BA Separarating PAX on same booking

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This topic contains 49 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  FDOS_UK 23 Apr 2018
at 22:34
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 50 total)

  • SwissExPat
    Participant

    I have just checked in for BA flight from LHR to JFK.

    At the same time I checked in Mrs ExPat and her friend for the same flight. Their booking reference is different to mine because they are returning on a different date.

    We are all in Y+ cabin. I am BAEC Silver and they have non status on BA.

    On checking on online 24 hours in advance, The Y+ cabin offers me a choice of maybe 4-5 seats in various areas of the Y+ cabin. 2 of the seats available to me are seats beside each other(in the 3rd row of Y+) which would be suitable for a couple travelling together.

    At the SAME TIME, the online check-in for Mrs ExPat and her friend is seating them in different rows and ALL THE SEATS in Y+ are showing occupied with no option to change seats.

    I have made screen prints and will be taking this up with the BAEC.

    I expect this is the penalty for not paying the extra E50 or so per head for selecting seats at the time of booking.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    I have just checked in for BA flight from LHR to JFK.

    At the same time I checked in Mrs ExPat and her friend for the same flight. Their booking reference is different to mine because they are returning on a different date.

    We are all in Y+ cabin. I am BAEC Silver and they have non status on BA.

    On checking on online 24 hours in advance, The Y+ cabin offers me a choice of maybe 4-5 seats in various areas of the Y+ cabin. 2 of the seats available to me are seats beside each other(in the 3rd row of Y+) which would be suitable for a couple travelling together.

    At the SAME TIME, the online check-in for Mrs ExPat and her friend is seating them in different rows and ALL THE SEATS in Y+ are showing occupied with no option to change seats.

    I have made screen prints and will be taking this up with the BAEC.

    I expect this is the penalty for not paying the extra E50 or so per head for selecting seats at the time of booking.

    I wouldn’t waste your time contacting BA, as this is a design feature of the FLY system and is probably offering you better options than non-status passengers. As a gold card holder, I might have even more choice than you.

    BTW< I’m not defending this business model, which is intended to benefit status pax making late bookings (often at high price points).

    BA does oversell it’s cabins on the NY route and then rolls forward, with involuntary upgrades to make seats available, so it’s highly likely that your wife and friend will sit in WT+ – they might even get the magic beep.

    Had you booked the three pax on the same PNR, your silver card would have given free seating choices for all pax.


    Tim2sms
    Participant

    I have a BAEC Gold card. I recently flew with Mrs tim2sms on the same PNR in CW to BKK and Miss tim2sms 1 and Miss tim2sms 2 on a WT+ with Avios upgrade to CW on a 2nd PNR. I called BAEC and free of charge they assigned Row 1 seats on a 3 class 777 for all of us in a block, which was my request. Thank-you BA! I missed the ‘bring all the family into the First Lounge and use the First wing at T5 offer’ by one day, which was a Easter weekend offer I believe.

    Incidentally, first, second and third choice of meal on the way back not available. 4th choice was frozen. Noise from the crew rest area above Row 1 and 2 DEFG woke the boss up repeatedly which was ‘my fault’, and no at seat UK plugs with my international converters safely in the hold. Schoolboy error.


    canucklad
    Participant

    I’m back on my High Horse with this one……And sadly SwissExPat don’t blame BA for their cynical attempt to extort monies from you !!
    The blame lies here, with fellow BT contributor’s, including me, with family and friends and even possibly yourself !!

    Airlines, not just BA have adopted this contemptuously cynical attitude to all their customers….
    Simply put this shoddy practice, has been spreading through the airline industry like a virus.

    Ryanair have deliberately created an algorithm that separates same booking passengers when you check in online, thus giving YOU the opportunity to easily BUY yourself a seat next to the person…..BUT you know what , you expect that from FRightmare…….

    You don’t expect it from a so called premium legacy carrier, except for the fact, that although people grumble they still dig deep into their pockets and pay for something that we used to take for granted !!

