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HBO fares - Have to pay to select seat in advance [free for GCH/SCH/BCHs @ 14 Jun 17]

HBO fares - Have to pay to select seat in advance [free for GCH/SCH/BCHs @ 14 Jun 17]

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Old Jun 14, 17, 10:18 pm   -   Wikipost
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  • NOTE: Free seat selection for BAEC status passengers was reinstated from 14 June 2017: many of the posts here will be superseded from that date. See posts below dating from 4 May 2017 - and their links - for more details.

    For bookings made prior to 14th June with travel on or after, status passengers whose bookings have not been updated to allow free seat selection need to pay for their selected seats and will be automatically refunded, nominally within 28 days but reports suggest a few days is more usual.

Hand Baggage Only fares (HBO) are available on domestic and EuroTraveller routes. They are offered at a lower price to those able to travel without checked baggage on point to point journeys only - they are not offered with connections, stopovers or with Club Europe. There isn't a special fare bucket for HBO, it's just a discount to all domestic/ET fare buckets, so even expensive flexible tickets offer HBO. The discount varies depending on route. For example, going HBO on LHR-DUB gives a 10 discount; 15 on LHR-PRG; and 20 on LHR-ATH. Online Travel Agents often book into these fares (including building stopovers) and are sometimes less than transparent about the baggage restrictions during the booking process. HBO fares do not earn OnBusiness credits.

BAEC status passengers from Bronze upwards get advance seat choice with these tickets.

How to get seat allocation if HBO and without status:
- Pay up. You can pay up at OLCI if you don't like the seat. Costs vary from 7 to 21 per sector as a minimum, with differential pricing employed for better seats (e.g. an exit row on LHR-DUB was 23 in June 2017). Usually, but not always, this invalidates the cost saving of HBO. You can also pay up in Manage My Booking (MMB) before OLCI.
- Cancel OLCI at the "confirm contact details" stage. Go in again and/or later and you may be offered another seat.
- Corporate travel bookings still offer seating to HBO in some cases. Sometimes this ability is temporary and doesn't stick.
- Ask check-in or the lounge agent for a better seat, so far this seems to be possible. Lounge agents won't be able to assist where they aren't part of the ground handling for BA (e.g. LBA).
- If your airport has a Self Service Check In (SSCI) machine AND you do not print your boarding pass (see below) then you can select another seat there provided check-in is still open, typically up to 46 minutes before take off. So if you are being allocated a rotten seat and you can see better seats available, you can take a risk and complete/commence check-in later.

SSCI machines are available at: LHR, LGW, LCY, MAN, EDI (on the general purpose airport machines, but only those by the BA check-in area), NCE, BRU, OSL, BLL, AAR, MUC, AMS.
They are NOT available at: ABZ, BHD, GLA, LBA, NCL, DUB, CDG, ORY, SVG, DUS, TXL, MAH, CFU, OLB, CTA, CAG, FDH, ANE, UIP, BIO, HER, SVQ, PMI, BRI.
You can also do this operation the night before at LGW and LHR, details here.

By "printing boarding pass" we mean not selecting that option at OLCI, or saving, emailing, faxing and/or downloading the boarding pass on the App.
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:19 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Edinburgh
Programs: Lowest of the low in all airline programs but I am in the EZY FF Program!
Posts: 4,255
HBO fares - Have to pay to select seat in advance [free for GCH/SCH/BCHs @ 14 Jun 17]

We would like to advise you of the following change to our Hand Baggage Only (HBO) fare.

Please note that for bookings made from 26 March 2015 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. If you are travelling with an infant on an HBO fare your seat will continue to be allocated at the time of booking. The changes apply to all Executive Club Members booking HBO fares. For all other fares, Bronze Members can continue to select their seat for free 7 days before departure and Silver and Gold Members at the time of booking for free.
BA are sounding more like easyJet or Ryanair every day. The race to the bottom continues!
Gaza is offline  
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:20 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: UK
Programs: I go wherever the content takes me.
Posts: 5,686
Playing "Me Too" with the LCCs

I don't quite understand this. Are they trying to spread HBO passengers throughout the cabin to try to minimise overhead bin conflicts? Hmm.
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:23 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Edinburgh or stuck in a hotel somewhere
Programs: BA Gold, HHonors Diamond, Club Carlson Gold, IHG Gold
Posts: 534
Playing "Me Too" with the LCCs

Just received this email also and looks like a further devaluation for all Executive Club members.

Not impressed at all
francismc is offline  
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:23 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: London-etc
Posts: 3,893
Originally Posted by Gaza View Post
BA are sounding more like easyJet or Ryanair every day. The race to the bottom continues!
And the LCC's are trying to improve their offers to attract the business Pax.
How will this end
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:24 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Near Edinburgh
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 9,034
I can see this being a lively topic...

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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:28 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Here
Posts: 1,786
Can we please relax ? Clearly it's their April Fool's day joke accidentally released early.
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:31 am
  #7  
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Edinburgh
Programs: Lowest of the low in all airline programs but I am in the EZY FF Program!
Posts: 4,255
Originally Posted by Polomarc View Post
And the LCC's are trying to improve their offers to attract the business Pax.
How will this end
Indeed. As an easyJet Plus card holder I get unlimited seat reservations (including exit and row 1) and from mid-March I'm now going to be permitted 1 small laptop bag in addition to my carry-on.

I've also just been invited to the trial of their 'loyalty' scheme. While it has no free flight benefits there is a dedicated support unit and it does have interesting benefits such as being able to make make unlimited changes to flights and not incurring the 35 admin fee.
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:31 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,635
So much for all the changes announced at once!
MPH1980 is offline  
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:31 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 590
Oh dear. Just when I thought they couldn't enhance away any more
ba_cityflyer is offline  
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:32 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Near Edinburgh
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 9,034
I know BA is renowned for being disingenuous in its emails, but this really takes the biscuit. If we distill this down, what is the actual change here?

And the main thing - the removal of free seat selection for Bronze, Silver and Golds.

It doesn't impact me (I've never booked a HBO fare) but BA should be embarrassed trying to paint this as a positive.
Paralytic is offline  
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:33 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 463
Yay another enhancement
secretplantofightinflation is offline  
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:36 am
  #12  
formerly rxfleming
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: AUH, DXB (and GLA)
Programs: BA Gold, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Plat Elite
Posts: 2,448
Disgusting.
This may be the last straw for me. I've had enough of this.
Time to use up my avios and move to QR or Etihad seeing as most of my flying will now be in/out of AUH or DXB.
travelwithross is offline  
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:37 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Thatcham, UK
Programs: BA Gold, HHonors Gold, Marriott Silver
Posts: 470
This really is carp!

What an "enhancement"!
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:38 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold; FB Silver; SPG; IHG Gold
Posts: 1,700
If it resulted in less crowded overhead bins then I would almost welcome it, but it won't because most of us will still only travel with hand luggage where possible because it's easier and BA are incompetent when it comes to checked luggage. I might just try an HBO fare after 26 March to see how sh*t my allocated seat is.
South London Bon Viveur is offline  
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:38 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Programs: Latinpass Million Miler. BA Gold.
Posts: 3,517
THis is bl**dy annoying. Effectively means paying 15-35 per flight for a seat assignment.
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