BA cancelled my seats - wonít allow rebooking!

Old May 27, 19, 6:54 am
  #1  
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BA cancelled my seats - wonít allow rebooking!

Flying back from Larnaca on BA0665 on 8/7/19. Family of 5.

Dont have status but got seats prebooked for free, as my son has autism (Aspergers), which was 2 exit seats and 3 behind in normal economy.

Flight out still ok but BA changed the plane for the return (0665) and cancelled my exit row seats only.

Plane then changed again as now there are exit rows. However, BA phone agent says I canít get exit row seats on ďmedical groundsĒ as Ba donít allow that but I still have them on the way out.

The exit row seats are being taken by myself and my 12 year old , and my autistic child sitting behind us, so no impediment to using emergency exit if needed.

Phone agent adamant and only way to get the exit seats on the return is to cancel ALL the seats for both legs and pay cash to rebook all the seats.

Whatís going on here?! This canít be right, surely?

Thanks.
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Old May 27, 19, 7:27 am
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You probably got lucky in the first place. Exit row seats are reserved for status or fee-paying passengers, I imagine you would get a more sympathetic response if you were sitting in a similar block in a non-exit row position, so why not try that?
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Old May 27, 19, 7:31 am
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presumably this part of the T&Cs doesnít help matters
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Old May 27, 19, 7:39 am
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BA has erroneously assigned exit row seats because your entire party is ineligible. This is far from a BA-specific issue and is a worldwide safety precaution.

The reasoning is that in an emergency, you will turn to help your child before you assist with the emergency evacuation. That is an entirely natural reaction, but it is the wrong thing.

You should plan on BA moving you on the outbound too.
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Old May 27, 19, 7:40 am
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I suppose that the "...all in the booking must meet requirements..." is to stop the group mixing up who sits in which seat. I know when I travel with family we do tend to swap seats around depending on who wants what at the time.
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Old May 27, 19, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by snaxmuppet View Post
I suppose that the "...all in the booking must meet requirements..." is to stop the group mixing up who sits in which seat. I know when I travel with family we do tend to swap seats around depending on who wants what at the time.
itís also as often1 says above, emergencies are not the time to be fighting against natural parental/caring instincts
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Old May 27, 19, 7:56 am
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I don't see why any seats were allocated free of charge in advance. The passenger does not indicate having a requirement for disability assistance and if he did, would be ineligible for an exit seat anyway

Otherwise - If there are passengers under 12, then the airline will ensure that an under 12 is sat next to a adult

Beyond that, then seating would be a paid request ( unless on a fare that allows seat selection for free )
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Old May 27, 19, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
I don't see why any seats were allocated free of charge in advance. The passenger does not indicate having a requirement for disability assistance and if he did, would be ineligible for an exit seat anyway

Otherwise - If there are passengers under 12, then the airline will ensure that an under 12 is sat next to a adult

Beyond that, then seating would be a paid request ( unless on a fare that allows seat selection for free )
classic, kind customer service gesture that ends up leading to a complaint subsequenlty

this is why we canít have nice things 😉
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Old May 27, 19, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
I don't see why any seats were allocated free of charge in advance.
Info here: https://www.britishairways.com/en-fr...ance-available
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Old May 27, 19, 8:10 am
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The passengers in the exit seats are me and my older son, no one else.
3 seats behind in normal economy seats where my other children and wife are, including the child with autism. Autism being a disability BA allows free seat choice.
I therefore took that option up but now they’re saying I can’t.
However, I CAN still get all these exact seats only I have to pay.
This is Nonsensical if it’s all related to being able to use the exit door with a “disabled” child (but they are sitting behind & have no physical impairments) therefore it clearly isn’t the reason.
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Old May 27, 19, 8:15 am
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Seems to me that neither you nor BA can have it both ways. Itís either a disability, in which case the entire party becomes ineligible for exit row seating but any other seat selection is free, or itís not a disability, in which case members of the party are able to sit in the exit row but that seat selection has to be paid for

since we know that in many/most cases autism is a disability, it has to be option a. You may not agree with the policy, you may think the rationale is flawed, but that is the policy as published, and is one that extends across many airlines
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Old May 27, 19, 8:17 am
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I entirely agree with the need for you to sit together but you donít require an exit row to meet these needs so regardless of the small print I think that BAís response here is fair. As it is anyway I believe the policy is to preallocate seats for free but not wherever you wish so I think what you are faced with currently is correct policy. That obviously doesnít prevent you paying for better seats in the same way you could pay to upgrade to J.
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Old May 27, 19, 8:33 am
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I get that re the issue with exit row vs normal seat, but who wouldnít take the opportunity for more comfortable travel if itís available? .....

However, if BA wonít allow me to get them free given their ďeligibilityĒ criteria then why will they let me have them if I pay for them?

That doesnít make sense.
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Old May 27, 19, 8:40 am
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BA should not permit you or anyone in your booking to sit in an exit row unless all members of your party are eligible to sit there.

If your son is age 12 or older and his autism does not prevent him from performing exit row duties, then all of you may be seated in an exit row and pay for those seats. On the other hand, if your son is <12 or his autism prevents him from performing the duties required, none of you should be permitted to sit in an exit row whether paid or not.

You have a choice to make here and it should be based on your son's needs and capacity, not on whether you might get a better seat. In the event that something goes wrong, this comes down to safety. Additionally, if his condition is self-evident, you may all find yourselves reseated at the gate or onboard.
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Old May 27, 19, 8:50 am
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Heís perfectly capable.

However, the kids are 12, 9 (autism) and 6.

So purely cos two of them are under 12 (regardless of disability) I cant/shouldnít be able to even pay for exit row seats for myself and my 12 year? (Rest of family behind in non exit row)

Is that correct ?
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