British Airways Executive Club members booking a hand baggage only fare will from March 26 no longer be able to select their seat.
The airline will instead allocate seats for members travelling on these fares when check-in opens, meaning anyone wanting to change his seat will have to pay to do so at that time.
The exception, which is of little use to business travellers, is that any member booking a hand baggage only fare when travelling with an infant can still select his own seating.
BA said in a statement: "For bookings made from March 26, British Airways will allocate a seat for all customers booking an HBO low fare on a short haul flight with us.
"When travelling on these great value fares, your seat will be allocated when check-in opens. Should you wish to change your seat you can pay to do so at that time or alternatively pay to reserve a seat when you book your flight...
"For all other fares, Bronze members can continue to select their seat for free seven days before departure and Silver and Gold members at the time of booking for free."
Passengers travelling on hand baggage only fares can take one piece of luggage and a laptop bag or handbag on-board. The main piece of luggage cannot be larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm.
The move comes a month after BA announced big changes to its Executive Club programme that align customer rewards with spend (see news, January 28).