BA Euro Traveller Seat Allocation – a tiny moral dilemma

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  KennyK14 5 Oct 2017
at 13:22

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)

  • Globetrotter


    I’ve just done a very short sector in a completely full ET cabin…the last to board were a young couple, late teens/early twenties. The young man politely asked the aisle seated passenger if he would swap with his girlfriend – they were in ‘middle’ seats immediately behind/in front of each other – on account of his girlfriend being scared of flying and needed to be seated next to him. Said Aisle passenger obliged and vacated to the middle seat in the row in front.

    So, I was wondering – in these days of potentially paying £23 weeks in advance to reserve a preferred seat, would that Aisle passenger have been reasonable (if they had paid up front) in suggesting that the young couple cover the £23, perhaps a small price to pay for the comfort of the girlfriend?

    Perhaps i’m being naive and this is the oldest ruse in the book to blag seats together without paying….

    I cannot advise if the girlfriend was showing any indications of being a nervous flyer as i was seated behind. Though upon disembarkation she seemed happy enough and were content to force their way past people in front quite aggressively to get off the aircraft more quickly…which was a little futile given it was then a bus to the terminal…. 🙂


    Interesting point Globetrotter. Unfortunately if I had paid “extra” to choose my seat then I wouldn’t give it up (except possibly in the unlikely event that the seat that I was being offered was better!).

    This would all have worked better in the old days when you could choose a seat without having to pay.

    (It did sound like it was just a ruse to sit together)


    I had the same thoughts a couple of weeks ago when I gave up my window seat in BA business class on a CPT LHR for a man who’d been separated from his wife by BA’s seating policy.

    I’d paid €114 to have that seat allocated although I subsequently thought that as all the seats in that cabin are so badly designed anyway it doesn’t really make much difference to have an aisle seat, especially as the flight was operated totally during the hours of darkness.


    Even if they just wanted to sit together, possibly late checkins (giving the benefit of the doubt here), I think Globetrotter did
    what I probably would have done and have done in the same circumstances and then wondered afterwards if someone took advantage of
    me. In the big scheme of things not really worth too much analysis and seems the right thing to do at the time. Have to say I was not so charitable when in F longhaul a rather snooty Singapore expat couple were angling for my 2A on a 747 so they did not have to sit in the 2 middle seats away from the window.


    I don’t see any moral dilemma here.

    If someone asked me to change seats and I was happy where I was, I would politely decline.

    Being a passenger on an airliner creates no joint and several relationship and I would not feel any obligation to assist.

    However, I’ll sometimes proactively offer my seat, as was the case when I had the window in a club cabin and my neighbour’s small son (looked abut 5) was across the aisle from him on an overnight flight. The gentleman didn’t ask, but as a parent, I thought it appropriate to make the offer, so he could be closer to his son.


    “Have to say I was not so charitable when in F longhaul a rather snooty Singapore expat couple were angling for my 2A on a 747 so they did not have to sit in the 2 middle seats away from the window”

    I had a similar situation on SFO/LHR only this time when I boarded someone was hovering in 2A and I was greeted with an “oh you don’t mind moving do you” kind of comment (From the passenger, not the cabin crew).

    Needless to say the passenger ended up in the seat number shown on their boarding pass much to the delight of the cabin crew!


    I’d be as well quite selfish here and would not give my seat for anything less comfortable. And it is not a matter of money. In this case either me or another person would be inconvenienced. Why should it be me, considering I am usually the tallest passenger on board?

    Now regarding the philosophical aspect of the question, being a nice guy is a package deal. It is impossible to say “take my seat, it’s 15 quids” although one could ask for a drink on BA. The best I’ve seen was in the US. An old lady arrives obviously tired on a plane. She seats on seat 1D, probably just for a rest. 1D passenger told her to keep the seat to what she replied she could not afford first class. “Never mind said the guy, stay here, I’ll take your seat. What’s the number?”. Nice gesture that was applauded.


    I don’t see the moral dilemma. I would just say ‘sorry but I have paid to reserve this seat’ and leave it at that.


    Always entitled to seat you booked ‘though manners maketh the man – or woman.
    Recently given middle seat in BA J and always prefer aisle unless I get both middle seats!
    Two girls were split by the partition so offered my middle seat and got the aisle!


    On BA I once gave up my prime-location J seat to let a young couple with a baby sit together (they didn’t ask). I got a worse seat. The guy said “Thanks very much”.

    THEN on arrival at Heathrow, the airbridge wouldn’t connect and we all had to get off down steps at the rear, and climb a load of steps up to the terminal. Climbing up, I was mightily struggling (I’m not young or strong) and almost failing to get up with my hand luggage. The guy stormed up the steps past me and into the terminal without a glance at me or any offer of help (Mrs was coming up below with the baby). Thanks a lot I thought.

    I don’t regret giving up my seat, and would do so again, but the incident really struck me.


    I was in a BA CW window A seat and the chap – about 30 years of age – beside me in C, asked if I minded moving so that he and his mate, in D, could sit together. I smiled sweetly and politely declined but suggested they ask the person in F.

    We all remained in our allocated seats for the transatlantic crosing


    I don’t often agree with SimonS1 but on this point I absolutely do, sorry I have paid for this seat and this seat is where I will sit ……


    Why would they expect me to move?
    I have either worked my way up to Silver status allowing me to book a better seat than the middle one without charge.
    Or.. I have paid the relevant fee to pre allocate a preferred seat, which they clearly did not, despite it being so important for them they took the chance at check in.
    How selfish and naive.


    I’d possibly have given up my seat as this has happened to me, and after a pleasant request for me and my girlfriend to sit next to each other I was rudely told to ….well ahem, this is a Roger Melly free zone.
    Ironically it would have worked out well for both parties, but the 2 doctors, as it turned out where just pig ignorant, as they talked loudly and invaded my lassies middle seat.

    Anyway, airlines should be embarrassed into stating quite clearly that the charge is there to blackmail you into paying extra to sit together. Just flew 2 sectors with Cancelscare and none of our 5 seats were together. Checking in and seeing what was available, it appears window seats are being deliberately left vacant and the dreaded middle seats filled as a priority. Clever but customer friendly it’s not!!


    Hmmmm I was asked to give up my prized window seat in business class, for a BABY – mother was in middle seat (2 together) clearly with another male passenger. I politely showed my horrified face. Fortunately she clearly appealed more to the gentleman who did change seats (still had an aisle) and promptly put said baby next to her in the x2 seats in the middle of the business class section (Far Eastern airline). Sticking my ground, I ended up with no-one by me (least of all a baby clearly under 12months old) for the entire 12+ hr flight…

    That said: a complete screw up with Virgin Atlantic, meant random seating was allocated including my own being messed up. Not happy. But when a clearly couple in their late 50s (early 60s…) rocked up and found they were split up, and both looked crest-fallen. On that occasion I did offer to move seats so they could sit together. (They had two windows, I had an aisle) I got my beloved window seat, and two polite happy people who sat long haul together and couldn’t have been more grateful during the flight to me when we passed in the aisle for comfort breaks and upon departing. Karma on both occasions…

    ps, on the exam question – I too wouldn’t swap for a worse seat, and feel it is a ruse the couple should have a) planned in advance to grab two seats together, 24hr free check in ? or b) paid… sceptical it was a ruse and bad planning.

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