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BA bumped [seat shifted] CW and WTP passengers for flight crew

BA bumped [seat shifted] CW and WTP passengers for flight crew

Old Apr 12, 17, 6:40 pm
  #1  
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BA bumped [seat shifted] CW and WTP passengers for flight crew

Having seen the news of the guy removed from the United flight so flight crew could have his seat I thought I share a fairly recent experience of my own.
My wife and I were flying BA from Cancun to LGW in WTP, where I'd pre selected the forward bulkhead seats months before my trip.
As soon as online check in had opened we found we'd been moved to the back row of WTP, where predictably the meal choices had run out.
Spoke to the CSM who told us that several CW and WTP passengers had to be offloaded so that BA flight crew could have the seats.
Took a stroll back to WT cabin to find lots of empty seats!
CSM took my contact details and said he would organise upgrade vouchers for my wife and I to be used on future flights.
No such vouchers ever arrived, lengthy talks and letters to customer services only produced a 15 discount code.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 6:44 pm
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I don't think being moved from the first to last row of WTP is technically considered a downgrade.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 6:55 pm
  #3  
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Well we don't know what the bumped passengers were offered in terms of compensation for those seats.

They could have been sat in Y with a nice voucher coming their way etc as there was lots of space in Y.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 7:20 pm
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Did you mention this because you think the flight crew should have been assigned those? Would you be happy to fly an airliner longhaul after an overnight flight in Y, or be flown in one by a crew which had?

Originally Posted by 240dae View Post
Took a stroll back to WT cabin to find lots of empty seats!
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Old Apr 12, 17, 7:21 pm
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You booked WTP and flew WTP.

You got what you paid for.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 7:35 pm
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I presume that staff misheard OP's complaint. OP was hardly downgraded as he flew in his ticketed cabin.

If the question relates to why BA would choose to downgers paying passengers over deadheading crew, the answer is quite simply that those crew likely were reassigned to fly shortly after their return. While flying in a premium cabin is a pleasant luxury for a passenger, being well-rested is a safety matter for flight crew.

The alternative, when circumstances require BA to juggle crews as sometimes occurs, is that if the crew arrive not sufficiently well-rested, to cancel whatever it is that they would have flown and thus to inconvenience however many hundred passengers (leading to a Greek Chorus here on FT moaning about BA's inability to have sufficient backup ready).

Fear not. Those downgraded are entitled to a refund of 75% of the segment cost and likely also received a tidy gesture of some avios for their troubles.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 8:23 pm
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Regarding the situation where seat assignments were changed, I saw word of this happening in other forums too (I think DL was the one I was reading). I understand they are allowed to make assignments for "operational" reasons, but considering BA passengers have to pay for seat assignments, it is poor customer service.


Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
Did you mention this because you think the flight crew should have been assigned those? Would you be happy to fly an airliner longhaul after an overnight flight in Y, or be flown in one by a crew which had?
I don't blame the crew for wanting WTP (and maybe having it in their contract); the legroom in Y is awful (this is not specific to BA).

Imagine if airlines only specc'ed economy cabins that would meet the requirements of their crew. A sort of "do unto others" approach.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 8:36 pm
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I do hope BA is watching and listening to the UAL flack. They are not to this point of blatant disrespect for human dignity but.... not caring, working your employees to the point of needing to strike, cutbacks called enhancement and fees for every single seat choice is worth noting. People are voting with their wallets. BA's policies have given us pause to consider other options in our long haul travel.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 8:46 pm
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One point that perhaps needs to be borne in mind is that in the USA, having crew deadheading (flying staff strategically as passengers in order to operate later or earlier flights) is endemic and widespread. On BA this is fairly rare, and if you think about how 99% plus of BA's flights start or end at LHR, LGW or LCY, where almost all crew are based, you will see this need not happen very often. You do see off duty staff returning to home, EDI and GLA have a particularly large contingent, and some off duty staff commute in from the European mainland and even South Africa. But this is done on a standby basis, so would not disrupt fare passengers, since it's the crew's choice to live out of London and it's not true deadheading.

