BA Seating Policy Guide

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Old Jan 12, 13, 4:07 am
  #1  
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Arrow BA Seating Policy Guide

Yesterday I was asked a question about how BA's paid seating policy works and I thought I had it nailed. I was wrong. The policy has evolved during the past year and I had become rusty. So following my own quick refresher course, I thought i'd pen this guide (much of which was judiciously copied from speedbirdclub.com).


Introduction and overview

For passengers travelling on BA flights (including BA operated flights codeshared by partner carriers) the policy is structured into five main categories.
  • Those who can choose their seat free of charge at check-in;
  • Those who will be allocated a seat free of charge before check-in opens,
  • Those who can choose their seat free of charge up to 48 hours before departure,
  • Those who can choose their seat free of charge up to 7 days before departure, and finally
  • Those who can choose their seat free of charge when they make their booking

Note, if you are travelling on a BA codeshare flight operated by another carrier this policy does not apply, and you need to defer to the operating carrier's seating policy instead. Different rules apply to passengers travelling on Hand Baggage Only fares (now marketed as Basic fares) - see HBO fares - Have to pay to select seat in advance [free for GCH/SCH/BCHs @ 14 Jun 17] which has an excellent summary in its wikipost.
Who can choose their seat free of charge when online check-in opens 24 hours before departure?
  • All customers

Who can choose their seat free of charge from 48 hours before departure?
  • Customers travelling on a short haul flight with a semi-flexible ticket

Who will be assigned seats at approximately 72 hours before departure and can change their seat when online check-in opens?
  • Customers travelling with children
  • Customers travelling on a group booking

Who can choose their seat free of charge up to 7 days before departure?
  • Bronze Executive Club card holders and oneworld Ruby equivalents

Who can choose their seat at the time of booking and change their seat at anytime up to 24 hours before departure?
  • Customers who have booked in F, A, J, C, W, Y
  • All customers who travel in First
  • Customers travelling on a corporate dealt ticket (using a BACCI code)
  • Premier, Gold and Silver Executive Club members and oneworld equivalents
  • Customers travelling with infants
  • Additional needs customers
It is important that you enter the Executive Club or any of the oneworld equivalent numbers into your booking so that you can access the seat map via Manage My Booking on ba.com.


Contents
Paid Seating and pricing schedules
Twin seats and exit row seats
Refunds
Additional needs customers and those travelling with infants
Group bookings
747 upper deck seats

Sources and further information
www.speedbirdclub.com
www.ba.com/seating
Theoretical Seating: Blocked seats and status master thread

Last edited by Prospero; Apr 29, 18 at 12:09 am
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Old Jan 12, 13, 4:08 am
  #2  
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Paid seating and pricing schedules

Caution: the original content below is now largely obsolete. In late 2016, BA changed its pricing model by replacing the old tariff with new dynamic pricing. Generally, this means popular seats towards the front of the cabin now cost more than less popular seats located progressively aft

General paid seating can be requested by most customers from time of booking up until online check-in opens 24 hours before their flight, subject to availability.

With long haul flights, the seat prices are divided into several categories and priced according to their popularity:
  • Exit row seats
    This category includes seats at bulk head rows
  • Twin seats
    These are located at the rear of the cabin where the fuselage tapers in. As a result of which only two seats fit between the window and the aisle where three would normally fit. This category includes outer seats on the upper deck of the Airbus A380
  • Outer seats
    Located between the window and the aisle. This includes twin seats A/B and J/K on the Boeing 767
  • Centre seats
    Located between the twin aisles

Additional information worthy of note include:
  • Paid seating is not available on flights operated by any British Airways franchisee or alliance airline, or any flight operated by a codeshare partner. Paid seating is however available on OpenSkies and Club World London City flights.
  • General seating aims to allow customers to pre-assign seats together in advance of online check in. Therefore when purchasing seating, seat allocations must be purchased for all passengers in the booking but the seats need not be of the same type.
  • Certain customers are not eligible for paid seating, for example Skyflyers Solo (children travelling alone) and those customers travelling as part of a specialised group.
  • Your booking must be ticketed before you can pay for seat allocation.


