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Airline booking fees

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Dec 8th, 2012, 11:45 AM
  #1
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Airline booking fees

We are traveling to London next spring, booked our flights on British Airways. After paying, found out it will cost us an additional $84 per person to confirm our seats now! Several of their competitors to not do this. Contacted the airline to no avail.

Although not a frequent flyer, I am also not a novice. I do alot of research before finalizing reservations. So I was taken aback at this process and significant extra charge. In polling friends, most are also not aware of this practice.

So I just want other travelers to be aware of this, so know to (possibly) include this extra fee in their fare estimates.
LisaL78 is offline  
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Dec 8th, 2012, 12:04 PM
  #2
 
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I just check in 24 hours before my flight and choose my seats then...no additional charge.

Lots of airlines charge extra to confirm seats in advance.
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Dec 8th, 2012, 12:17 PM
  #3
 
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jamikins beat me to it

"an additional $84 per person to confirm our seats now!"

That is not a fee to 'confirm' your seats. It is to select seats in advance.
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Dec 8th, 2012, 01:36 PM
  #4
 
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You are paying more to hae first choice of seats.

If you are people who feel they must sit toghether (or due to traveling with small children really do need to sit together) or really have to have an aisle or window seat, or a seat up front - you are paying extra to have that choice before other people.

Or, you can not pay and select from those seats available when seating opens to the general public. But, be aware that their may not be any - since a number of seats are held back for assignment at the airport - and frequent fliers usually get to pick in advance.

I don't mind at all when an airline charges for this - because I really MUST pick my seat if I'm stuck in coach. Althouhg this amount seems high - it;s usually about $10 or $15 per ticket - or is the $84 for a number of seats?
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Dec 8th, 2012, 01:55 PM
  #5
 
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I thought that was odd (for confirmation), for seat selection it makes sense. I mean I've heard of that on several airlines, but I don't fly any international ones that do that.

I don't really know how you could not know about that fee, it is a big box with red type in it that you have to go over before actually buying the ticket. I just looked at the website, it is real obvious and you have to see it before buying. The box is directly above the place where you type in your names so would be hard to miss. I understand you might not think of this kind of fee before starting the purchase as a lot of airlines don't charge that, but I don't know how you could buy the ticket without seeing it. Also, if you aren't given the opportunity to pick a seat, in addition to the box asking you if you want to pay that fee to reserve seats, I would think you'd wonder what's up.

BA is a real crummy airline IMO, a bunch tricksters, even if the fee includes a bunch of stuff before paying for it, it doesn't upon starting (like fuel "surcharges").
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Dec 8th, 2012, 02:13 PM
  #6
 
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Nothing unethical or even tricky about BA's policy. It has been charging for advance seat selection for several years, and remains in business while facing lots of competition. Take your money elsewhere. I did; now I don't have to. BA withdrew from my local airport. Probably its reasons were complicated, but the consumer's only leverage, however tiny, is to shop around.
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Dec 8th, 2012, 02:24 PM
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I fly probably in excess of 25 times a year and always check In 24 hours in advance and have never had a case where there were no seats available. And at 24 hours in advance I have always been assigned two seats together when hubby and I are travelling, and always have options if I want to change them.
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Dec 8th, 2012, 03:24 PM
  #8
 
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It's been that way for ages just set your clock to check in 24 hr in advance!!
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Dec 8th, 2012, 05:06 PM
  #9
 
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If for some reason you cannot check in 24 hours in advance, then be sure to check in at the airport at least 3 hours ahead. You don't indicate which airport you are flying out of but it's obviously one with an international business. Airlines routinely attempt to overbook flights by as much as 20% and if push comes to shove, those arriving last will be put on stand-by.
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Dec 9th, 2012, 01:08 PM
  #10
 
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I just booked flights to London/Gatwick this week for March 13 on US Airways and selected out seats and were not charged for selecting seats in advance.
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Dec 9th, 2012, 01:14 PM
  #11
 
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"I just booked flights to London/Gatwick this week for March 13 on US Airways and selected out seats and were not charged for selecting seats in advance."

That's fine - but many airlines do charge.
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Dec 10th, 2012, 12:47 AM
  #12
 
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and BA will actually pre-select seats for you if you ARE travelling with a child, 3 days before flight time, to ensure that atleast one adult in the party is paired with each child. You can still go in 24 hrs before flight time and make changes to that seat, but you don't have to stress about not getting seats next to your little one if you don't pay for it in advance.
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Dec 10th, 2012, 07:17 AM
  #13
 
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In a free market, if there is a commodity the buyers think there is a value, then the vendors have all the motivations and duty to the shareholders to capture revenue from that "value." Seat selection is one of them. Airline differ in how they capture revenue depending on what strategy they feel would generate most revenue relevant to their business model and the market they serve. Some airlines give you limited number of seat selections at no charge if you book early, but charge fee if that quota is used up. Some have hardly any no-fee reservation seats and you have to take whatever is available, sometimes what you want, sometime not, at the check-in time unless you are willing to pay more. Whether a group of 2 or whatever, can sit together, depends on airline policies and probability. For some people, they could always sit together and feel this is how it works. I have had both experiences; sometime we could sit together, sometimes not for both domestic and international flights. This is even if I check-in at the beginning of the 24hr window.

Bottom line, if you have to fly a route requiring to pay fee for seat selections, if that has value to you, you must pay. If you are willing to take a chance that you might get those seats at the check-in time with an understanding that all of the party might have to sit in middle seats (on perhaps 2-5-2 plane, OMG). On B767 with 2-3-2 seating, I might take chances. On B757 with 3-3, or on B777 with 2-5-2 seating, I would not. I have gotten stuck in the last row middle non-relining seats on these planes, and I don't want to fly long distances in such seats again.
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