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British Airways - Seat Charging

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British Airways - Seat Charging

Years ago I use to be a good customer of B.A. flying north and south america and europe. However after a bad experience with B.A over booking my flight and them having to move me onto an alternative carrier I decided not to fly with B.A again. However I booked a flight with Iberia recently flying from Boston to Heathrow to then realise they are part of the same airline alliance with B.A - to my disappointment after paying a for a full price transatlantic ticket Iam being forced to pay extra for an allocated seat - alternatively I can wait 24 hours before my flight to book a seat free of charge but with no guarantee that I can sit next to my partner. I also run the risk of being next to a toilet and having a miserable flight. But hey we are flying BA where customer service really matters. This is making me consider changing my carrier as I still have a month to go.

London
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1. Re: British Airways - Seat Charging

You must have researched this really well

Edinburgh, United...
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2. Re: British Airways - Seat Charging

This policy has had a down side for some and a positive for others and has been discussed many times on the forums.

Regular BA flyers who have status can book seats for free when they book, even bronze card holders get a head start over those who have no status.

You have to take the gamble over how many others will choose not to pay the fee and wait till checkin then get on at T-24 and book

The Iberia flight will be a codeshare (assuming it is direct BOS-LHR which Iberia do not operate themselves), the site you booked through should have shown that the flight was "operated by British Airways"

Colchester, United...
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3. Re: British Airways - Seat Charging

You did not book a full price ticket, if you had you would be able to select your seat.

rural West Aussie
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for Perth
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4. Re: British Airways - Seat Charging

Yes, let's go back to the "good old days" when you didn't have to pay extra to select your seat. You just got whatever seat the check in agent assigned you, Lord help you if you made him/her mad at you for any reason...

California
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5. Re: British Airways - Seat Charging

You are correct in that you can either pay to reserve a seat or wait 24 hours prior to departure. You may not agree with BA's policy, but it is what it is. Other airlines also charge for reserved seating.

Abu Dhabi, United...
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for Abu Dhabi
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6. Re: British Airways - Seat Charging

This issue has been argued to death, but here's a strategy that may work for you.

Check the seat plan regularly through Manage My Booking on ba.com, as if you were going to pay. If there's a wide selection just back out and try again next week. If it's filling up you have a choice whether to proceed with payment or leave it to chance.

Edited: 27 August 2014, 08:27
Edinburgh, United...
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7. Re: British Airways - Seat Charging

"Iam being forced to pay extra for an allocated seat - alternatively I can wait 24 hours before my flight to book a seat free of charge"

In other words, you are not being forced at all.

Edited: 27 August 2014, 08:32
Portland, Oregon
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for Air Travel
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8. Re: British Airways - Seat Charging

BA's advance seat reservation (ASR) fee is to ensure their best high value fliers get good seat options when they book. Those people pay hundreds and often thousands more than the discount pax and often book late (less than 2 weeks and sometimes a few days before departure).

If those booking the cheap advance fares had free seat selection at booking, those best customers - paying hundreds or thousands more than you but booking after you - would end up with the crummy middles or be seated apart from their partners. Is that fair?

So that's why they have the ASR fee. To discourage the cheap fare pax from hoarding the best seats. It's not a scam; BA makes very little from the ASR fee. They protect millions in revenue by keeping their best pax happy.

[No I don't work for BA. I don't fly them. I have a similar but slightly different benefit with United]

Shoalhaven...
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9. Re: British Airways - Seat Charging

I am sure BA are just as upset at losing your custom

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: British Airways - Seat Charging

Just noticed this in the OP -

"- to my disappointment after paying a for a full price transatlantic ticket Iam being forced to pay extra for an allocated seat"

Did you REALLY pay **full price**? Because if you did buy a fully flexible ticket you should not have to pay the ASR fee and would have free seat selection immediately you booked.

Note that a fully flexible ticket is the most expensive ticket, fare codes (buckets) J, W and Y. If you booked any of those then complain. If not then you didn't book "full price".