BA to charge for seat selection.Back to Forum
Anonymous24 Sep 2009
Ok, hands up whoever saw this coming! :o)
I’m just waiting for VK to drum up some defence for this latest “initative” from BA.
The hits just keep on commin’ !24 Sep 2009
I can’t believe they are wiling to charge me thousands for a Club World ticket and then demand 60GBP for the privilege of choosing my seat. This is a pathetic bean counters move and massively harms BA differentiation in the market. WRONG ANSWER – FAIL! Ryanair anybody?24 Sep 2009
hum… I am not sure what to say…
I remain a big fan of BA. Personally, I believe the airport experience (the parts they control) and the onboard service is top notch in CW and CE which I travel every now and then. However, this really feels like a desperate move. And let’s not kid ourselves, perhaps it really is.
While I am not British, I am a big fan of “all things British” (perhaps leave the cusine out of this). It is interesting to see the dire situation of two British legends;
They share the same legacy; privatised, former state owned enterprises with gigantic, under-funded DB pension schemes. My none-expert observation is this is really BA’s issues.
I see two scenarios in front of me;
1. This is really desperation – the situation is now extremely dire
2. This is what Willie wanted to do since day 1 – copy the Air Lingus model he created.
As consumers, we can always vote with our feet. From my market, BA provides excellent fares in CE and CW, but I have never been able to book seats in advance. I have just booked a flight ARN-NYC using Swiss on their new A330-300. The fare came out to roughly €1500 in J-class which is LX’s cheapest. However, it is 100% flexible and refundable, and like most other airlines, seats could be assigned at booking. The BA option was the same price, but none-flex, none-refundable, and certainly not seat reservation.
Let’s see now what happens. We have to give BA some credit in terms of customer feedback. In the game regarding the 2-2 seating in CE the results are in; Customers 1 – BA 0. BA did something no one else have done; provided better seats in Business/Club in Europe. LH, SK, OS, LX, AF, and not to mention KL all keep 3-3 abreast with free seats. I think the BA configuration is much better.
Perhaps time for all loyal BA fans out there to speak up.24 Sep 2009
Correct me if I’m wrong but none of the US carriers have resorted to this measure have they? Indeed, it’s commendable that despite their financial troubles the US carriers don’t charge for seat selection (but, alas, they do charge for pillows and blankets.Oh crap! Maybe BA,too, will start charging for these in the not-too-distant future!).24 Sep 2009
There are several US airlines with “Choice Seats” etc for Y-cabin that you need to pay for. However, it is the first time I have heard of premium cabin seat selections having a charge.
By the way, I believe RyanAir was only fourth globally in collecting for “extras” (perhaps standards to some). The top three were all US airlines; bags, blankets, pillows, meals….24 Sep 2009
To be honest I am BA silver at the moment. If I understand it right, all Silver status holder are exempt from paying those surcharges/fees for Club World/Club Europe–EuroTraveller/Domestic—World Traveller/WTP (exluding exit row seats). Personally as a status holder it is still okay and as I prefer to travel with BA in C cabins, it does not hurt me( probably at the moment untill BA thinks of scrathing those privileges for Silver holder as well—God forbid..!!) but for pax who aren’t status holder and paying a prem.cabin fare without pre assigning privilege–it will be really P****!!
I will be full honest here. I think I am bias about this subject as I am personally not concerned.24 Sep 2009
I am the first to admit that I am no big fan of BA but I am not a BA basher either.
I have used them on occassion for long haul flights in CW and have been pretty happy with the service on the ground and in the air.
What I would like to know is why BA have at this time, when competition is so fierce, chosen to introduce these charges for premium long hall customers that ex-London pay some pretty hefty fares especially if you cannot book too far in advance.
I have no status with BA and am therefore not exempt from the charges and could therefore end up travelling in a rear facing seat, which I do not like to do, unless I am prepared to pay £120 return to ensure that this does not happen.
I am very interested to hear from anyone as to how they believe BA justify this and furthermore why they believe that passengers will be prepared to pay for what BA now believe to be a privelege and not part of the CW package if you are not one of their regular customers?
Yet another reason to avoid BA rather than fly with them!!!
PS: Will this charge also apply to choosing a seat on the new service from LCY to NY?24 Sep 2009
Hmm – I am a fan of BA and even I think they have gone too far now. I can’t work out their business model and why they think its a good idea to charge premium passengers to select their seat. Have they not realised there is competition out there ?!
As a gold card holder it won’t affect me, however I can understand why it will put a lot of people off!24 Sep 2009
nice to see a self-confessed BA fan prepared to say that even for you this is a step too far, particularly as you will not be affected by the announcement. Fair play to you.
Like many others on here I am wondering what our fellow contributor VK will have to say on this topic. Might this be a step too far by BA even for him/her24 Sep 2009
I am really quite surprised that our appreciated Vintage Krug has not found the time yet to say something over his/her “favourite airline”?
Run out of words, VK? Or do you just comment on the most favourable and positive issues of BA?24 Sep 2009
I also am a fan of BA and a Gold card Executive Club member. But in these difficult economic times, any reduction of service or value hacks me off. Once BA go the route of cheap airlines, you might as well fly with cheap airlines.24 Sep 2009
As Canadian ex-pat retirees who now travel for pleasure and strictly at our own expense, my wife and I cannot fault BA regarding this!
It is certainly preferable to the insidious fuel surcharges so prevalent nowadays and is far more likely to hit the leisure traveller harder than the business traveller.
For cost purposes we shall just add an extra 120 pounds sterling to each return YYZ-LHR fare in calculating the total cost before deciding which carrier/gateway to use.
However, the really big impact is on RTW ticketing where BA is the actual carrier for multiple segments.
There are some seniors (like us) who simply will not make a reservation with any carrier who does not provide seat select AT THE TIME OF BOOKING.
So, we thank BA for implementing this. We now have a greater likelihood of flying BA if the price is right.25 Sep 2009
I am a big BA fan.
I use their Amex points scheme extensively for my leisure travel. I mainly tranel to Australia on business where BA are not the cheapest carrier, but in the past I have preferred them.
If they now think that I will pay £60 on top of a £3600 business return just tp pick my seat then I’m afraid the answer is no!
I will just switch to Qantas or Cathay.25 Sep 2009