"Seat Selection" Reimbursement Denied by British Airways

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Mar 10, 2019
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"Due to a medical surgery, hospitalization, and subsequent medical advice we had to cancel our trip including these flights. I paid extra money to British Airways to pre-select our seats on the BOS-LHR and LHR-AGP flights scheduled for Feb. 23-24. Now that we have cancelled the entire trip I believe that the money we paid to BA for "seat selection" should be refunded to us. The total cost was $180 ($126 + $54) and was paid to British Airways on Oct.25 and Oct 26, 2018 for ticket# 1xxxxxxxxxxxx and ticket # 1xxxxxxxxxxxx. Please advise how you will be refunding this to us."

British eventually replied on February 23rd with "PLEASE NOTE THAT PREPAID SEAT IS NON REFUNDABLE IN VOLUNTARY CANCELLATION HENCE NO REFUND DUE".

How can this be legal or reasonable as a policy? It certainly is unethical. The seat selection is not a ticket, it took no effort, time, or cost on the part of British Airways for us to "buy" this seating. The "reserved" seats were cancelled by us more than two weeks prior to the travel date and could easily be resold by BA. Given that "Early Seat Selection" is an add-on to regular travel tickets their cost is completely independent and separate from the airfare.

We are disappointed to lose this money but, given the circumstances and timing, we are even more disappointed with British Airways selfish policy and intransigence.

Edited by a moderator to remove ticket numbers.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
it is legal because BA discloses it on their website:

"You will not receive a refund for paid seating if you cancel your flight, are involuntarily upgraded or do not meet the requirements to sit in the seat type you have selected. "

https://www.britishairways.com/en-it/information/seating/reserving-your-seat

This is something that needs to be claimed on your travel insurance.

This is sadly what air travel has become. But people keep Ryanair and Spirit and all the low cost airlines in business, so the low cost airline business model clearly has its fans.
 
Likes: VoR61

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
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#4
Even though it's legal and made clear in advance, I agree that it's not fair. You can use our company contacts using the link above to write to BA and protest.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#5
It is absolutely unfair and a "policy" I've never understood. Seems like just a money grab to me. I chalk it up to the airlines' leaving no method to increase revenue untried. However, it is clearly stated that the fees will not be refunded. Compose a concise, polite email, admitting that you made the mistake and asking them for an exception to their rules. They get many complaint letters, and most of them are blaming the airline for their problem. People don't read all the fine print they don't know what they don't know. Those letters just get tossed out. Be very polite and appreciative. Every once in a while we see someone succeed when asking for an exception. Use our company contacts and start at the bottom, waiting a week between each submission. Good luck and please let us know what transpires.
 
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