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Old Oct 10, 08, 4:52 am   #1
 
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Seat Shifting Policy for Status Passengers

After wading through many threads about seat shifting and moves for operational reasons (particularly at the time of OLCI), I was wondering if there is a specific BA policy that allows higher status passengers to oust lower status (or no status) passengers that have already assigned their seats long before travelling. One thread even mentions that Golds could do that themselves through their own MMB by not showing the seats as occupied - I couldn't find anything conclusive on the matter.

I have an upcoming flight (somewhat distant future) where I lost my selected seat both on the way in and the way out, so this comes as a bit of a surprise - particularly as it is not a bassinet seat and the plane has not been changed.

Could someone please shed some light on this - or at least point me in the right direction?
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Old Oct 10, 08, 4:57 am   #2
 
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Yes, as a GGL member, when I'm in a MMB seating screen I can use CTRL S to kick someone out of an occupied seat. It's great.

But seriously, even as a GGL I cannot get people moved out of their seat. Even if I threaten to throw all my toys out of the pram.
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Old Oct 10, 08, 5:09 am   #3
 
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You'll need a contact at the Seat Snatchers department at Waterside. You could try emailing SS@ba.com.
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Old Oct 10, 08, 6:27 am   #4
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But seriously, even as a GGL I cannot get people moved out of their seat. Even if I threaten to throw all my toys out of the pram.
Not entirely true....
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Old Oct 10, 08, 6:30 am   #5
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You'll need a contact at the Seat Snatchers department at Waterside. You could try emailing SS@ba.com.
Hang on, thats' Special Services email. Don't give that out.

You mean fss@ba.com I think
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Old Oct 10, 08, 7:00 am   #6
 
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Not entirely true....
That's what I thought I'd heard...
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Old Oct 10, 08, 8:27 am   #7
 
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Interesting that this should be posted today as I was wondering the same thing. Knowing that even with Gold status my bookings in First can be changed even without a change of aircraft I have been keeping a closer check on my bookings.

Today I noticed that for my flight in January from HKG to LHR had a note in MMB to say the seat had been changed. What was even more surprising is that I was moved from 2K to 1K. I prefer 1K, but as I have been moved from it more than once I usually do not even bother to select it. I am just hoping that there are no further changes. I was wondering wether or not a Prem Card holder could have requested 2K and that was the cause for the move.

Any other suggestions?
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Old Oct 10, 08, 8:35 am   #8
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To the OP, there are a variety of reasons why your seat may have changed (or have been changed).

But since it was not a single "shift", but you were moved on both legs, the most likely explanation is that the reservations system cancelled your seats and auto-stuck you in some random seat.

A. Random Seat Shifts
This can happen for a variety of reason, such as (1) a ticket number being put into the (unticketed) reservation, (2) the ticket being reissued, (3) any kind of flight time/number change, which require the reservations agent to "ok" the change. Any of the above may lead to you being booted of your seat and given a random one again.

B. Deliberate but Anonymous Seat Shifts
Another reason is someone changing the seat (maliciously, or for fun, or a BA insider doing it to put someone else in your seat). But to do this with no trace, would require them doing it in in MMB (so having your PNR and surname - very easily accessible), which should result in your receiving an email confirming changes to your booking. Always look out for these, if you haven't made any changes yourself.

C. Official Seat Shifts
Finally, you could have indeed been moved by BA seating to accommodate a Prem or VIP.

With the right status and a big enough issue (not just I was moved from 1A to 1K, but a party of 4 perhaps being scattered around the cabin), you will be able to get someone to investigate the booking, the date the changes were made, by whom, what triggered the move, who is now in your original seats, so at least you know whether it was a RSS, a DASS or a OSS, and you may be put back in your original seat.

I suspect you will not get this kind of help and you will be told it was an "equipment change".
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Old Oct 10, 08, 9:52 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Smirnoff View Post
To the OP, there are a variety of reasons why your seat may have changed (or have been changed).

B. Deliberate but Anonymous Seat Shifts
Another reason is someone changing the seat (maliciously, or for fun, or a BA insider doing it to put someone else in your seat). But to do this with no trace, would require them doing it in in MMB (so having your PNR and surname - very easily accessible), which should result in your receiving an email confirming changes to your booking. Always look out for these, if you haven't made any changes yourself.
You often see gate agents, lounge staff etc. looking through bookings and seat maps in idle moments. Can they access any booking in the system? Can they make changes to assignments?
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Old Oct 10, 08, 9:54 am   #10
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You often see gate agents, lounge staff etc. looking through bookings and seat maps in idle moments. Can they access any booking in the system? Can they make changes to assignments?
Last Minute Editing - sure.

Again, for people with the right status and a specific issue, they can move people around.

Eg. a moving a disabled passenger out of an exit row seat, or a child out of an exit row seat, or a passenger with infant into the proper seat with extra mask, or an unaccompanied child away from a man, or moving around a statused family group to sit together - all such issues (if not dealt with before they come to check-in) can result in last minute seat shifting.

This is what results in a BING at the boarding gate (other than an op-up) and a new seat assignment to the affected/shifted passenger.
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Old Oct 10, 08, 10:07 am   #11
 
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I suspect you will not get this kind of help and you will be told it was an "equipment change".
Thank you for the detailed explanation - this helps. As it turns out, it wasn't any of the conditions mentioned due to any changes. No changes had been made to any aspect of the booking (timing or ticketing).

Funnily enough, there is someone in the seat now, so I can't change it back. I'm guessing that someone really wanted the seat. I'm not really that bothered, but it's a bit disconcerting that selecting something beforehand is fairly susceptible to shifts even when nothing else has changed. It somewhat subverts the whole notion of the process.
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Old Oct 10, 08, 10:11 am   #12
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there is someone in the seat now, so I can't change it back. I'm guessing that someone really wanted the seat.
I suspect there's your answer.
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Old Oct 10, 08, 10:22 am   #13
 
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Can we get an idea of how often this tends to happen?

I haven't been evicted from my favoured 62A so far, but I've got an upcoming MFU to CW on holiday with my gf and I'd hate to lose our selected 62AB out, 62JK back.

(seat assignments for leisure travel are far more valuable to me than for business trips!)

Maybe some frequent CW passengers (but perhaps not Prem/GGL as I guess you get shifted less) could post their seat-shifting experiences!
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Old Oct 10, 08, 10:29 am   #14
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I've only twice been seat shifted, once to a better Club seat at check and one a couple of rows forward in CE...to a D seat.
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Old Oct 10, 08, 10:34 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by giffordius View Post
Can we get an idea of how often this tends to happen?
Depends on your status in the pecking order. I guess would never happen to Premiers; less frequently to Golds; quite often to Silvers and then there's Blues.........
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