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Allocated first class seat on C/Y only flight

Allocated first class seat on C/Y only flight

Old May 13, 18, 3:36 am
  #1  
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Allocated first class seat on C/Y only flight

On 12 May I paid for business class on BA461 MAD-LHR operated by a B777. On 9 May through “manage my booking” I saw first class seats had been released for business class passengers. I assumed this was a perk for silver and gold card holders. I selected 4K which was confirmed on my mobile boarding pass.

At the gate I was told that there had been a change of aircraft and there was no seat 4K. I was handed a pass for 14K. Had she turned she would have clearly seen a 777 through the large window.

On entering the aircraft 2 cabin crew were standing at the access to first. I showed my mobile pass and clearly said “4K” and they moved aside for me. 2 other passengers were seated in first class.
2 minutes later a member of the cabin crew asked to see my boarding pass. I showed the paper pass and the mobile pass and told her what had been incorrectly stated at the gate. I refused a polite request to move.
She returned shortly after and showed me print-out of the paper boarding pass. (Why? No idea.). I was again told I would have to move as there was no first class on the flight. I again politely but firmly refused as there were other passengers in the cabin. She left saying she would try and resolve the”issue”.
I spoke with one of the other passengers who confirmed she had not been asked to move, was not BA staff, but would not get involved.
The crew member returned a third time and invited me forward to meet the captain who said there had been an administrative error and I must move as there was no catering in first on this flight. The alternative was to be removed from the plane. I said I was happy to forgo food or drink and said the food was cr*p anyway and I wasn't prepared to change seats
The stewardess then told the captain I had previously been rude to her. This was untrue but I saw where this was going, conceded defeat and moved to 14K. I did not accept the food (it is has been cr*p since club Europe catering was improved last year). I did enjoy a few cans of Tiger.

Interestingly a number of economy passengers were seated in economy plus. Perhaps they were all BA gold card holders.
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Old May 13, 18, 3:41 am
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Just sit where your BP said to sit (14K). No need to make a CC's life difficult for a 2hr flight.

Oh, and there are some 3 class 777s in the fleet - without a First cabin.

Last edited by NWIFlyer; May 13, 18 at 4:55 am Reason: Remove highly unfriendly remark towards new member - rule 12
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Old May 13, 18, 3:47 am
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Welcome to Flyertalk Mailman7, welcome to the BA forum in particular. I suspect you are going to get a range of comments to this issue, but thank you for raising this. I hope other FTers will take your new participation here into account in their replies.

Essentially this is known as Flub class on BA, and you can't really take it for granted. When it happens, and they run a longhaul from Madrid to London, then First is ideally not used at all, and if it is, to the minimum extent necessary, to reduce resource impact. Personally I think a longhaul Club World seat is a pretty good on that sector, given your fare. WTP is indeed used as an overflow for EuroTraveller passengers, they may not all have had status. Again same principle. If you feel that the cabin crew member misrepresented your conversation as rudeness, I would - after the flight - ask to have a word with the CSM and then follow up with a complaint if you have the name of the crew member concerned. However when things get a bit heated it's easy to say one thing, hear another, so it could just be a communication failure.
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Old May 13, 18, 3:51 am
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I don’t have an opinion on this matter, but it does seem to create a lot of ill feeling for some people over who gets the flub service.
If the CC genuinely lied about previous rudeness that is quite wrong, but we’re well into he said she said here.
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Old May 13, 18, 3:54 am
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Yeah CWS has taken the right angle there. I suspect you won't get the most sympathetic views on this and I'm afraid I rather agree with that. For a 2 hour flight, surely refusing to move back to your seat that you were expecting in the first place when you bought the ticket can't have been worth kicking up such a fuss for? F>J on a shorthaul service has to be considered a very minor downgrade if any at all.

More curious as to why the other people weren't made to move back? Perhaps they were crew
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Old May 13, 18, 3:55 am
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Originally Posted by Brisbane Road View Post
More curious as to why the other people weren't made to move back? Perhaps they were crew
Perhaps there wasn't a spare seat for them in CW.
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Old May 13, 18, 3:58 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Perhaps there wasn't a spare seat for them in CW.
Yes of course, and although as I mentioned I don't sympathise greatly with the OP- I think he was at least due an explanation of why he was being moved back. If there were no other seats available than he should have been told why he was selected.