Prices
The pricing schedule has changed recently and routes are now divided into bands.










Bands
Not all routes are priced alike. Here's a break down of the current price bands. Weaselly caveat: these route bands are subject to change.


















Last edited by Prospero; Nov 19, 16 at 2:20 am Reason: Nov 2016 update
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Old Jan 12, 13, 4:17 am
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Twin seats and exit row seats

Twin seats
Twin seats are available on long-haul flights, in World Traveller at the rear of 747 and 777 aircraft and on the upper deck of the the A380 where you can sit next to just your travel companion. Seat pairs located at the very front of the cabin are priced as exit row seats.


Exit row seats
Premier or Gold Executive Club cardholders (and oneworld equivalents) are eligible to request exit row seating for themselves and any companion(s) without charge at the time of booking whether they are in the same booking or on a separate booking. However, for companions who aren't on the same booking, the TCP and seating request has to be done by phone.

All other customers (including Silver and Bronze Executive Club card holders and oneworld equivalents) wishing to request an exit seat in World Traveller or World Traveller Plus can pay for an exit row seat from 14 days until 4 days before their flight, subject to availability. On short-haul, exit row seat assignments are free to oneworld Sapphire members from time of booking and from 7 days prior to departure for oneworld Ruby members.

Exit row seats are situated either next to or immediately behind the emergency exit door. In the unlikely event of an evacuation customers will be expected to assist in the opening of the emergency door.

CAA Requirements for sitting in exit rows
In accordance with CAA requirements, the following categories of customers cannot be allocated an exit seat.
  • Customers who are either substantially blind or substantially deaf, to the extent that they might not readily assimilate printed or verbal instructions given.
  • Customers who are unable to understand and carry out instructions given in English.
  • Customers who are unable to reach, open, lift and throw out the exit door in an emergency.
  • Customers who because of physical stature, age or sickness have difficulty in moving quickly.
  • Children under 12 (whether accompanied or not) and infants.
  • Customers who are travelling with anyone who would require their assistance in the event of an emergency.
  • Customers travelling during pregnancy.

When requesting an exit seat you will be asked to verify eligibility.

British Airways has the sole discretion to determine whether a customer meets the requirements to sit in an exit seat. If the customer does not meet the requirements, they will be assigned an alternative seat. The additional amount paid for an exit seat will be forfeited and will not be refunded.

If after the date of requesting an exit seat customers become unable to fulfil the requirements to sit in an emergency exit seat then they should contact British Airways. They will be eligible to apply for a refund if they contact British Airways at least 48 hours before their flight.

Last edited by Prospero; May 21, 14 at 10:05 am
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Old Jan 12, 13, 4:23 am
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Refunds

A paid seat request cannot be guaranteed, as it may need to be changed for operational, safety or security reasons, even after boarding the aircraft. In the event British Airways has to change your seat assignment, BA will endeavour to seat you in a suitable alternative. British Airways will look to seat your party together in the first instance, and then if possible in your choice of window seat, middle seat or aisle seat. If you have paid for an exit seat British Airways will look to seat you in another exit seat.)

If BA is unable to offer you a suitable alternative seat as set out above you may apply for a refund. BA also permits a paid seating refund if you have voluntarily purchased an upgrade pre travel.

You have 14 days after the last flight in their itinerary to apply for a refund. Refund applications should be submitted online at ba.com/paidseating. Paid seating is non-refundable in all other circumstances.

Last edited by Prospero; Jan 12, 13 at 5:29 am
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Old Jan 12, 13, 4:25 am
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Additional needs customers and those travelling with infants

Some customers need to be seated early because they have special seating requirements. Customers with additional needs and those travelling with infants will also be able to choose their seat online at the time of booking.

