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Question re: British Airways seat assignment

Question re: British Airways seat assignment

Jul 28th, 2007, 12:45 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 146
This new policy of British Airways with their lack of picking seats is ridiculous. I usually fly from San Francisco to Spain with British Airways and have always liked it..this time I am trying really hard to avoid them..however bad connection times through the east coast may force me to fly with them..and I am not liking it!
angy400 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
I'm amused by all these comments. BA is simply bringing themselves in line with such highly rated carriers like Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific.

And if they do away with seat assignments altogether, we should expect to hear a lot of praises from those who love Southwest.

rkkwan is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 12:55 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,839
zooey91 I have every sympathy with your predicament here. I think that the service you are being given is poor. If I were you I would Email Customer services, and if you get no help from them, direct to the CEO. My understanding is that the UK does have anti disability discrimination laws, but I am not sure how they would apply in this case.

My only slight point of puzzlement, and I apologise if I have misread your post, Why would you think that any US law would apply on a British Flight between the UK and Israel.
willit is online now  
Jul 28th, 2007, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 273
The issue isn't whether US law applies to flights between the UK and Israel.

The issue is BA manager is saying that they set their policy based only on what the law requires them to do, not on how they think they should be treating their disabled (or other) customers.
zooey91 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
In many parts of the world, seat assignments are not a rights, like some of us believe here. And if someone with disability comes to the airport, they'll move others around to accommodate this person in need.

Some of you are blowing this way out of proportion.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,725
I wonder how many of these special accomodations we have ruined for ourselves?
- I travelled from Toronto to Las Vegas with 3 guys who laughingly wheeled their buddy off the plane. He then jumped up as they ran for the shuttle.
- I see people parked in handicapped spaces all the time who have no apparent handicap (then perhaps mental)
- It has become common to order special meals - Kosher, diabetic, in the hopes of getting better service
- When the call comes for preboarding many seem to crowd the gate without need for assistance
Businesses must have difficulty distinguishing between real and contrived need.
robjame is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 6,040
I can't believe it took 70-odd posts before someone finally recognised that it'd would be phsyically impossible for us all to get the seat we want, and that someone's got to sit in the crap ones!
RM67 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2007, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,216
A handicapped passenger will not be stuck in a window or middle seat if their condition requires an aisle seat. That is one reason seat assignments are changed at the check in desk all the time. Special needs are met by the staff at the airport.

I agree that some are blowing this all out of proportion . . .

janisj is offline  
Jul 29th, 2007, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,626
zooey91: Theoretically, BA's new seating policy is supposed to enable disabled passengers to select seats in advance (at the time of booking). I've read reports, however, that this policy is being interpreted very narrowly (e.g. a frail person with a breathing disorder who would need transportation to the plane but who could walk (slowly) down the aisle in the plane) isn't considered "disabled" for purposes of the policy. So, if your mother needs a wheelchair because she can't walk more than a few steps on her own, then it sounds as though she should fit within the policy and be able to select seats early. But if she can walk but is frail and can't walk long distances, then she doesn't. I think that what you should do is keep calling BA customer service until you get the answer you want (and a pre-assigned aisle seat).
Kate_W is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 406
When you log in to select seats within 24 hours of your departing flight are you able to select seats on your return flight or do you have to repeat this process 24 hours before your return flight?
GreenDrake is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,216
yes . . .
janisj is offline  
Aug 1st, 2007, 10:33 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 861
rkkwan - I just flew Singapore Airlines (economy, Los Angeles - Tokyo) and they let me choose my seat online when I bought my ticket (3 months in advance).
slangevar is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 05:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 406
Was confused in above "Yes" response as to meaning "Yes" I could book departing and return when I log online 24 hours before flight Or "Yes" I would have to repeat the process for return flights.

Just called BA and they said when I log on 24 hours before departure I could only request seats for my DEPARTING flights and I would need to repeat the process on my return flight.
GreenDrake is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
GreenDrake - You pick the seats which you're checking-in for. So, you have to do the return trip separately.

slangevar - You may be on a high fare. I believe SQ still doesn't let the deep discount fares pick seats, but I may be wrong.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
Thanks for clearing that up GreenDraake. I was confused too. Guess I'll have to find an internet cafe for the return flight. BOO HISS
jody is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 05:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 394
Is it any big issue if you don't log in and pick your seats before hand? My Dad is flying LHR to ATH and is not really picky about where he sits, will he still have a seat assigned or will he be more at risk of being bumped if the fight is oversold.
Trish is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,216
GreenDrake: oops, sorry 'bout that.

My "yes" was to the "do you have to repeat this process 24 hours before your return flight?" bit

Trish: No - he doesn't need to check in on-line. He will get a seat when he checks in at the counter at the airport. And if he is there early he'll probably get just the type of seat he'd prefer. The % of flyers who check in ahead of time is growing but still pretty small.
janisj is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 273
Kate W: The policy states:

"Disabled passengers are defined as those who . . . require a wheelchair as unable to manage steps." This does fit my mother's description and request, although she can make her way down the aisle to her seat on her own (slowly).

But, like I said, after being mislead by the initial agent, I was subsequently told that this policy only applies to flights involving U.S. travel, and that she has to check in 24 hours before flying to hope for an aisle seat (she can't; she'll still be in the air on her flight to LHR, which is on a separate ticket).

But my mom and disabled seating policies aside, I don't think this thread is blowing this out of proportion. Yes, it's standard policy outside the U.S., but those of us used to flying carriers in the U.S. find it tough to have to hope for the best and wait until checking in to see what we're stuck with.

Of course someone has to sit in a middle or window seat, and I understand that elite FF members should have priority in booking seats. But shouldn't booking a seat several months in advance also count for something?

zooey91 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2007, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 861
rkkwan - Nope, it was such a deeply discounted web fare that they wouldn't let us accrue miles for it. $740-something when everyone else was charging at least $800. Maybe Singapore has changed their policy recently and now allows seat reservations?
slangevar is offline  

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