British Airways - Seat Selection

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Old Aug 27, 15, 8:10 am
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Question British Airways - Seat Selection

Why is it more times than not when I fly long haul with BA and book my seat 24 hours in advance the second the online check-in feature becomes available I am moved to a different seat when I actually check-in at the airport.

I fly BKK-LHR fairly regularly and this issue alone is enough to have me avoiding BA in future and only fly with EVA (or Thai Airways, if their prices reduce) regardless of price as they too fly non-stop.

I prefer non-stop flights so I want the best seat I am able to choose, having that choice over-ruled by some ground staff is very frustrating as the seat I was given is one I wish to avoid.

The same scenario occurred once on a EVA flight but I was upgraded instead, not given a worse seat for the 11-hour duration like I was on both legs of a recent BA flight.

Has anyone else suffered from this and what are your thoughts?
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Old Aug 27, 15, 9:42 am
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Welcome to FlyerTalk!

Your query has been moved from the TalkBoard Topics forum, where elected FlyerTalk representatives discuss and act on requests for new fora, etc. to the British Airways | Executive Club forum, where knowledgeable members familiar with BA seating policy and issues can best answer your questions.

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Old Aug 27, 15, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by Mike Jackson View Post
Why is it more times than not when I fly long haul with BA and book my seat 24 hours in advance the second the online check-in feature becomes available I am moved to a different seat when I actually check-in at the airport.

I fly BKK-LHR fairly regularly and this issue alone is enough to have me avoiding BA in future and only fly with EVA (or Thai Airways, if their prices reduce) regardless of price as they too fly non-stop.

I prefer non-stop flights so I want the best seat I am able to choose, having that choice over-ruled by some ground staff is very frustrating as the seat I was given is one I wish to avoid.

The same scenario occurred once on a EVA flight but I was upgraded instead, not given a worse seat for the 11-hour duration like I was on both legs of a recent BA flight.

Has anyone else suffered from this and what are your thoughts?
BA does have some seat shifters out there who do move people around - but it is far more typically on short haul flights.

Some details might be helpful in diagnosing why ...

Which seat did you select on what type of aircraft and where did you get put?
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Old Aug 27, 15, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by Mike Jackson View Post
Why is it more times than not when I fly long haul with BA and book my seat 24 hours in advance the second the online check-in feature becomes available I am moved to a different seat when I actually check-in at the airport.
Are you selecting a seat at -24 hours without completing online check-in?
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Old Nov 22, 15, 8:29 pm
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Hi, thought I would just post here instead of starting a new thread.

We've got KUL-LHR on BA034 (Club World) on Tue 24 Nov coming up. First time flying BA. KVS is showing flight load F1 AL J2 CL DC RC IC W2 EC TC Y2 BL HL KL ML LC VC SC NC QC OC GL.

Yesterday there were plenty of seats available for advance purchase via BA website but when I checked today at T-36 hours only a few seats are available but no pairs. We were aiming for a rear-facing E&F pair.

What are our chances of getting E&F seats when online check-in with free seat selection comes on? Would they split us apart??
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Old Nov 22, 15, 9:44 pm
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Looks like a pretty full flight. The answer to your last question is that yes, as a couple on one booking you can be split up if 2 seats together aren't available. However if you're looking for an EF then I would be surprised if a passenger travelling alone wouldn't be prepared to swap with one of you so you can both sit together. The EF seats are perfect for couples and much less desirable for single travellers.

I recommend you check in online at T-24 as close together as you can.

You won't get the airport staff to move anyone already seated, but once on board you may be able to find that the cabin crew will help - or you can always ask other passengers yourself as a last resort. Good luck!
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Old Nov 22, 15, 11:57 pm
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Originally Posted by ThatT1Feeling View Post
Looks like a pretty full flight. The answer to your last question is that yes, as a couple on one booking you can be split up if 2 seats together aren't available. However if you're looking for an EF then I would be surprised if a passenger travelling alone wouldn't be prepared to swap with one of you so you can both sit together. The EF seats are perfect for couples and much less desirable for single travellers.

