British Airways ridiculous policy on seat selection

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Jan 6, 2015
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#2
I think articles like these are instructive to consumers in what not to worry about. A few dollars more for those who care where they sit in not worthy of the stress it apparently causes (see the authors "no f'ing way comment).

For me this is similar to other fees and charges. They are "pay-per-use" and simply one way to finance the consumers' experience. I have lived in states that charge for entry to their parks and some that don't. Either way I shrug, because it's paid for one way or the other. Another example that rings true for me here is from living in a state with no sales tax. Same thing - other taxes were very high to offset this.

And the list continues for this "bridge to nowhere". What if BA stopped doing this? Behind the scenes they would raise everyone's fares to achieve the same revenue. An old TV episode humorously illustrated this when local merchants were told to advertise a 10 cents-off sales after increasing their prices by 15 cents.

Perhaps this whole argument comes down to an old axiom: that politics is perception ...
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#3
I thought of adding and anecdote that brought this all home for me years ago ...

Searched for the best price on a book. Most sites were around $30-$40 including shipping. But I found one that was $20 so I started the purchase process and kept looking for the shipping cost, which they said would be extra. Never saw it, but I clicked through to purchase anyway because I thought for a hard cover book shipping should not exceed $10. Well, they never did show the shipping cost until after I purchased and it was a whopping $20!

Two things emerged from this event. Never buy something when you know that there are added fees but they don't show before placing the order. But also, and this is where the pay-for-seats scenario relates, I found I liked knowing how much they charge for shipping as it tells me how they do business (i.e., do I want to buy from a company that charges as much for shipping a book as they do for the book).

Fast forward years and Amazon offers "free shipping" if I buy enough stuff. As Chris famously opines, "No such thing as free", so I smile knowing it's not free but included in the price. And that's what I see for all these fees: as long as they disclose them prior to purchase, I'm good. And online sites are getting better at doing that (Kayak is one) ...
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
We just had a consumer write about this right here on the forums. I think it’s ridiculous you pay for business and have to pay for seat assignments. Protest with your pocketbook and book another airline that doesn’t charge.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#5
I respect your position on this Neil, and have a clarifying question. Would you then, be satisfied paying $100 more for the airfare to be able to select a seat for "free"?

I'm confident that any business will adjust their prices to maintain profits, and if they remove the "fee", they'll adjust the airfare accordingly. This is, I think, as Micheal Keaton said in Mr. Mom, "220 ... 221 ... whatever it takes"
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,760
12,746
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
I respect your position on this Neil, and have a clarifying question. Would you then, be satisfied paying $100 more for the airfare to be able to select a seat for "free"?

I'm confident that any business will adjust their prices to maintain profits, and if they remove the "fee", they'll adjust the airfare accordingly. This is, I think, as Micheal Keaton said in Mr. Mom, "220 ... 221 ... whatever it takes"
I don't have an issue with paying in economy but not in business class. You are already paying quite a bit more for your airfare than those in economy and you are still all sitting on the same plane.

This is similar to being forced to pay for resort fees. I'd be happy paying another $20 a day for my room and not having them charge me a resort fee. That irks thousands of us.

There are other airlines that don't charge for seats in business class - I would bring my business to those instead. And BA is just not a consumer friendly airline.