I think readers should consider that actually this is a good thing as it does offer choice for passengers who didn’t previously qualify for advance seat selection. Remember that previously, unless you had booked a full fare ticket or were silver/gold/prem EC member you had to wait until check-in (be that on-line 24hrs beforehand or at the airport) to select a seat. We should put aside that other carries such as VS have let passengers even booking the most discounted Y class seat and without any status to select seats at the time of booking; it has always been the case that BA have not let you do this, so this is not new news and therefore not really worth discussing here. But what BA are letting you do now is make a choice, if you want to pay a bit extra you can pre-select your seat, if you don’t then just wait until check-in so you’re no worse off than before but at least you have the choice now whereas previously if you didn’t have the status or didn’t buy the most expensive ticket you just had to wait. It’s basically BA just offering a new service for which they are obviously going to want to charge for, it would be like if they started say selling magazines in Traveller cabins to bored passengers, it’s an extra service, you can buy one if you want or not if you don’t – would there be the same outcry at that?