    As I’ve said before, if you pay the Blackmailer , don’t be surprised when the Blackmailer comes back for more, and more, and more.
    And as customers, it’s what we’ve encouraged —- When a bully identifies a weakness they’ll exploit that weakness until the victim eventually fight backs

    And similar to the energy companies, the airline industry , like all bullies, seek strength in numbers , ganging up on all of us as soon as one of them has pounced , the others join in !!

    If we become belligerent and boycott these so called charges that apparently enhance our travelling experience , then maybe, just maybe the airlines will realize that without us, they wouldn’t have a business.

    Thursday RANT over


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Canucklad

    I see your point, but given the relative price of air tickets to 20 years ago, don’t you think we are still getting a decent deal- even after paying for the extras?

    And if not bothered about the extras, we can avoid paying for them, e.g. I’ll be taking Flymaybe to Paris next month and as it is a business trip and chargeable, have reserved nice seats and added hold luggage for my working clothes/kit, which need a medium sized case.

    For a one hour flight for a long weekend break, I’d have a cabin bag and be prepared to sit anywhere, which would reduce my fare by £75.

    Makes one think.


    canucklad
    Participant

    You’re right about the fares, my last HK trip being a case in point, ridiculously cheap and on CX too !!
    Alas this covers up the underlying problem with the model…..

    And it’s not just airlines, it’s most companies we interact with, that have found themselves trapped in an Anglo-American capitalist nightmare.

    And I believe, these companies, and sadly including my own are close too or are already spiralling downward to disaster.

    Years and years of depressed wages stress most people’s spending power.
    In turn less and less of that disposable income is being shared out amongst companies who rely on consumer demand.
    Less income = Lower demand =Diminishing profits = Lower wages or employment
    And when companies start interacting with each other, the problem exaggerates itself!!

    But, on the backside of that, the city judges those same companies on year on year profit growth. There seems to be no long term planning to break the cycle, rather companies acting like deranged hens, clucking and scratching about for scraps.
    Hoping that those scraps will be enough to “grow “ the profit that the city craves !!

    It’s simply stupid and unsustainable !!

    I recently researched Porter Airlines business model –Very refreshing !!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    My first experience with an add on was years ago when there was a cash payment on departure from BKK of 500bht. The airline never added it to the ticket, because of the admin involved in passing the money over to the airport authorities..

    However, the seat issue is different. I guess its down to how passengers choose flights.

    I agree, price is a consideration. But, wouldn’t the airline get more of a decent image if they just increased the price to allow all passengers to seat select at time of booking. Its all about a price point – the current prices for seat selection, make passengers think about value, but surely the airline could fix a price point that would be so noticeable on a one price suits all basis. Airline wins with happy passengers and every passenger paying a small unnoticeable supplement and passengers are happy as they can seat select a seat at point of booking.

    Why antagonise the passenger… and would passengers really not fly if the price increased by an unnoticeable small amount??


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Martyn

    The evidence suggests that most passengers buy purely on price and if (on the same route, with reasonable schedules) airline A sold a ticket for £35 (seat extra) and airline B sold a ticket for £40 (seat included), then airline A would get more sales.

    When I lived in Malta, I knew a car hire operator who told me that even a price differential of 1€ per day would be significant to buying decisions.

    Canucklad

    It’s simply stupid and unsustainable !!

    Agreed – combine this with the (ridiculous) rises in executive pay over the last 20 years and you have aperfect storm.


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    I agree with FDOS. The price of the flight is seldom the largest part of the cost of a holiday – most people will spend more on overpriced drinks when they are at their holiday destination than they do on getting there – but it is uniquely scrutinised for every last penny of possible saving. People buy almost entirely on price, the reason being no doubt the various search engines which list entirely on price and ignore (or cannot take into account) the extras. If there was an airline that quoted a price of zero with the rider that you had to bring your own seat cushion or rent one for the flight (at some astronomical price) it would almost certainly be top of the search list and almost certainly receive bookings.

