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 - 31 through 45 (of 50 total)

  • MartynSinclair
    Participant

    slight thread drift, but still relevant to the discussion…

    Just had my first holiday flight experience with Ryan Air – Junior Sinclair (not so Junior) starting his summer hols… in July..

    Return flight to somewhere in Spain £105 – a very fair price I thought…

    then… 1 piece of checked luggage £35 each way
    then seat reservations – there are 10 of them on the same flight… told them not to bother – if Ryan wants a group of 10 x 21 year olds, scattered all over the place – that’s their problem….

    Yes, there can be value for money, but for me… the best value remains BA + avios…


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    One flaw in BA reward savers is for those of us in the regions, who are charged for each leg, even though BA do not offer regional flights, like AF or LH.

    What looks like a bargain from London soon becomes a poorer option when the connecting leg is added on, e.g. it is usually less expensive to book easyJet to Paris than take a reward saver via London (unless booking late).

    Just out of interest, couldn’t your son manage with a 10kg IATA trolley case, which would be gate checked FOC?

    https://www.ryanair.com/gb/en/plan-trip/flying-with-us/baggage-policy

    Edited to add, this is a very good cabin bag policy IMO.


    ConstantFlyer
    Participant

    Sorry to spoil the party, but BA’s seating computer does not purposely split up passengers on the same booking. It’s not that clever or devious. It will allocate seats together wherever possible. If passengers are travelling together but on separate bookings, they can phone up and ask for the bookings to be ‘TCP’-ed, which will add a codeword to the bookings so the seating computer will allocate seats together.


    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    So conflicting views. Can someone provide the definitive answer – does the BA system purposely separate passengers traveling together or not?


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    Of course it does, it’s obvious! They’ve just designed a very clever method of implementing it in a roundabout way and being able to say they don’t. Don’t be fooled, it’s all smoke and mirrors. In fact, it’s probably easier and more probable to get two economy seats together if you book separate tickets.


    TominScotland
    Participant

    FCTraveller – ii is also ‘obvious’ that BA have purchased data on traveller preferences from Cambridge Analytica (so as to ensure they are not met) and who, in turn, arranged the bugging of all business travel agents in the country!! If I have learnt anything in my (secluded) life it is that when anyone makes a claim that something is ‘obvious’, it definitely means that it is anything but………


    FCTraveller
    Participant

    @TominScotland Firstly, I am basing my opinion on the first hand observations of SwissExPat and I am going to make the assumption that Mr. ExPat is not a liar, unless you have evidence to the contrary. Secondly, if two passengers travelling together cannot find a seat together at check-in but one passenger travelling alone can see a number of available seats together, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out what is going on regardless of how anyone else or BA are spinning it. I can’t comment on your life experiences but I’ve been around long enough to know that if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a duck.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    No, it doesn’t.

    I base my observations from having some idea of how BA’s implemntation of Amadeus’s Altea system has been adapted for their use and BA policies for their different tiers of executive club members.

    This will sometimes mean that people with low status are unable to find seats together, but that is an outcome of policy driven seat allocation, not the prime purpose of it.

    capetonianm may also offer have insights into this.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    If passengers are travelling together but on separate bookings, they can phone up and ask for the bookings to be ‘TCP’-ed, which will add a codeword to the bookings so the seating computer will allocate seats together.

    A TCP is an OSI (Other Supplementary Information / To Complete Party message) to the airline and takes a format for example, if it were on Fred Smith’s booking and he is travelling with his wife Mary and her booking reference is ABC123:
    OSI BA TCP2 1SMITH/MARY MRS RECLOC ABC123

    A different matter is SSRs which are Special Service Requests, typically meal requests such as VGML, which go out with an input request code and should be replied to by the airline with an output code such as KK for ‘confirming’, UC for ‘unable to confirm’ etc. Seat Requests (STRQ) are also SSRs.

