Fickle Stepdaughter

Old Jun 2, 18, 4:35 pm
  #1  
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Question Fickle Stepdaughter

Hello, all:

Relative noob here.

My girlfriend and I are taking her two daughters and the fiance of the older daughter PHX/LHR/PHX in a week. We bought three seats in WT for the kids and paid to assign them in advance so they had their own row. Despite previous firm commitments, the younger daughter simply doesn't want to go now.
Seat is non-refundable.
My Question: Since I paid for the empty seat, will BA honor the return flight by keeping that seat vacant for the other two? My fear is that BA will cancel the return leg because the outward leg was a no-show and could then re-sell it.

Thank you in advance!
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Old Jun 2, 18, 4:40 pm
  #2  
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No, BA will not.

As soon as she no shows for the outbound, BA will cancel her ticket and fill the seat. In both directions, not simply the return. If the flight is overbooked and at risk of oversale, this will simply reduce the number of passengers denied boarding.

The ticket will retain whatever value it has under its fare rules, which is presumably nothing.

BA, just like other carriers, counts on a certain percentage of no shows.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 4:42 pm
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You might want to look into getting a comfort seat arranged to guarantee the space.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 4:51 pm
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Although the seat may be non-refundable, you may be able to use the value at some future point. Do you know the actual fare basis for the ticket, not just in economy or fare code O.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 5:05 pm
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Wow! Thank you for the quick and informative replies.

I called BA about what options I had, but they would only return the $150 USD security fee if I cancelled. No credit, transfers, etc.

I am not familiar with a comfort seat. Would you please elaborate?

Please know that I am very grateful for everyone's assistance.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 5:17 pm
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Comfort Seats

Here's a link to a previous discussion. The big advantage with comfort seats is that as there's no actual person sitting in it, they're not taxable so its base fare only.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 8:23 pm
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An upgrade to WTP may be less than the cost of an extra seat. It's worth pricing that out.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 8:55 pm
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Because your route is US-UK-US then there are different fare rules re refunds / retained credit involved.

But essentially when younger daughter fails to check in or board the PHX-LHR the ticket will be cancelled and the seat will be released to anyone who wants to select it.

The seat might remain empty but you cannot rely on that.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 9:10 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by PhxAce View Post
My Question: Since I paid for the empty seat, will BA honor the return flight by keeping that seat vacant for the other two? My fear is that BA will cancel the return leg because the outward leg was a no-show and could then re-sell it.

Thank you in advance!
It won't even keep the seat empty for the outbound. Once she fails to check in for the flight by required time, the airline will happily use the seat for other passengers
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Old Jun 2, 18, 10:23 pm
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Originally Posted by GaxxyFlyer View Post
You might want to look into getting a comfort seat arranged to guarantee the space.
That would still require payment of yet another fare - it wouldn't use anything of what has already been paid for the non-travelling daughter.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 10:25 pm
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Originally Posted by GaxxyFlyer View Post
Comfort Seats

Here's a link to a previous discussion. The big advantage with comfort seats is that as there's no actual person sitting in it, they're not taxable so its base fare only.
Sort of like an emotional support seat.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 11:26 pm
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Originally Posted by PhxAce View Post
Hello, all:

Relative noob here.

My girlfriend and I are taking her two daughters and the fiance of the older daughter PHX/LHR/PHX in a week. We bought three seats in WT for the kids and paid to assign them in advance so they had their own row. Despite previous firm commitments, the younger daughter simply doesn't want to go now.
Seat is non-refundable.
My Question: Since I paid for the empty seat, will BA honor the return flight by keeping that seat vacant for the other two? My fear is that BA will cancel the return leg because the outward leg was a no-show and could then re-sell it.

Thank you in advance!
Perhaps call BA and beg them to change the reservation from a seat for your daughter to an unoccupied seat which you paid for.
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Old Jun 3, 18, 12:04 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by EQDsSUCK View Post
Perhaps call BA and beg them to change the reservation from a seat for your daughter to an unoccupied seat which you paid for.
Begging will not work - that’s not the arrangement on the ticket purchased. Expect in exceptional circumstances, such as bereavement, BA will not change its rules - changing your mind is not exceptional, hundreds of people do it every day.

There are two separate transactions here - the refund of the taxes, identified by the OP as about $150, and any subsequent purchases.

The OP might be able to fund the comfort seat from the refund, given it’s base fare only, but even then it’s very likely to be a case of paying up front and then waiting for the refund to arrive at some point in future, maybe weeks later if it’s a manual calculation.

Looking at ITA Matrix, the base fare might be something around $440. However, it looks to me like the refundable taxes are closer to $215, so it might be worth the OP asking for a detailed breakdown.

Last edited by NWIFlyer; Jun 3, 18 at 12:12 am Reason: Add cost details
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Old Jun 3, 18, 1:32 am
  #14  
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I think that if I had told my parents I did not want to travel after all, they would have sent me the bill for my non refundable ticket thereby making it “fully refunded” by other means (in fairness a completely theoretical scenario given my love for travel).
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Old Jun 3, 18, 1:45 am
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The best outcome here, though it's non financial, is that your older daughter has a fantastic time in London / Europe, takes heaps of photos and puts them all up on Instagram. Her sibling can then spend a long time in the #FOMO wake.

However yes, in your shoes I would either get the refund (which would be hard cash) or the credit note (presumably to the person that paid for the ticket); then try to get an upgrade to WTP so long as there were blocks of 2 seats still available. If it was a neat online BA.com return ticket then you may get a POUG offer (see Dashboard) or at the airport ask about AUP (also in the Dashboard). It is just possible that the flight isn't full, PHX has more flights than it needs for the passengers since it's a very lucrative cargo route, BA having a near monopoly on that. So by all means check back here near to the travel date and someone can probably make a realistic guess how the loads in WT versus WTP look like.
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