whilst BA might be the only ones with this particular system, many other airlines have other awkward seat selection rules. For example, you can only select your seat (for free) on SQ if you book direct with them. I'm flying JL in a few weeks, but on the AY codeshare....unable to select a seat in advance (despite being CX Gold) either by calling AY or JL.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1360 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3542 times:

Valid reasons, however other airline solve this by just blocking rows of seats that can only be selected before with status, while the rest is free for all. They thus ensure that most people can select a seat and status guests still getting the nice seats upfront. That said, I only noticed that in economy class, never in business. I just find it a bit picky to ask for 80 EUR+ when people spend several thousands in business class...

User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7703 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3524 times:
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Quoting reifel (Reply 8):
I just find it a bit picky to ask for 80 EUR+ when people spend several thousands in business class...

Have to agree. They could ensure seating choice was available for most pax with status if they felt like it, but instead opt to treat those already paying a huge premium as a cash cow. It's pretty weak.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4002 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3487 times:
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Quoting reifel (Reply 8):
Valid reasons, however other airline solve this by just blocking rows of seats that can only be selected before with status, while the rest is free for all.

My boss likes to sit one row away from the door to be as close to without being bothered by it; if she had her way, one of my colleagues would sit in a window seat in the middle of the cabin; unfortunately for her, I usually make the bookings for us and I like to sit at the rear of the cabin unless the cabin behind is coach, in which case I prefer the front.

We generally book a week or two weeks out. Which rows should BA block to keep us happy?

My point is, I know by experience the usual rules for coach (everyone wants exit or front rows) do not necessarily apply for business. Blocking off a few rows for last-minute elite travelers is going to piss off other last-minute elite travelers whose favorite rows are taken up by early bookings who didn't have access to the blocked rows. I think it is disgraceful of BA to charge for seat selection, especially £50, it is cheap money-grabbing at its best, but if their purpose is to please last-minute bookings, then the entire cabin must be open to them, not a few rows.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1360 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3470 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 10):

My point is, I know by experience the usual rules for coach (everyone wants exit or front rows) do not necessarily apply for business. Blocking off a few rows for last-minute elite travelers is going to piss off other last-minute elite travelers whose favorite rows are taken up by early bookings who didn't have access to the blocked rows. I think it is disgraceful of BA to charge for seat selection, especially £50, it is cheap money-grabbing at its best, but if their purpose is to please last-minute bookings, then the entire cabin must be open to them, not a few rows.

I tend to agree. with LH in coach i.e. the first 10-20 Rows are available only for Full fare tickets or gold Status holders (or higher). Obvisouly, those may also choose other seats in the cabin, if they wish.

BA could do the same in business class, too... They want to earn more money. Sure quite a few passengers paying 3000 EUR will also pay 3050 EUR, that's it. It's not about status guests or having the best seats available for them for last minute bookings. These seats could be taken with people that paid 50 EUR or so for it. If they really would like to have seats available (i.e. seating together), they would block some off and not sell them at 50 EUR. that said, I am sure BA is happy to sell the whole seats of a cabin at 50 EUR each to non status holders (although I agree that is pretty unrealisitc, but theoretically possible). I also agree as said by blueflyer, that by blocking seats for status guests, some will not necessarily be those that will meet all individual preferences, but they could try to block a few 2-seaters, and seats that are "generally" preferred. I mean when LH blocks off the 20 first rows in coach ,that isn't not necessarily those were all frequent flyers would like to seat, but for last minute bookings, frequent flyer could at least get seats for selection, and would have a wide choice between windows, aisles, bulkheads, and sitting a couple together etc...

In my opinion the only valid reason for BA charging money for seat selection is additional revenue, which I admit is fair, but it's for sure not to give benefits to their frequent flyer (this is rather good marketing: "Oh you are exempt of paying for your seat selection"). Some airlines get even worse, i.e. airberlin, which offers "discount" on seat selection for certains seat for their top status members in coach   But hey, this is business class after all. You get tons of amenities in business class, so why would you charge for a seat selection, it seems so wrong   Maybe you should be charged 1% of the fare to get miles credited, like the car rental companies in the US do   I am sure people would buy it iif all airlines do that  


User currently offlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3469 times:

Quoting reifel (Reply 11):
Maybe you should be charged 1% of the fare to get miles credited, like the car rental companies in the US do I am sure people would buy it iif all airlines do that

To be fair, that is a federal tax not a charge imposed by the rental companies...


User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1360 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3460 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 12):
To be fair, that is a federal tax not a charge imposed by the rental companies...

Oh I didn't knew that. Thanks, I guess you learn new things every day   But still, sure people would buying it  


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