Another BA enhancement…Back to Forum
Anonymous2 Mar 2015
Just seen this in the latest BAEC email…
“Please note that for bookings made from 26 March 2015 British Airways will allocate a seat for all customers booking an HBO low fare on a short haul flight with us.
When travelling on these great value fares, your seat will be allocated when check-in opens. Should you wish to change your seat you can pay to do so at that time or alternatively pay to reserve a seat when you book your flight. If you are travelling with an infant on an HBO fare your seat will continue to be allocated at the time of booking. The changes apply to all Executive Club Members booking HBO fares. For all other fares, Bronze Members can continue to select their seat for free 7 days before departure and Silver and Gold Members at the time of booking for free.”
As I take a large number of day returns on UK domestic this is a pain – note that even Golds have to pay to sit where they want! All the more reason to continue to book more sectors with Easyjet….2 Mar 2015
I agree totally with your sentiments. i just posted similar comments on the thread about BA’s CE cabin with it’s new and supposedly better seats.
I no longer book BA by choice in Europe or to Tel Aviv as I find the Easyjet prices far better even after paying to get a seat with legroom. I have also found the service to be excellent and the food is fantastic, as I can take my own with me. I either buy a drink in the terminal and take it with me or buy a drink on board as they are no more or less expensive than in the terminal.
If more people voted with their feet as you and I have done then perhaps there would be an incentive for BA to change but too many people are still drawn in by Avios and tier points and find it too difficult to take the decision to become frequent flyer agnostic which is what I did some time ago.
I have not looked back since I took the decision as now my choice of airline is based on price and convenience. I am lucky and fly nearly all of my long haul sectors in J and so get lounge access and with most airlines can choose my seat at the time of booking for free which is another reason I took my business away from BA.
When you are no bothered about miles and tier points you discover that there are some great airlines out there that you might never otherwise have considered.
If any of my fellow posters are interested in becoming frequent flyer agnostics then feel free to get in touch and i will be happy to explain how I did it.
Just to be very clear, I am not having a go at anyone who chooses to fly with certain carriers or stick with certain alliances to collect miles and status points as each to their own as far as I am concerned. i am simply suggesting that nthere is an alternative course that you can follow.
Safe travels everyone.2 Mar 2015
Hello Jonathan, how are you keeping?
I have to say I was disappointed to receive the email, not that I do much economy travel or indeed BA CE these days but it is an erosion of the benefits of gold and silver2 Mar 2015
This is a really stupid “enhancement”, because it will antagonise gold and silver members. Even if only a few follow @JonathanCohen’s reasoning then the loss will be non-trivial.
I cannot see any reason at all why HBO passengers should not be able to change their seats for free once general check-in has opened. The only reason to do this must therefore be to raise more money. I predict that if it works, and BA do not get too many complaints, sooner or later all seats will be “allocated for you and only changeable for a fee”.
As for gold members, this means that HBO fares are even more unattractive. For the few pounds saving (as little as £10 on some flights) you lose both the flexibility of taking a bag at the last moment and the privilege of choosing your seat in advance. This is simply not worth it.
Some time ago I booked a HBO fare to the continent, and the night before I left my office asked me to take a large bag of publications with me. It had to go in the hold, and the charge for an extra piece of baggage on a HBO fare was so high that I have not bought a HBO fare since.2 Mar 2015
I am keeping much better thank you. Back flying regularly but not as much as i used to a few years ago which is not a bad thing.
I never thought I would say this but i have become a real convert to Easyjet especially to Tel Aviv. I am travelling there monthly at the moment and my average saving on each flight versus BA/El Al is more than £200 and that includes having paid for a seat with leg room and also paid for luggage in the hold when from time to time I take things for my son or my parents.
Anyway, how are you and Mrs T?2 Mar 2015
We are all good thanks. I’m now out in Saudi based in Riyadh and have been here just over a year. Don’t get to travel BA much other than flights back home on occasions. Most flying is on Saudia who’s business class product is actually quite good, certainly better than BA CE! I sometimes come back on Qatar.
Good to hear alls well with you. Jim Bannerman, Simon Rowberry and I have formed a chat message group through Facebook, if you would like to join us let Jim or I know, be good to keep in touch.2 Mar 2015
On this one I really do fail do understand what BA are attempting to achieve. We know there is a general problem with people attempting to take far to much luggage on board but this change would appear to only penalise Gold and Silver members – why?2 Mar 2015
I too have become an Easyjet convert for short haul – living where I do I have a choice of UK departure points for travel into Europe (and further afield) and I just can’t see the point of putting up with Heathrow now that, in my opinion, BA’s standards in CE have declined so far.
Unfortunately on the domestic front BA offer a better schedule to me for day returns, but their prices are becoming so high that Easyjet has become a viable option as the airfare plus the cost of a hotel in London is now often cheaper than BA!
I have also given up on FF schemes. My company pays for Priority Pass for me so lounge access is taken care of in Europe and I have access to J class for anything over 4 hours. Avios redemption is so poor for any time I might want to use it (school holidays etc) that I now just plan ahead and pay for premium classes – which is hardly ever now on BA as once you have to pay for CW yourself you realise just how poor value it is compared to others unless you manage to secure a good price in one of the frequent sales.
You were very kind giving some advice on travel to Moscow a few years ago – I may need the same for Tel Aviv as I will be due there in May.
RH2 Mar 2015
Surely it penalises all HBO ticket holders whether Gold, Silver or non members who all now have to pay for preferred seats.
I can understand where they are coming from though. People who buy the cheapest tickets get the least choice. Can’t see that is unreasonable really.
Handily it also helps the airline fill those pesky middle seats near the back as guess where the pre-allocated seats will be…..2 Mar 2015
They are probably trying to achieve the same goal that they are trying to achieve by having a complicated system of green and yellow tags to decide what bags go in the overhead and under the seat in front.
What that objective is, is unclear to me, it certainly wasn’t effective in practice in my experience.2 Mar 2015
SimonS1 – 02/03/2015 16:51 GMT
Yes, but no, but yes, but no……..
Porter has always argued that you cannot mix low cost focus with differentiated product.
That is what BA is doing here and it doesn’t work.
Fowl or fish, not both.2 Mar 2015
I am please to hear that there are a few more frequent flyer agnostics out there.
With regards to Tel Aviv, I will be absolutely delighted to help you in any way that I can. I will be in Tel Aviv in May so if we are there at the same time it would be nice to get together and have a catch up and I can show you around a bit, time permitting.
My personal details have not changed so feel free to contact me on them or alternatively we can do it via this forum.
All the best and safe travels,
JC2 Mar 2015
Another nail in the coffin for Golds and Silvers.
What a petty, nasty change.
I agree with many posters that a move to Easyjet is making life so much more pleasant…..
BA…you stink!2 Mar 2015
this is starting to remind me of the latter days of bmi. Hey look at our onboard chefs and car service, ooh and we are now the lowest cost carrier round europe.
A confused customer will go elsewhere. I just wish that BA had the courage of their convictions to deliver a high quality, higher cost full service rather than this relentless ace to the bottom with, somewhat ironically, both easyJet and to an extent Ryanair going the other way.2 Mar 2015