Last seat sold during online checkout

Old Oct 26, 12, 10:08 am
  #1  
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Last seat sold during online checkout

I was changing one of my usual flights to an earlier time today, something I have done a few times before without issue. Admittedly, based on the cost of changing, availability was tight but I was surprised to see this message:



This came up after I'd just completed the Amex 3D Secure step, suggesting that until the credit card transaction is fully authorised, your seat isn't reserved.

Is it normal? I would have thought that once selected the seat is yours for 15 minutes to give you a chance to check out correctly.
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Old Oct 26, 12, 10:10 am
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I think that's normal. If BA "reserved" the seat while you were typing credit card info in and someone else came along and got "no seats" message and then you decided not to proceed, then BA might lose the sale.

BA will accept the money from whoever is faster.
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Old Oct 26, 12, 10:19 am
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This is very common with all online shopping.
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Old Oct 26, 12, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by origin View Post
This is very common with all online shopping.
common amongst poorly designed shopping systems but not with decent online shopping systems that take the item out of inventory for a period of time to complete the transaction...
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Old Oct 26, 12, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by mkjr View Post
common amongst poorly designed shopping systems but not with decent online shopping systems that take the item out of inventory for a period of time to complete the transaction...
I'm not sure why BA would want to take the item out of inventory for any significant period of time for a perishable item. The so called "decent online system" would be more likely to lead to lost sales and empty seats - particularly in the case of a change as effectively 2 seats (the original and the change) would be out of inventory for this period.
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Old Oct 26, 12, 10:31 am
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Do any or all of the other airlines operate this way??
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Old Oct 26, 12, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by origin View Post
Do any or all of the other airlines operate this way??
It is standard sales procedure.
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Old Oct 26, 12, 10:47 am
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I wouldn't expect it to be any different for a time sensitive low volume sale.

It's a bit different from a company taking a book/pair of shoes/shirt out of their inventory while you checkout.
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Old Oct 26, 12, 10:50 am
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Actually I've just had the opposite experience with another airline's website. Was booking a seat, only one available at that price. Payment failed and the seat was not accessible for some time after that, then reappeared.
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Old Oct 26, 12, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by neuromancer View Post
Actually I've just had the opposite experience with another airline's website. Was booking a seat, only one available at that price. Payment failed and the seat was not accessible for some time after that, then reappeared.
Please cna you tell us which airline??, thanks.
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Old Oct 26, 12, 10:54 am
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Well, all I can say is that I selected the flight, I filled in my credit card details (all other details pre-populated since this was a change) and went through the Amex SafeKey procedure. Total elapsed time probably 15 seconds and I fail to see how I could be quicker. No doubt somebody else was a few seconds ahead of me in that process.

This was with my BA PP Amex. Ironically my Lloyds TSB Amex doesn't ever invoke the SafeKey procedure on BA.com so had I paid with that I may well have got the seat. What price extra Avios??
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Old Oct 26, 12, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by origin View Post
Do any or all of the other airlines operate this way??
I have had this with many other airlines (but interesting not yet with BA) so I would say many do. JL domestic works differently - you can actually hold reservation for a few (3?) days before you need to pay for it, and some others like QF offer "reserve with deposit" system for some routes, but for straight sales, it seems to be pretty much the norm.
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Old Oct 26, 12, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by LTN Phobia View Post
I have had this with many other airlines (but interesting not yet with BA) so I would say many do.

for straight sales, it seems to be pretty much the norm.
Sorry I think that it is d*mn disgusting. Sorry, that is like saying that if I pick up something in the Sale and take it to the till, and if there is a problem getting an approval from the card company or the transaction sticks as can happen then someone else can grab it and because their card goes straight through or if they sling cash on the counter then off they go?

No, I think that although the transaction might not be complete, I think that until the card has failed and the purchaser has let the transaction drop then that item or seat should be "reserved" until that point. It's hardly the card holder's fault if some of these verifications are so long winded. Frankly I love it when they say it is for my protection - I don't think so - I am covered in the event of fraudulent use - it's for the banks and credit card companies protection not mine.

OP - I'd be hopping mad. The norm it may be, plain wrong it is.
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Old Oct 26, 12, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
OP - I'd be hopping mad. The norm it may be, plain wrong it is.
Luckily Milan has two airports, so I'm now on a similar timed flight but to Linate instead of Malpensa.

I was more annoyed that my client keeps changing his mind all the time. Without that I wouldn't need to keep changing my flights. Still, he's paying
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Old Oct 26, 12, 11:27 am
  #15  
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It isn't that difficult to do - it's only a matter of removing the seat from available for up to say 6 or 7 minutes or transaction completion whichever arrives sooner - perhaps with a popup warning two minutes before it's snatched.
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