    I remain baffled as to why people are so price-sensitive on flights, to the exclusion of any other criteria. We do not operate in this penny-wise, pound-foolish way with other elements of the standard holiday, or every restaurant would be like the cheapest fast food joint and no decent chef would ever receive any custom, every rental car would be a tinny hatchback and no luxury carmaker would survive, every hotel would be a cheap flea-ridden dosshouse, and so on. So how has the airline industry got itself trapped in this vicious race to the bottom and ever-escalating war over who can think up the most outlandish hidden extras? And how can they get out of it before everyone either looks like Ryanair or goes bust?

    Genuine question, happy to hear answers from those in the airline industry. But I shall not hold my breath …


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    If airlines want to charge piecemeal that’s fine by me. I’ll pay for a seat, I’ll pay for food, a drink, wifi, to check my bag and even to use the lounge if I have to. However, this practice of intentionally separating people travelling together on the same booking is just plain mean and nasty. It is nothing but a punishment for not wanting or needing to pay to select a seat. It is extortion: “If you don’t pay us £50 for your seats, we will punish you by sitting you separately”. It is one thing to charge for a service but to inflict a punishment on someone for not buying your service is one step too far for me.

    So @canucklad, I’m sorry but I don’t buy your argument at all. We have not created this by agreeing to pay for other piecemeal services including a better seat. As I said, most people probably don’t mind paying for a service or a better product offering. What do you suggest we should have done when airlines started charging for this and that, refuse and sit in the middle of a middle section of a wide body jet? Not check a bag when you’re travelling for three weeks? Go hungry and thirsty because you refuse to pay for food and drink? The greed of airline management and their disrespect for their customers has created this. It’s the “fleece your customers” at all cost mentality of people like Alex Cruz who have created this.

    And as @SwissExPat clearly demonstrated, they are doing it in the most underhanded and dishonest way, by making the passengers believe that there are only single seats left on the plane and making them think that it’s their fault for not checking in early or “buying seats” in advance. They are nothing but confidence tricksters. They take your non-refundable money up front and they don’t clearly warn you that this is what they’re going to do. At the stage when they offer you to pay for seats, the website says: “Closer to departure, the selection may be limited and groups may not be able to sit together”. But this is misleading. Customers understand that this is a risk they take but there is a big difference between “groups may not be able to sit together” and “we will intentionally prevent you from sitting together”.

    Imagine if you booked a restaurant and when you got there, they asked you to pay an extra £50 to sit at the same table. You’d simply walk away screaming a few expletives at them. Airline passengers cannot do this because they have been made to hand over their money in advance under false pretense. To be perfectly honest, when I first read about this, the first thing that flashed in my mind was some scene from a holocaust movie where men and women were separated as they arrived at a concentration camp. Extreme example you might say but that is actually what popped into my head. So for every dishonest money making scheme that Alex Cruz comes up with, he is causing consumers to associate the BA brand with negativity, nastiness and greed. Before long, and it is just a matter of time, BA will be on par with Ryanair and Cruz will have written the book on how to destroy a brand.


    canucklad
    Participant

    Hi FCT
    Unless I’ve misunderstood, and I regularly do, you’ve almost agreed with me, well the principle anyway…..

    Let’s take your restaurant analogy a bit further……

    Once upon a time your favourite restaurant served up good delicious edible food with service to match…..
    Although you started to notice a continuing s slight deterioration in the quality, it remained reasonable value and more importantly it still seemed netter than the competition.

    Then one day you walk in, take your seat as normal ,and the waiter appears with the now normalised menu choice.

    He then pulls out a new flashy menu, that you can avail of , but only if you’re willing to pay a supplementary charge.
    And guess what, the new flashy menu is full of the food you once enjoyed.

    Disgusted you walk out and head to another restaurant in the town. It’s at this point you realize where your once favourite restaurant got its idea !!

    Exactly what the airline industry has done with its in-flight meals – make them inedible and then bring in an alternative that used to be the norm.
    Premium economy is yet another example – treat you worse than cattle and then offer an alternative at a higher price !!