Unaccompanied minors and some specialised groups need to be seated before check-in opens. This will take place approximately 3 days prior to departure.

BA will also endeavour to sit customers travelling with young children (aged 2-11 years) together at this time, if they have not already chosen the paid seating option.
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Old Jan 12, 13, 4:29 am
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Group bookings

Group bookings generally apply to bookings with 10 or more passengers

BA automatically allocates seating to group and allocation bookings, free of charge, from 7 days before departure. However, there may be occasions when passengers within a larger group or allocation (for example, IT or cruise bookings) wish to pre-assign their seats in advance of this time, either for additional peace of mind or because they are not aware they are part of a group booking. If this applies to you, you need to contact your Travel Agent who can split the individual passengers from the main PNR into a separate bookings. This needs to be done before paid-seating can be requested.

Last edited by Prospero; Jan 12, 13 at 5:58 am
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Old Feb 4, 13, 1:12 pm
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747 Upper deck seats

Current policy (effective 01 February 2013)
Caution: the original content below is now largely obsolete. In late 2016, BA changed its pricing model by replacing the old tariff with new dynamic pricing. Generally, this means popular seats towards the front of the cabin now cost more than less popular seats located progressively aft.

As part of this change, all upper deck seats are now available for paid seating. The charge for these seats has reduced from 85 to 83. The charge for lower deck seats varies by row. Taking the Super High J configured 747 from LHR to JFK as an example, Club World seats in row 12 are 79, rows 13 to 18 are 72, and rows 19 to 22 are 65

The seats available for paid upper deck seating have been changed from 63JK 64AB 64JK to 63AB 63JK 64AB. Because of this some passengers may have received an email to advise them of a seating change.

The previous restriction where paid seating was only offered on routes on specific days has also been lifted, so you should be able to book upper deck on any day as long as the seats are available.


Last edited by Prospero; Nov 19, 16 at 2:19 am Reason: Update
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Old Jun 12, 13, 2:24 pm
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Quick question to the experts. Two bookings, one has to BA Gold card holders in it (on a 241) the other has a friend we invited on the trip. We paid for his flight with miles from my account. Hotline told me it was impossible to combine the two bookings into one. Is there any way, besides the obvious paying, for him to choose seats?
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Old Jun 12, 13, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by MarioRossi View Post
Quick question to the experts. Two bookings, one has to BA Gold card holders in it (on a 241) the other has a friend we invited on the trip. We paid for his flight with miles from my account. Hotline told me it was impossible to combine the two bookings into one. Is there any way, besides the obvious paying, for him to choose seats?
The BA Gold can call and request to have the seat of the other party allocated next to them.
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Old Jun 12, 13, 2:39 pm
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Thanks. Didn't know that. Will give them a call.
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Old Jun 13, 13, 5:00 am
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Is there anything similar for OWE from other airlines?
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Old Jun 13, 13, 5:02 am
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Originally Posted by Lisa40403 View Post
Is there anything similar for OWE from other airlines?
No it does not apply to non-BA OWE's (I have tried myself as QF Platinum)
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Old Jun 13, 13, 5:07 am
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What happens if one loses his status before the flight? Is the seat assignment automatically cancelled?

My friend's sapphire is good until November. The flight is early December.
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Old Jun 13, 13, 5:14 am
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No it's not.
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Old Jun 13, 13, 4:45 pm
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I just booked a BA flight SEA-LHR-CDG in club world (U class) using my alaska airlines miles. My status is MVP Gold. (2nd highest Alaska elite status) Ideally I would like to pre-reserve my seat without a fee. But it appears that though Alaska is a partner does not appear to be a One World partner.

Is my thinking correct? Or does anyone see a way to reserve my seat now without a fee? I am hesitant to wait until check-in because as a solo traveler the middle seats in the middle section of CW make me queasy just thinking about it. (too close and personal with neighbor and too claustrophobic).
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