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BA Now Charging To Select Seats When Booking?  
User currently offlineAT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1007 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2354 times:

Hello all

My partner just booked a JFK LHR DXB LHR JFK on British Airways. Whilst booking there was no option to reserve seats, and then when he went to look at his reservation online on ba.com, it gave him the option to pay to reserve seats, or then wait to select a seat until check in.. This seems highly peculiar. It has never happened to me before and while I can imagine this happening on a low-cost airline , surely not a major carrier.

His question is, (1) is this correct- or has he misunderstood something, and (2) assuming it is so, is it worth doing?
They charge $40-50 per flight segment.

Has anyone on this site done it and what do you advise? Seems an awful lot to pay just to book what amount to a regular seat in the first place. He's very tall (6' 4) and legroom is always an issue for him, which makes anything other than an aisle seat uncomfortable. He's worried that If he waits until the official check in period all the aisle seats may already be gone.

any thoughts would be most appreciated.

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26848 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (6 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2342 times:

BA have been charging for a while now unless you hold status. VS are following suit now too. Its the way of the future sadly for passengers but a great revenue generator for the airlines.

User currently offlineAT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1007 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2323 times:

Thanks ...

what are the chances, you think of him securing an aisle seat if he waits until check-in?


User currently offlineEricAY05 From Finland, joined Sep 2010, 97 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2323 times:

Hasn't this been going on for some time already? I've managed to grab some excellent seats (last three rows of the 744) just when OLCI opens, so I don't worry too much about choosing seats in advance on BA.

User currently offlineCoachClass From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 427 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2293 times:

I think it's crappy to charge. I stopped flying BA about 10 years ago when it started its decline. It's just not special any more and I can't think of any reason for anyone to chose it but for the non-stops to LHR.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24817 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (6 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2293 times:

Quoting EricAY05 (Reply 3):
Hasn't this been going on for some time already? I've managed to grab some excellent seats (last three rows of the 744) just when OLCI opens, so I don't worry too much about choosing seats in advance on BA.

BA stopped permitting seat selection at time of booking a couple of years ago, except for passengers in the top frequent flyer levels, those paying unrestricted fares, and a few other exceptions such as passengers travelling with an infant under 2 years.
http://www.britishairways.com/en-ch/...mation/seating/choosing-your-seat.


User currently offlineDAL763ER From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2008, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2266 times:
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Quoting CoachClass (Reply 4):

I think it's crappy to charge. I stopped flying BA about 10 years ago when it started its decline. It's just not special any more and I can't think of any reason for anyone to chose it but for the non-stops to LHR.

Yes, it was nice when one could select seats far in advance of actually flying.

But why wouldn't they charge? Even if they make a few hundred $ per flight, it's still better than nothing. Most people just care to have a confirmed seat to their destination and only care about which one they will actually sit in when they check in.



Where aviation is not the side show, it's the main show!!!
User currently offlinejumpjets From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2012, 790 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2176 times:

Quoting AT (Reply 2):
what are the chances, you think of him securing an aisle seat if he waits until check-in?

I've never paid to reserve in advance but always check in as soon as online check in is open - and both on European and intercontinental flights I've always got a half way decent seat - the only time I've ended up with a middle seat has been when I had to check in for some reason at the airport.


User currently offlineAT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1007 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2173 times:

Thanks jumpjets - good to know.

Goodness what is the airline industry coming to!


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2141 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 1):
BA have been charging for a while now unless you hold status. VS are following suit now too. Its the way of the future sadly for passengers but a great revenue generator for the airlines.

Yes, BA have been doing this for many years now. It leaves a good selection of seats available for late booking Gold/Silvers, and people paying high last minute fares (i.e. the people that most contribute to BA's (a private company) profit margins). If you care, pay for it. If you don't there'll almost definately be a good choice of seats at T-24.

Quoting AT (Reply 2):
what are the chances, you think of him securing an aisle seat if he waits until check-in?

Excellent, just be sure to be online to check exactly 24 hours before you flight.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5177 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (6 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2111 times:

As others have said, if you check in at 24 hours before departure then you shouldn't have any problem at all.


Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offline1400mph From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2013, 700 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2019 times:

If your partner is tall and travelling in economy....

bulkhead seats / front row seats become available at a reasonable cost either 24 or 48 hours (can't remember which) prior to dep. ( I think that's right)

Just remember though you might end up in the vicinity of babies in some cases.


User currently offlineEricAY05 From Finland, joined Sep 2010, 97 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2009 times:

I have travelled in bulkhead seats a few times and I've never really understood the legroom hype with them. While the "personal space" does increase, in my opinion the legroom actually decreases. This is because while you can easily slide your feet under the seat in front of you in regular rows, the bulkhead prevents this and you are limited with what is in front of the wall. Of course this might vary with airlines and if you are really tall, it might be impossible to slide your legs under the seat in front of you.

User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1765 times:

Quoting EricAY05 (Reply 12):
I have travelled in bulkhead seats a few times and I've never really understood the legroom hype with them. While the "personal space" does increase, in my opinion the legroom actually decreases. This is because while you can easily slide your feet under the seat in front of you in regular rows, the bulkhead prevents this and you are limited with what is in front of the wall.

I've given up bulkhead seat 1C for a Y seat with no wall in front for exactly this reason.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineAT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1007 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1421 times:

thanks all for your help! he checked in this morning and all went well. There was a wide range of seats available.

User currently offlinevhtje From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 365 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1310 times:
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Quoting EricAY05 (Reply 12):
I have travelled in bulkhead seats a few times and I've never really understood the legroom hype with them.

I am not certain that it's so much the legroom - that largely depends on the carrier and how they configure the aircraft, some do have more legroom, others do not - I think it is the lack of a reclining seat in front of you which is the clincher for the bulkhead seat for a lot of people. When you're sitting in a seat with only 31-inch pitch, a reclined seat in front of you really kills your space. Forget going to the loo, for example.

Me, whenever I am in whY I ALWAYS seem to attract the perpetual recliner in the seat in front of me - you know him, he's the guy who reclines his seat fully the very second the seatbelt sign goes off and stubbornly leaves it reclined for the whole flight, even during the meal service. And he never checks before reclining to see if my laptop is on my tray table... he just reclines into my laptop.

For this reason, I choose a bulkhead seat whenever I can. Or, preferably, if long haul, travel in a higher cabin with more personal space.

One other point with BA's long haul aircraft - their bulkhead seats have a fold-down bassinet table. If there is no baby using them, they become very handy for laptops, iPads, tray tables, drinks, etc.

[Edited 2014-01-20 15:08:52]

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24817 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (6 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1267 times:

Quoting vhtje (Reply 15):
I choose a bulkhead seat whenever I can.

Even where legroom may be somewhat greater, I avoid bulkhead seats in Y class primarily because they almost always have the tray tables in the armrests which make already narrow seats seem even more confining. And, should you get lucky and have an empty seat next to you, you can't fold up the armrest.


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