I recommend you check in online at T-24 as close together as you can.

You won't get the airport staff to move anyone already seated, but once on board you may be able to find that the cabin crew will help - or you can always ask other passengers yourself as a last resort. Good luck!
Thanks ThatT1Feeling! Am sure we can find a kind soul to swap seats.
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Old Nov 23, 15, 1:56 am
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Hmm - I am having same issue for next week's BA 1 ... Two days ago still 3 pairs of seats and now only one. I called BA this morning but nothing can be done (although a request to sit together has been made) save pay £160. (Which will cover our hotels in NY and Phoenix)?..

I don't fancy our chances of someone swapping a window for an aisle seat so we can sit together... Best we can probably hope for is being across the aisle towards the back...

Has anyone any experience /tips regards seat shifting on the Babybus?
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Old Nov 23, 15, 2:03 am
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Originally Posted by CaroFos View Post

Has anyone any experience /tips regards seat shifting on the Babybus?
On the CWLCY services a lot of passengers are solo travellers, and there is some seat manipulation going on by status passengers so that they get an empty seat next to them. This consequently leads to a lack of empty pairs. Probably on the day you'll be able to suggest seat moves, particularly if the moved person regains an empty seat as a result. But don't overthink it, the aircraft is so intimate that if you are in different rows it won't feel odd or offputting. Apart from row 1 (to a small degress) all the CWLCY seats are very similar, there isn't a bad seat on the jet, or a particularly "better" one either.
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Old Nov 23, 15, 6:22 am
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Well for our case it went from 38 seats available to only 3 in a matter of 24 hours. Definitely something strange.

Update: Just did OLCI and was able to get 14E & 14F. Don't know what was going on with the seat selection option.

Last edited by dctravels74; Nov 23, 15 at 8:55 am
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Old Nov 23, 15, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by dctravels74 View Post
Well for our case it went from 38 seats available to only 3 in a matter of 24 hours. Definitely something strange.

Update: Just did OLCI and was able to get 14E & 14F. Don't know what was going on with the seat selection option.
glad you got the seats you wanted.
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Old Dec 31, 15, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by MPH1980 View Post
BA does have some seat shifters out there who do move people around - but it is far more typically on short haul flights.

Some details might be helpful in diagnosing why ...

Which seat did you select on what type of aircraft and where did you get put?
Thank you for your response and sorry for taking so long to reply.

The aircraft was a Boeing 777 - BA009 and BA010.

This flight is often at capacity.

I always try and book a seat with a bulkhead behind me, preferably the window. My desire is to be untouched and undisturbed as much as possible, so I seek a rear corner wherever possible, or the next best spot. A bulkhead behind me is my main preference.

I have no problem whatsoever with a misaligned window as the view is not important. Being so close to the toilets and the galley, or the lack of recline in my seat due to being in front of a bulkhead doesn't bother me in the slightest.

Aisle seats get rocked by passers-by steadying themselves as they walk, clanked by trolleys and disturbed by neighbours wishing to relieve themselves. Having a bulkhead behind my seat means nobody will be stabbing the touch screen TV and jerking my seat, or their knees in my back or other disturbances. It might sound like I'm moaning but that is my preference, I'm sure all travelers have a preferred seat for their own reasons.

So, I set an alarm to be at my computer 24 hours prior to departure in order to optimize my chances of RESERVING a decent seat. Online so much has already been reserved in what appears to be seconds, or pre-booked at cost. I then reserve the best seat available which is obviously not always my first choice. So far so good. If it happens to be a favourite seat then I feel well-chuffed.

Then, 24 hours later at check-in I get told by a member of the check-in staff that I have been moved to accommodate two people who either failed to pre-book their seats 24 hours in advance or were not prepared to pay.

This has only happened on British Airways. I doubt I will fly with them again due to this one issue.

Why should my reservation be considered irrelevant and disposable just because I travel alone?

Last edited by Mike Jackson; Dec 31, 15 at 6:33 am
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