Deadheading does still happen, for example if a flight is cancelled, goes technical for a very long time or the crew goes so badly out of hours that the only solution is to return them to base. Or staff sickness. That would be unusual/by exception.

Other examples would be starting new routes, so the inaugural New Orleans to London service was operated by crew that had flow out to DFW 2 days beforehand, then connected on via AA. Routes with different Summer/Winter operations. Some (e.g.) SCL flights have crew flying as passengers rather than operating, but these rare examples are worked out in advance and so the inventory is managed downwards well ahead of travel.

In any event this is lost revenue to BA, particularly given EC261 rules on IDB, so as you can imagine BA really does try to prevent customer impacts here, though sometimes it is unavoidable. And if BA asked the Met Police to remove a boarded passenger purely for IDB purposes, they would be met with a very hollow laugh.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:01 pm
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Originally Posted by QXflyer View Post
I don't think being moved from the first to last row of WTP is technically considered a downgrade.
Where did the OP state he was downgraded?
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:03 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
You booked WTP and flew WTP.

You got what you paid for.
Where did the OP state he didn't get what he paid for?
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I presume that staff misheard OP's complaint. OP was hardly downgraded as he flew in his ticketed cabin.

If the question relates to why BA would choose to downgers paying passengers over deadheading crew, the answer is quite simply that those crew likely were reassigned to fly shortly after their return. While flying in a premium cabin is a pleasant luxury for a passenger, being well-rested is a safety matter for flight crew.

The alternative, when circumstances require BA to juggle crews as sometimes occurs, is that if the crew arrive not sufficiently well-rested, to cancel whatever it is that they would have flown and thus to inconvenience however many hundred passengers (leading to a Greek Chorus here on FT moaning about BA's inability to have sufficient backup ready).

Fear not. Those downgraded are entitled to a refund of 75% of the segment cost and likely also received a tidy gesture of some avios for their troubles.
The OP never claimed (or complained) that he was downgraded.

We we have no idea what compensation (if any) has been paid to the unspecified number of people who were either downgraded or offloaded (perhaps the OP could clarify which it was).
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:12 pm
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To me, the issue here is that a CSM promised something and failed to deliver it. Offered and accepted. It should be delivered.

It doesn't really matter whether the situation was understandable, or the proffered compensation slightly generous. The CSM and the OP agreed that an upgrade on a future flight was acceptable compensation for loss of seat assignment and meal choice. It is not a completely absurd compensation that a reasonable person would consider to be ludicrous.

BA should make an effort to fulfill the promise - it could be as trivial an upgrade as moving the OP from "LCC purgatory" to "blocked middle seat and free water" on a shorthaul - and re-train the employee not to offer non-standard compensation to customers.

But I do have to ask... if he wasn't one of the customers offloaded, why did his seat have to be changed? Why couldn't employees sit in the back of the cabin and OP retain his seat?
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:17 pm
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Aren't there crew rest beds in long haul aircraft that dead heading crew could have used? Sit in Y if they wished to be awake, and sleep in the bunks if they need to sleep. I've seen photos of those, either in the "attic" or "basement" of the plane, depending on what it is.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:18 pm
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Originally Posted by janetdoe View Post
But I do have to ask... if he wasn't one of the customers offloaded, why did his seat have to be changed? Why couldn't employees sit in the back of the cabin and OP retain his seat?
I also wondered about that. However what may have also happened is that there was an aircraft change. There are two different sorts of 777 out of LGW, with different seat numbers, and smaller seating changes within both of those groups. If an aircraft went technical - either on this route or elsewhere - there is a chance of seat shifting. And this aircraft change could be related to the crew deadheading. But is worth anyone travelling longhaul to/from LGW to be mindful of this and check seating a few hours before OLCI opens up.
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