And sorry- in my haste- I had read over the part he said that they were not BA crew
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Old May 13, 18, 3:59 am
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The First cabin can only be occupied by the exact number of customers above the CW configuration, so if there are 48 CW seat and 50 CW customers 2 customer can sit in the First cabin, it doesn’t mean that when the First cabin is opened up that it can be filled leaving spare seats in CW.
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Old May 13, 18, 4:04 am
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Any time an issue is referred to the captain then I would have to question the role of the passenger, unless they are self referring. Even based on the OPs post I would say they are lucky not to have been offloaded. They were clearly not sitting in the seat that was on their boarding pass. The new boarding pass issued at the gate trumps your one on the app. Although you could have tried to update your app BP.
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Old May 13, 18, 4:07 am
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And for the OPs reference the ground staff should have fully explained that there HAD been a change of aircraft, we have a number of different B777 configurations and your flight had been changed from.
British Airways B777-200ER 48J/24W/203Y Seat Map
to
British Airways B777-200ER 14F/48J/40W/124Y Seat Map

I know you were upset but for the Captain to be involved and for them to inform you that you had to move or offload says a lot about your attitude.
And for your reference WT plus is used as part of the ET cabin on this flight.
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Old May 13, 18, 4:10 am
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Fair point, RossMacd. But what is the relevance of BA operating 3-class 777s?

My complaint is that BA offered the seat and I was checked in with that seat confirmed. When I first booked the flight I assumed I would be offered seat in WT+ with club being blocked off. I would have been happy with that.

Last edited by NWIFlyer; May 13, 18 at 4:55 am Reason: Remove reference to deleted sentence in previous post
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Old May 13, 18, 4:29 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
And for the OPs reference the ground staff should have fully explained that there HAD been a change of aircraft, we have a number of different B777 configurations and your flight had been changed from.
British Airways B777-200ER 48J/24W/203Y Seat Map
to
British Airways B777-200ER 14F/48J/40W/124Y Seat Map

I know you were upset but for the Captain to be involved and for them to inform you that you had to move or offload says a lot about your attitude.
And for your reference WT plus is used as part of the ET cabin on this flight.
Thanks. This is very useful information. So the OP would have originally had a CW seat on a three class 777, and when there was a plane change people were reshuffled and anyone in the front CW cabin was moved in to the main CW cabin on the four class plane.

Once that’s full and if there were more CW bookings the F cabin may have been opened and some people may have been moved in to it. The OP was not one of those people.

The OP paid and originally selected a CW seat, and after the aircraft change remained in a CW seat. I am not sure what the issue is? There is no first product on these flights to and from MAD.
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Old May 13, 18, 4:32 am
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Exactly, the customer paid for a CE seat and was given a CW seat, result I would say.
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Old May 13, 18, 4:56 am
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Actually, if the Captain had got involved, I'd say that the OP was quite fortunate not to be removed from the flight. It all sounds a bit drastic, and we are going on his version of events. Referring to the catering as "crap", may have been part of of a longer conversation. I'd be a bit concerned posting that which is not exactly covering him in glory.
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Old May 13, 18, 6:01 am
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Originally Posted by Mailman7 View Post
Fair point, RossMacd. But what is the relevance of BA operating 3-class 777s?

My complaint is that BA offered the seat and I was checked in with that seat confirmed. When I first booked the flight I assumed I would be offered seat in WT+ with club being blocked off. I would have been happy with that.
The relevance is that you point out in the op that you believe you were lied to when the ground staff mentioned an aircraft change whilst there may indeed have been a substitution between two different types of 777.

the rest of your case is reminiscent of the frequent curtain move all of us frequently experience. You pick a great seat, then the airline decides it needs more seats for a given class or fewer for another and you get moved. Not pleasant (as you often get a worse seat than you would have chosen if final config had been shown when you checked in), but it hardly gives you a right to upgrade yourself even if the seat you originally picked is empty.

the bottom line is that you tried to re-upgrade yourself to a seat in a part of the cabin better than what your ticket entitled you too afte ba realised that they did not need to upgrade you or originally allowed you to by mistake. You have no right to do so. Moreover, with due respect, your showing a boarding pass which you knew to now be invalid as opposed to the one you knew to be current when boarding was deceptive and arguably manipulative as you undoubtedly hoped the crew would believe you sat where you were told to which was not the case. It is good of you to have corrected that wrong impression when asked second time round. I would argue that by requalifying the original deception as ‘rudeness’, the crew member actually did you a big service and made it possible for you to fly. Had he/she told the captain that you had originally showed a boarding pass you knew to be invalid in order to trick him/her into thinking you were sat were you were supposed to whilst you knew you weren’t, i suspect the captain would have most likely disembarked you.

in brief, your experience was frustrating but you have no case.

ps: fully agree with you on catering but again it seems unrelated despite the captain mention. Same about the presence of two other people in the cabin. Ba can upgrade whoever they see fit with or without need and I find asking them if they were Staff members frankly inadequate.

Last edited by orbitmic; May 13, 18 at 6:08 am
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