Seat fees (again) Head for Points article

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Old Jun 5, 19, 12:31 pm
  #136  
 
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Originally Posted by HMPS View Post
Do read post 126 by amt......It sums up the cause effect in a nutshell. Couldn't have said it better....
It also could not have been further from the reality. BA holds no monopoly in the London area - just count the number of destinations where there is no direct competitor. In fact, London is one of the most competitive markets. Some members here repeatedly mentioned that they were successfully avoiding BA even though they're flying from LHR. Surely, it'd have been impossible to avoid BA if the airline were a monopoly?
And IATA pretty much disagrees with the notion that ticket prices are rising; in fact they keep falling. I'd not argue with this body's data.

Mentioning the word 'monopoly' seems to be an easy (but uninformed) way for some to convince themselves, and try to convince others, that no one would fly BA voluntarily. It should be easier to accept that the world simply does not care about the things that are so dear to them. It is a thankless thing to do trying to explain or guess why other people use a particular product or company.
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Old Jun 5, 19, 2:58 pm
  #137  
 
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
It is not non-sequitur; and if you forgive me I have no interest in arguing with you, it adds nothing useful to the discussion so this will be my final response to you on this subject. I simply point out that before the change in policy those without status, or those who chose to purchase tickets from the lower fare buckets, were unable to select a seat in advance of check-in. The current policy at least provides an opportunity for those who really need/want to select a seat in advance. The policy was changed to provide a choice that was simply not available prior and to:
Both early and late purchasers of tickets are taking a risk. When I buy a business seat 5 months out, there is the risk the price will drop or that I'll need to change the dates or cancel and pay a fee. When you buy a ticket the week of the trip, the risk is that the seat you want is not available. I don't see why catering to one risk is preferred to another.

The first time I bought a business seat on BA, I didn't know about this policy (I had gold status on Alaska and chose BA because they are an Alaska partner). I don't think it was disclosed prior to purchasing the original reservation (although maybe I missed the disclosure). In any case, I now take the cost of the seat assignment into account and so far that has always meant that other airlines are cheaper.

When purchasing from the US, the price (e.g., YVR to LHR) for a seat was $250, which was so outrageous I did not pay it.

Last edited by tdietterich; Jun 5, 19 at 3:00 pm Reason: correcting potential misunderstanding and adding one thought
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Old Jun 5, 19, 4:22 pm
  #138  
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
It appearsd we are going way off topic, perhaps you could take the discussion about Emirates over to the EK forum?
Strange... you've brought up EK many times on this forum when you're looking to make a point. But, you are correct, so I'll leave it at that
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Old Jun 5, 19, 5:07 pm
  #139  
 
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
So you don't think that lounge access is a necessary part? It's OK to have to pay for that?
My apologies for not being clear...

Full-service airlines have structured their product offering along two different lines: Premium service centered around first and business class cabins and the multiple economy type constructs. For the premium type service, they charge a hefty, quite substantial price differential from the economy type service. My expectation therefore is that if I am asked to pay what amounts to sometimes 20 times the going rate of the economy product, I then I demand a superior product from all aspects. Thus, I expect to be first to board, I expect to have full meals with proper china and cutlery, I expect my luggage to be off first, I expect to have lounge access, and I expect to be able to choose a seat at time of booking without being charged extra to do so. Anything less is a not a premium product offering and it is ridiculous charging such hefty premiums. Well I guess they can charge, but it is up to us as customers to vote with our pockets… (Personally, I absolutely refuse to travel on BA in business class for this exact reason.)

One poster in response to my earlier post, said that he found it rational to pay for seat, because it allows him to reserve the seat he wants. I indicated that this is in no way rational to me – not after paying $9,000 for a return ticket in business class. For me, the rational thing would be to be able to reserve the seat I want from those that are available without paying an additional fee. I then used the lounge example intending to state: Currently BA offers access to the lounges with no additional payment because it is part of the product offering; but what if tomorrow it decides that only first class passengers would have unrestricted free access, all others must pay for guaranteed access or get in line and hope that there will be room for you. From the poster’s contention, I would expect him to pay this additional fee as well, as at least he would be assured of gaining access. Taking it even further, what if BA starts making business class passengers pay additional amounts for everything that is supposed to differentiate the product types while still charging the 20 times price differential, what then?
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Old Jun 5, 19, 9:25 pm
  #140  
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Originally Posted by AJNEDC View Post

One poster in response to my earlier post, said that he found it rational to pay for seat, because it allows him to reserve the seat he wants. I indicated that this is in no way rational to me – not after paying $9,000 for a return ticket in business class.
I think the big picture needs to be considered for pay-for-seat-assignment to be seen as rational.