    Airlines seem to thrive on ruining products/services that we once took for granted and then give us an option to buy ourselves out of that torture — But only if you have that added disposal income that most travellers don’t have because of the reasons I gave earlier !!

    Edit to add this point …….

    My prediction for the future. Once paying for in-flight Wi-Fi become normalised they’ll start charging for the IFE as a PPV enhancement .


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    Canucklad

    You say that “Airlines seem to thrive on ruining products/services that we once took for granted and then give us an option to buy ourselves out of that torture”.

    But the truth is rather more brutal: airlines have found that not only will they not thrive but in fact they cannot survive at all unless they do this. Because other airlines are pursuing this sort of business model, even the legacy airlines find they have no choice.

    I don’t suppose for a moment that BA would choose this business model if there was any real possibility of making a more full-service model pay. They know their passengers dislike it, they know their cabin staff hate it, it vastly complicates their accounting, the provisioning of the flights and so on … but they have huge overheads courtesy of their pension fund and hungry competitors.

    You and I might wonder how Cruz keeps his job, as he is so antithetical to everything BA used to stand for. The fact of the matter is that anyone running BA would have to operate a very similar policy – Cruz is actually pretty good at the “mean bastard gouging the passengers” approach and if BA ditched him they might well end up with someone pursuing much the same policies rather less effectively.

    Ultimately airlines provide what their customers want. Most customers want a cheap headline fare and don’t really care what comes with it. You, I and I suspect nearly everyone on this forum may think this unwise, may have different views – but statistically we are an irrelevant market segment compared to the great majority of flyers.

    Mind you I do agree with FCT that deliberately splitting parties up is a step too far. But who is going to stop flying when all airlines do it?


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    @canucklad: From one canuck to another, I do largely agree with you and what you’ve said just now. What I didn’t agree with is that we, the passengers, have created the monster by paying for those services in the past. Let’s be clear, they have created their own monster but I do see @cedric‘s point that they’ve had no choice. I am also drawing a clear distinction between paying for a service or product like extra legroom seats and the type of dishonest and punishing practice of splitting parties.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    As a matter of logic, airlines are not splitting up parties, they are randomly allocating seats to those who choose not to pay (or do not have status) – well, as a pendant not completely randomly as one might end up with 10 people in 23F and no one is 10 other seats 🙂

    The point is, though, if you book and choose not to pay, you get what you get and I can’t see the moral objection to parties being split up (except for young children travelling with parents or disabled people with helpers – and that isn’t going to happen).

    in 1978, I was paying over £350 for a flight from Leeds or Manchester to Pisa (via Heathrow) and that included a meal, soft drinks and hold bag. Depending on which method of calculating inflation you choose, that would equate to ~£1,400-1,500.

    Today, I can buy the same flight for typically £150-200. You can see where I’m going with this, air travel has never been better value and I have no problem with people being asked to pay for seats in economy class (premium classes is a another matter).

    We paying less, but if feels like more due to the way it’s being done.


    Chutzpahflyer
    Participant

    Lovely wife and I are off to Athens in May. One checked bag is enough between us, but BA won’t allow me to book one HBO fare and one checked-bag fare on the same booking – neither on the website nor on the phone to EC. So I make 2 separate bookings, but that turns out to be more expensive because I then have to pay to reserve seats together (only EC Bronze this year – getting Silver back in June, thankfully!).
    That is morally and commercially repugnant. OK, it’s my choice to fly BA instead of Easy or Aegean, but see note about EC Bronze! Why can’t I make a booking for one checked bag between a couple?
    I live a few miles from LHR, so BA has been my airline of choice, for convenience, because it flies to more places than any other from my doorstep airport, because I have in the past known what I’m getting when I pay for it. the first two still apply, but not the last, which is critical. No longer do I know what I’m getting for my money; instead, I keep being asked for more money for routes that I am very familiar with. So despite being elevated back to EC silver I now have no loyalty whatsoever to the airline that has been ruined in the last decade.

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