Choosing your seat on BABack to Forum
Some readers of this forum may know that I rarely use BA, normally being on Star Alliance and Sky Team airlines, because of where I need to go. However, I have a BA question where the forum may be able to help.
I am speaking at a meeting in Barbados next month, and the meeting organisers have provided a BA business-class flight from LGW and return. The ticket was booked by a travel agent based in Jamaica. I have the documentation for the ticket, and the Amadeus code, but if I go to the BA website I cannot find a way to choose my seat.
I have met similar problems before, with tickets arranged by a third party’s travel agent.
Maybe I am being dense …. but is there a way to select the seat without going through the agent in Jamaica?25 Feb 2017
You will need the BA Booking Reference (PNR) to start.
Then if you are not a Gold Executive Club member you will have to wait until 24 hours before the flight to choose your seat. If you are BAEC Silver I think you can choose your seat 48 hours before the flight.25 Feb 2017
Let me correct the misinformation in the previous post.
BA charges for seat allocation before checkin at -24 hours, unless you have BAEC status. If you do have status you can select any seat free of charge, after the flight is booked if you hold a gold card (OW Emerald), most seats after the flight is booked if you have a silver (OW Sapphire) (not exit rows on long haul, they cost extra) or most seats at T-72 if bronze (OW Ruby).
There could be a number of reasons why you can’t allocate a seat, inluding that the flight is heavily sold and BA is still looking at ‘rolling’ pax forward from one WT-WTP-CW etc, so have not finalised the seating plan. Or it oculd be something trivial like the aircraft sub-fleet type has not been allocated.
I would do two things – firstly check that the ticket has been issued (look for a ticket number beginning 125 using CheckyMy Trip by Amadeus and using the Amadeus PNR, which should be the same one that BA uses, too), just to be on the safe side, although
Then I’d call BA and ask them what is happening – butbe prepared to be asked for £60 upwards to select a seat, if you have no BAEC status. (I won’t comment on my thoughts on that policy).26 Feb 2017
This is a problem for me booking BA. Even with Emerald status I only to get to see the seat plan after the booking is confirmed thus my only options could be a middle seat in WTP+ or a middle back facing seat in CW. A major reason why my second choice after BA is Qatar. By the way BA is keeping some people happy – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4263426/British-Airways-named-UK-s-superbrand.html27 Feb 2017
If you start to make a dummy booking on Expedia you can usually see a seat preview. This will take the risks that you mention out of booking direct.27 Feb 2017
Another option is to use expertflyer.com. You need to sign up (both free and premium options exist) and then you can search seat maps and availability for specific dates, flights and classes. I think the free version gives you something like 25 searches per month. It is generally pretty accurate. Hope this helps.28 Feb 2017
FaroFlyer, that’s interesting as in the past booking with Expedia, notably short haul, the seat request is just that a request only. Are you saying thre seat plan appears and you can actually reserve a seat?.With CX I see the full seat plan including seats available to me as a Diamond member which I gather are not available to non FF passengers1 Mar 2017
I agree about expertflyer.com. I have a paid sub and use it to see how full flights are which then saves me having to go through a booking process for each flight. As a by the way it also shows how many redemption seat are available.
I’m again astounded BA does not give you the option to choose a seat at the time of booking.2 Mar 2017
Off topic in that it is not BA, but I have a booking for two of us with Cathay for August in economy, four long-haul legs with breaks in between. I was able to reserve seats for all legs.
I got an e-mail yesterday advising me of seat changes – in fact, for just one leg where my wife had been moved to the other side of the aircraft in a different row. I went into the system and, as her original seat was still free, I was able to move her back.
Curious and I cannot work out why. Any suggestions?2 Mar 2017
I always use Trailfinders to book my journeys when flying with BA. I always request certain seats, and although a BAEC Member, only lowly Bronze I’m afraid, I have always been given the seat requested. Even though I book some months in advance I’ve never been allocated a different seat from the one requested. There is of course the usual proviso from BA about seats possibly being moved to another seat, this has never happened to me in the last 11 years. We’ll wait and see what happens now when I check in for my November flight!2 Mar 2017
TominScotland, you said “I have a booking for two of us with Cathay… I got an e-mail yesterday advising me of seat changes… for just one leg where my wife had been moved to the other side of the aircraft… Curious and I cannot work out why. Any suggestions?
I really don’t know, Tom, but I’ve been flying on CX for decades in all classes and it’s never once happened to me, so I hope you find out what happened and that it doesn’t happen again!2 Mar 2017
@TominScotland No idea re: CX moving you, however I had similar from the off with me & hubby being in same row but both in window seats on 2 sectors KUL-HKG-KUL. Their website wouldn’t allow me to move myself for reasons unknown, but a call to a human resolved that.2 Mar 2017
Quick add: I just booked a flight on ba.com and it allowed me to choose seats before payment confirmation. I booked via the Exec Club tab out of Malaysia and in the OLD website format (I ignored the option to try out the new website), so a lot of caveats and admittedly did not have to pay for seats given EC status. Upon reflection though, it would be illogical for BA not to give buyers the option to choose seats (and pay for them) before asking for full flight payment and confirmation.3 Mar 2017
Spoke to BA in Singapore and seeing the seat plan before booking is not available to me even as an Emerald in OW (I am Diamond with CX) unless I book a fully flexible fare so Business Class in ‘I’ doesn’t cut it. Based on ASEANTraveller’s experience there are ways around it but generally it is illogical but then again it is BA so I guess we should not be surprised.3 Mar 2017