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Seat Assignment

Discussion in 'Airlines' started by Robert Swope, Apr 16, 2017.

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  1. Robert Swope

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    We have purchased tickets for the World Traveler Plus section of a British Airways flight from Dallas to London in May. When we went to confirm seats online. there were none. We called BA and the representative indicated that seats may become available when check-in begins 24 hours before departure although he was neither convincing nor promising. We did contact Mr. Steven Clark, Senior Vice President for Customer Services and Operations as indicated we should do and the response from him was that he was unable to offer us specific seat numbers at this time and that a number of restricted seats will become available when check in opens. Again, there is no guarantee that we will get seats on the flight we paid for and paid extra for in the World Traveler Plus section. We have paid for other travel arrangements in Italy and England and feel we may be in jeopardy of losing these prepaid arrangement if we cannot get on the scheduled flight. All we are asking for is two assigned seats on our flight on May 9 from Dallas to London.
     
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  2. ADM

    ADM

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    I certainly understand how frustrating that can be. Did you have seat assignments at the time of purchase and now you don't? Did you buy the tickets with money or miles? Have they had an equipment change? Was it booked directly thru BA or is it a codeshare with AA? You are right to be concerned because you don't want to be downgraded and you want confirmation for what you've purchased. Good luck.
     
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  3. technomage1

    Staff Member Forum Director

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    Robert,l

    Unless you wind up into an overbooking situation you should have seats, and in the section you paid for (unless you paid for a chance at upgrading). https://www.britishairways.com/en-us/information/seating/reserving-your-seat gives you the skinny on seat assignments and who has to pay and who doesnt.

    While you'll have a seat, what you won't have until 24 hours out is seat assignments. Unless you pay extra, in all likelihood youll get middle seats apart from each other.

    Air travel is complex nowadays. I think its 100% rotten but its what they do.
     
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  4. JVillegirl541

    Staff Member Advocate

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    Did you book direct with BA ? I understand that that is the only way to get advanced seating and it requires a pretty $$ fee.
     
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  5. CCGormand

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    At the end of May, my wife and I are flying on one of the new BA nonstops between New Orleans and London. We are also flying in the World Traveler Plus section. We paid $70 a piece for seat selection on the outbound flight. For the return trip, the selection of seats available for advance assignment was poor, so we're waiting until 24 hrs prior to the flight. We booked directly through BA and are not worried. You'll have a seat, you just don't know what it is yet.

    For less than 5% of the total cost of our trip, we purchased travel insurance that covers our flights and other prepaid expenses, along with primary medical and other potential expenses.
    It's not too late to buy coverage. You could be covered for those prepaid expenses and a lot more if something unexpected occurs.
     
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  6. Robert Swope

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    We made the booking directly with BA. We paid extra for the World Traveler Plus section. We assumed that by doing so, we would have seats on the specific flight we booked and in the section we purchased. Within only a few hours of our initial booking, we went on to the BA website to reserve specific seats, only to discover that there were no available seats in World Traveler Plus. We understand that at check-in 24 hours prior to departure, some seats may become available, but the BA folks we have talked with have given us no assurances. Not sure how they will handle the situation that upon check-in, there are no seats available.
     
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  7. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    They will not resell the seats you bought- you are guaranteed a seat. If there is no way to pay extra for them now you have to wait until 24 hours before. Have you gone to the Manage My Booking tool and tell ex to change your seats and gotten the message there were no seats? If you look at the link Techno posted it tells you The cost for prebooking seats and how to do it.
     
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  8. George M

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    I've flown BA several times from BOS to several European destinations and I've never had a problem getting seats together with the rest of my party (on the same PNR) when booking at the 24 hour deadline. If I recall correctly, they've assigned seats together in the past and at 24 hours we had a chance to rearrange them.
     
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  9. Just A Guy

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    The odds that you don't get seats are extremely low (think 10,000 to 1). BA doesn't offer assigned seats until 24 hours before departure, unless you either pay a fee or have (as I recall) top-tier status with them.
     