    An OSI TCP simply cross references the bookings but does not in any way imply that adjacent seats will be allocated, as others have stated that is a result of the status levels. Each airline can programme its own parameters into the Altea Fly (Flight Management) system, but the likelihood of them doing so to deliberately split up pax travelling together is slim to negligible. As FDOS says : ” that is an outcome of policy driven seat allocation.”

    This has the outcome that on the rare occasions when my wife and I travel together on BA, an airline she likes as much as I dislike, we rarely get seats together due to her higher status.


    Chutzpahflyer
    Participant

    A TCP is an OSI (Other Supplementary Information / To Complete Party message) to the airline

    I’ve not heard of this TCP code before. I wonder whether the person I spoke to at EC when I phoned to link my bookings has?

    A company, let’s say an airline, which was customer focused, aiming to make its customers feel good about that company (e.g. airline), would have trained its staff to volunteer this information and to offer to add this code to the two bookings. If that had happened, I could have made a decision whether to risk not being seated together in the knowledge that our bookings were linked. Then I could have selected my seat for free 7 days before flying and chosen to pay (or not) to get a seat next to me for my wife.

    Instead of taking this opportunity to encourage me to want to give my custom to BA, I was told very clearly that the bookings couldn’t be linked, so if I wanted to ensure that we will be seated together I would need to pay to select both seats in advance. So pay I did…

    This now seems to be BA’s underlying approach to customers…


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Chutzpahflyer

    If you have a gold tier level in the BAEC, they will do a TCPI and request seats together, if you a re silver, bronze, blue or no status, I’m afraid it’s time to get your card out.

    BA is a massive business and simply does not view any of us as being important in the bigger scheme of things – I fly a lot more than you, some others on here a lot more than me, but we are a tiny decimal fraction of their revenue and that is that, I’m afraid.

    A premier tier card holder (who influences very large corporate budgets – think millions) will get a far better response than any of us.


    SwissExPat
    Participant

    I now attach the screen prints I took when I started the check in process

    Hopefull the images will load. They were taken simultaneously on for both bookings, 1 of these bookings (my booking) which clearly shows that a variety of seats were available to me. The other screen print shows 2 other persons with fixed and unchangable seat allocations. They were on their own booking reference which was different to mine.]

    I wonder why they were not able/allowed to select seats 36 F and 36 G ?

    Attachments:

    SwissExPat
    Participant

    Furthermore, on the Checking for the Return leg, Mrs exPat and her friend had a choice of seats in a half full WT+ cabin on an EWR to LHR sector.

    This is more like what I expected.

    I also attach a screen print of what BA said during the checkin process as per its seating policy.

    BA says that after check in opens, They will allocate you a seat and if you want to change it, you will need to pay. In this instance, she stayed with the seats allocated (as they were together)

    Attachments:

    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Swissexoat, I don’t know what more to say – capetonianm and I have, between us, explained how things work and your screenshots illustrate that.

    If the cabin is less booked, there are less blocks on the seating – sometimes, in the past, I have tried making dummy bookings (without entering my BAEC #) and the seatmap looks like your wife’s return journey, then when I enter my GCH #, all seats bar the bassinet positions are available to me.

    It’s just the way it works with BA – don’t forget you have a choice of airlines.


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    Beyond the question of how BA’s system actually works – which FDOS and others have explained – there is a more serious learning point from this discussion, which is that most of the voices on this thread do not give BA the benefit of the doubt. We do not – indeed cannot – dismiss the thought that they are being deliberately underhand.

    I would suggest that this is a material change. Five years ago this forum was full of people who, while not necessarily agreeing entirely with Vintage Krug, nevertheless believed BA was an honourable company trying to do its best. “To fly, to serve” was a bit boastful (and “The world’s favourite airline” even more so), but on the whole the mood of the Forum was favourable towards, even supportive of BA.

    That has gone. And although it does not show up anywhere on a balance sheet or a P/L account, it is a material loss to the company. And it is hard not to see the main reason being the stance that Cruz has been aggressively adopting since his appointment.

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