Just became a victim of BA ‘revenue enhancement’ strategy

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This topic contains 59 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  KarlMarx 27 Jul 2014
at 22:23

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  • Anonymous


    Unfortunately despite being BAEC Gold looks like I am a victim of their drive for added Revenue.

    2 weeks ago, I booked 2 seats in Europe Y for a flight to London and selected exit row seats when I booked (as I can as Gold).

    I know that within 3-4 days of the flight, seats further up are made available once the Cabin configuration is known/set when an estimate of the CE cabin requirements is made.

    3 days ago, I checked my booking and saw the 2 seats A/C just behind the curtain were now freed-up and changed to these. I received a conforming email.

    Today once online check in opened, I when to check in and saw that I had been moved back a few rows to non exit row seats and the curtain was moved back 2 rows. The 2 seats immediately behind the curtain were now not available for selcetion and all teh exit rows were gone also.

    I called the BAEC Gold line but they could/would do nothing. I indicated that this was completely unreasonable in that I had done all I could to secure the seats of my choice. I suggested a simple ex-gratia upgrade to CE would be the “easy solution”.. “Oh, I could not do that, haven’t the authority”…”Looks like they have extended the CE cabin to offer more CE seats” I was told.

    “Can I make a formal complaint” ….. “you can’d do that with me, you will have to write in”.

    Also just as I was about to do the online check in, I was offered to upgrade to CE for £89 per person. If it were IST maybe yes but being a short flight from ZRH it did not seem of value to me for a sandwich lunch.

    So in summary, BA have kicked me out of my seat and then tried to re-sell it to me for £89 [times 2]. The seats I had [and have an email indicating so] are now CE seats and if I want them back, it will cost me £178.

    ….. Nice business if you can get it !!!!!


    I have had similar experience. Best option is to stick with the exit row, especially now that BA are introducing “enhanced” legroom in CE!


    I am the first person to scream and shout when my seat is moved.. however, the circumstances described, I do not see an issue. The row in question is a “flexi” row and basically the airline decided to be flexible and moved the curtain back to gain revenue, hence the knock on effect of your seat move..


    @ Martin

    They should not have offered it for selection (at any stage)… if they then would take it back and seek to resell it.

    Also, the act of moving the curtain further back and relocating PAX who had selected these seats should have been a warning to check who is in the seats being affected. I would have had no problem simply being shunted back a few rows as long as I was still immediately behind the “newly relocated” curtain in the 2 seat config. It was simply a careless action with consequences which could have been avoided.


    Not that easy. What happens if the pax 2 rows back had paid for his seat reservation? What happens if the company CAN fit a third person in the row..and revenue need that seat for a revenue pax?


    Slightly off topic but the exit row seats are available on my short hop to Paris this weekend. Is it worth booking them? Is there extra legroom? I looked on http://www.seatguru.com and it suggested there wasn’t.


    I have complete sympathy with the airline in this case.The risk of selecting the seat row immediately behind the curtain is always just this ie there is higher demand for CE seats so the curtain gets moved and you are reallocated.

    I don’t understand why a free upgrade was warranted? You had paid for economy travel and there were free seats in economy for you to use.

    Also you might have had an email saying you had the original seats allocated, however if you check the small print I am sure you will find it says seat allocations are never guaranteed.

    Finally it isn’t just as simple as shifting you a few rows – as Martin says someone may have already paid for the seats 2 rows back and in any case where does it end – the whole plane gets has to be shifted around to accommodate you?

    Frustrating, yes, but I think you were just unlucky this time around.


    This is a 1hr 45 minute flight?


    I’d have thought the simple answer is to block the rows from CE back to the EE seats, allowing only the seats at the back of the EE rows available to those who choose to pre-select.

    After they have closed sales down on CE seats, do they then, and only then open up those seats for pre-selection.

    IMO, its best to set expectation low …. And BA definitely needs to start aligning its brand with the lower end……


    @ Martin

    I “paid” for my seat AND seat reservation…. part in cash, part in 1500+ worth of tier points loyalty.

    Having made this “payment” I expect to get what I “paid” for.

    When I don’t, I expect that the service provider will do something to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, they have already taken my “payment” and are unwilling to refund it

    @ Canulkand… Agree that expectations do need to be set low, and lower, and lower again….. A similar situation occurred to me on LX last year [kicked out of preferable seat simply to adhere to the whim of a higher ranking Ff PAX] but this did result in a CHF200 in fligt vouchers

    @ Simon….. I have done all I can to get the seats I wanted. Sure any service provider can point to small print… They can do that if they choose but there is still the issue of providing what the customer “reasonably expects”…. I have indicated my dissatisfaction because I was offered something, I accepted and in doing so, gave up a decent seat and am now left with less favourable seating. Now that the service provider has reneged on the offer, I am left worse off. Sure It is not as though I have lost a lottery win but it strikes me as being extremely high handed and discourteous to a FF with the Airline.


    Swiss… you paid for a seat…. the seat reservation you made was free…


    I think this is more of a “caveat emptor” situation. Sorry to say, SwissExPat, you probably should have just stuck with your exit-row seats until OLCI. You took the risk by shifting your seat, and unfortunately you lost. It could have been worse…I’ve heard of people being shunted way back to row 20 and beyond from row 5 or 6.

    Frequent travellers know the curtain may shift in the days running up to flight departure, especially if the demand for additional Club Europe (higher revenue) seats is being made. Conditions of booking (as SimonS1 says above) state that seats are never really guaranteed.

    Hope you fare better on future flights.


    Totally sympathetic to the airline.

    With all due respect, you had the Exit row seats selected and gambled by releasing these and taking the seats behind the curtain. You were not entitled to re-aquiring these exit seats once your new selection became unavailable.

    I too get frustrated when things don’t go to plan when I fly, but simply being a Gold card holder doesn’t mean that the airline is obliged to move heaven and earth to accommodate you after your calculated risk chosing the seats up front didn’t come down on your side.

    Exit seats are literally gold and never given them up once aquired unless it involves an upgrade.

    An upgrade to CE would have been over the top and unwarranted.


    I think this is quite a tricky subject. I can understand frustration where you have done your best to get the seat and for whatever reason you get moved. Equally from an airline perspective it is in the small print clearly that seats can be moved.

    I have done things like upgrades on-line and then landed in a middle seat (PE for example) and was unhappy at the time but more often than not the staff have been great at the airport and been able to get me to an isle which I presume was based on people shuffling about in the 24HR check in window rather than myself getting priority over another passenger.

    I think its unreasonable at times to expect any sort of reimbursement for this type of situation as you commit to buying a ‘product/class’. However if you have paid in cash an extra amount for a seat like an emergency row and get put back you should be refunded the reservation cost.

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