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  10. AAGK

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    So what did he have to pay extra for World Traveler Plus for? It sounds like he will be in the same situation either way. He will have seats but not pre-selected ones. I don't know much about BA though.
     
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  11. Just A Guy

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    World Traveler Plus is BA's premium economy product. It's not just regular coach with more legroom. Totally different seat, different service, etc. Space is roughly comparable to a domestic first class seat.

    https://www.britishairways.com/en-us/information/travel-classes/premium-economy/world-traveller-plus
     
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  12. mmb

    mmb

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    'Premium Economy' --- sounds like an oxymoron to me.
     
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  13. AAGK

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    Just a guy, so he receives benefits other than the seat assignment and is guaranteed one of these premium seats? When he checked the chart it appeared none were available but I know from other airlines, some of the blacked out seats are indeed already assigned to him.

    I just found it concerning that he paid extra for something he doesn't feel confident he will receive. I guess he will find out once he travels but usually paying extra is supposed to grant some peace of mind, which BA has undermined here. That would annoy me too.
     
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  14. Just A Guy

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    Then you should look at the link I posted, and inform yourself. It's a totally different product from regular economy, and actually an excellent one. If it's not an overnight flight (where the flat bed of business would matter), you get the large majority of the benefits of business class at a fraction of the price.

    I used to typically fly business to Europe, and premium economy back. Very comfortable both ways, and saved quite a bit of money. I've since moved to an employer that's fine with business both ways, so who am I to argue?
     
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    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
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  15. Just A Guy

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    Did you look at the link I posted? Premium economy on BA is a completely different cabin and class from economy, not just a "better seat in the economy cabin."

    Generally, even buying a seat in business class doesn't get you an advance seat assignment at BA, unless you pay for it or have status with them.

    Seatmaps tell you nothing, to find out how heavily a cabin is booked, you need to look at the seats available for sale information for the flight, which you can get from a site like expertflyer.
     
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  16. Tricia K.

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    Kind of like "economy comfort" on Delta, where we pay extra for the four inches they took away from coach to offer "better value" to their customers.
     
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  17. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    I swore I will never pay for this again. I was furious when we saw how much we paid for a couple of inches.
     
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  18. Robert Swope

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    My wife and I appreciate all of the input we have received through this forum-- it has all been quite helpful in putting our situation in a broader context.
    As previously mentioned, when we booked the BA DFW to LHR flight on March 8 (for our flight on May 9), and paid extra to be in the World Traveler Plus section, we assumed that seats in that section were available. The BA booking process is two steps-- first the booking and then, and separately and only if you choose to do so, you can pay even more to reserve specific seats. The World Traveler Plus section on this flight is relatively small (only 30 available seats). We went on-line to reserve seats but there were none that were indicated as available. If one could have reserved seats, you would have to pay either $63 or $70 for each seat on the side, or $56 to $62 for seats in the middle four (the configuration is 2-4-2 in World Traveler Plus).
    Unfortunately, this was a fast-planned trip-- obviously, trying to reserve seats two months in advance was not adequate. From previous experience with BA, however, we know that you can reserve seats if you book out six months.
    Based on your input, we are cautiously optimistic that we will find World Traveler Plus seats upon check-in 24 hours prior to departure. At this point, however, there is really not much we can do-- other than fret and complain about BA (although we suspect that other airlines follow similar procedures). We will report back to the forum on May 8 to share our check-in experience. Hopefully we will have good news to share.
     
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  19. Just A Guy

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    It's actually nothing like Economy Comfort, as I've noted a couple of times above.
     
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  20. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    BA has been charging for seat assignments for a very long time.
    You'll get your seats in the section you paid for but if you don't opt to spend even more money to assigned seats now then you'll have to wait until 24 hours before your flight to choose them and hope you'll be seated next to each other in middle seats.

    You have to decide whether it's worth paying yet more money to assign seats now or wait until the day before and hope you have decent flights.

    Good luck.
     
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