BA & Pre-selected seats..

Old Oct 1st, 2008, 01:41 PM
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BA & Pre-selected seats..

We have booked 2 Business Class flights with BA,from LHR to Hong Kong next February,using air miles.
But can someone tell me WHY BA refuse to pre-select seats for people in Business Class ?.
If we were actually paying the air fare of many thousands of pounds I think the least BA could do is allow pre-allocation of seats.
I have called BA about this and was told pre-selection was only available to Fully Flexible Fares only.

In a word...WHY ?

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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 02:15 PM
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We have booked 2 Business Class flights with BA,from LHR to Hong Kong next February,using air miles.
But can someone tell me WHY BA refuse to pre-select seats for people in Business Class ?.
If we were actually paying the air fare of many thousands of pounds I think the least BA could do is allow pre-allocation of seats.
I have called BA about this and was told pre-selection was only available to Fully Flexible Fares only.

In a word...WHY ?


Asked and answered. If you did, they would.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 03:00 PM
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It so the people paying the most for seats will get the first crack at the seats they want. You paid nothing so you are low on the totem pole. All you can do is get to the airport early and hopefully you'll get a seat you like. Besides, if you get there early, you'll have more time to hang out in the biz class lounge.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 03:28 PM
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They are keeping the seats available for the the people who are paying the thousands of GBP.

Otherwise, the best seats would go to the people spending the miles.
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 05:13 PM
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It seems that an easier course of action would be to set aside a certain number of seats that can be assigned to air mile redemptions.

I mean, the reason for loyalty programs is so people will keep using your product. Why p*ss them off unnecessarily?
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Old Oct 1st, 2008, 06:10 PM
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It seems that an easier course of action would be to set aside a certain number of seats that can be assigned to air mile redemptions.

I mean, the reason for loyalty programs is so people will keep using your product. Why p*ss them off unnecessarily?


No, the reason for loyalty programs is to make money. The airlines do so through the selling of miles to credit card companies, etc., and they make a great quantity of money in the process.

BA allows elite members of Oneworld frequent flyer programs to select seats at booking, and for full (or close to full) fare pax the same thing goes. All other pax, including redemption pax, can select seats 24 hours before the flight.

The concept behind it (with which I don't agree, BTW) is that especially in business and first class cabins, there is a strong possibility that someone will appear a few days before a flight and purchase a non-discounted ticket. Happens all the time. These are very important pax, because they're spending a ton of money, so they should have first dibs on seats. With airlines that do allow pre-selection of award seats, those pax would get the dregs; not good for repeat business.

BA is all about its business passengers and passengers who fly in premium cabins. From that point of view, their restrictions on seat selection may appear logical; however as I said it makes no friends among leisure travelers or redemption pax.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 01:21 AM
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From my own experience, I frequently fly on BA for business. It basically needs to be fully flexible and I usually fly with short notice, less than a week in advance.

It is great that I can get my favourite seats on BA most of the times, without someone blocking it simply because he/she booked el cheapo fares beforehand. Believe me, my firm (thankfully not me personally) contribute £millions on BA's bottom line.

To be honest, there are already too many of us who holds Gold and Silver EC membership, so the fight to get good seats are tough enough. I and fellow premium EC members would be quite upset if the seating is done "first-come, first-book" base. Leave that to discount airliners.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 10:43 AM
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"Leave that to discount airliners."

You mean the likes of Cathay Pacific, JAL, Singapore, Emirates, Lufthansa, etc, etc, etc - all of which allow seat reservations for mere mortals.
But of course, non of those are quite up to BA standards, therefore I do understand your contempt for them.

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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 10:58 AM
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Gardyloo,
"If we were actually paying the air fare of many thousands of pounds I think the least BA could do is allow pre-allocation of seats.
I have called BA about this and was told pre-selection was only available to Fully Flexible Fares only.
In a word...WHY ?
Asked and answered. If you did, they would."

You know I like and respect you, but I disagree with this statement.
You could indeed pay thousands of pounds and still not get your seat. If they are not fully flexible fares, you would not qualify. Even "discounted" business class fares for this route would cost you a small fortune without being able to get a seat assignment.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 11:06 AM
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I was being a bit snarky, sorry. Actually I believe if seats are booked in Y, B, (econ) A, J, D (FC/bus) or W (World Traveller Plus) you can pre-select seats. On LHR-HKG all those would cost several thousand quid IIRC.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 12:35 PM
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Gardyloo,
Forgiven (lol); you remain one of the "gurus".
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 02:11 PM
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Easy answer: because they can.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 02:35 PM
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For now...
Who knows what the future holds for them or any of us, for that matter?
As the big spenders are forced to cut back, maybe, just maybe, BA will come asking for business and become more flexible.
I am not holding my breath though, just hoping.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 04:59 PM
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I booked (and paid for!!!)business class tickets in July for Oct. 4 for the 8:40am JFK/LHR flighto on BA. Got call this morning that flight overbooked and we no longer have seats so must take the 8:20am flight. I had already checked in and got seats and boarding passes online. No good...must take the earlier flight or 6 pm flight. Amazed!!! Not happy! Need to change going and pick-up arrangements. Anybody ever had this experience?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 05:01 PM
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Elainee, that really stinks. Are they giving you any compensation for this involuntary bumping?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 05:03 PM
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NO!!!! Plus if I did not agree to the 8:20 flight, I could only go on the 6pm with NO COMPENSATION AT ALL SINCE THEY INFORMED ME IN ADVANCE!!! Is this kosher?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 05:18 PM
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I don't know if it's kosher but it's really absurd. You paid good money for those seats and this is just wrong. I would file a complaint and take it up the chain of command, as far as necessary. Good luck.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 06:54 PM
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I guess I'm missing something. BA put you on a flight 20min earlier and this is a major disruption for you?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 10:06 PM
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I think the point is why?
Why didn't they put those that didn't bather to book until last minute on the earlier flight?
I am sure because they were more "entitled" than the OP.
The English class system rears its ugly head (I suspect). Where else but on Cunard do they still have steerage class (oh, they don't call it that anymore, but you can't dine in the same dining room with "royalty"; in fact they have no less than 4 levels of dining).BA treats their customers the same way.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 11:28 PM
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OMG, how you are getting your knickers in a twist for 20 mimutes, very sad !!!

Then to totally loose the plot and rant about the english class system. Enjoy your day
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