The big picture being that it puts other people who have booked before you off reserving a 'good' seat, and therefore, when you make a booking, you can still get a 'good' seat even if you do not have a higher level status with that alliance.

In fact, at $9,000 it may well be that it actually does come with a free seat assignment as more expensive fares do come with a free seat assignment.

It is also a 'benefit' to those who have access to free seat assignment by virtue of OW status, as it also keep 'good' seats available to them even if they book late, because having to pay for it often turns people off assigning them.

Then, if someone who is keen enough to pre-assign their preferred seat, they would also have a reasonable chance of getting their preferred seat because not so many people who booked before them have assigned them free of charge.

In other words, keeping good seats available is the benefit to some people, and the rationale for considering pay-for-seat-assignment a good thing.

Just as an illustration of the disadvantage of free seat assignments, I frequently fall victim to free seat assignments with other airlines, removing options for me to select one my preferred seats because they are all taken because they are free to assign, despite having their top-tier status. Frankly, I do not like it for a very selfish reason (I get free seat assignments and access to preferred seats based on status).
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Old Jun 5, 19, 11:02 pm
  #141  
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Originally Posted by Jimmie76 View Post
This isn't true on my route to BOS from LHR, the reasons I'm using BA are due to my onward connection. VS and DL also fly the route but DL use seats with a foot cofin and VS get in after 10pm to BOS. As I don't like the antiquated foot well idea and there are no connecting flights when VS arrive, BA it is.
So what you’re saying is despite the appearance of competitors, none provide a close substitute good to the BA product rendering BA the only choice for you, a customer who doesn’t want to spend extra nights away or unnecessary lengthy connections?

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Old Jun 5, 19, 11:34 pm
  #142  
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
Are you only flying to destinations that are only served by BA? If not, why aren't you sometimes flying the competitor?
Same reason he doesn’t walk all over London to buy every item in a shopping basket from a different shop?

Actually on that note.... brainstorm, free trollies for clubcard elites, charges for everyone else. What do you all think?


Last edited by amt; Jun 5, 19 at 11:39 pm
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Old Jun 6, 19, 12:24 am
  #143  
 
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Originally Posted by amt View Post


So what you’re saying is despite the appearance of competitors, none provide a close substitute good to the BA product rendering BA the only choice for you, a customer who doesn’t want to spend extra nights away or unnecessary lengthy connections?



We must have different ideas about how competition works? Should BA stop offering a better seat, better schedule and connections for the 'appearance' of competition to disappear? Or should other airlines be forced to offer BA's seat, schedule and connections for there to be competition? Isn't it the whole point that each airline decides what to offer to passengers in order to be competitive?

Originally Posted by amt View Post


Same reason he doesn’t walk all over London to buy every item in a shopping basket from a different shop?




That is such an off analogy. Flying on different airlines on different occasions is not the same as buying separate items in a single basket from different shops. Nothing, absolutely nothing, stops you from choosing a better offering every time you need to fly somewhere if you did not value the FFPs perks more than anything.

Last edited by Andriyko; Jun 6, 19 at 1:07 am Reason: Spelling
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Old Jun 6, 19, 12:50 am
  #144  
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Originally Posted by AJNEDC View Post
My apologies for not being clear...

Full-service airlines have structured their product offering along two different lines: Premium service centered around first and business class cabins and the multiple economy type constructs. For the premium type service, they charge a hefty, quite substantial price differential from the economy type service. My expectation therefore is that if I am asked to pay what amounts to sometimes 20 times the going rate of the economy product, I then I demand a superior product from all aspects. Thus, I expect to be first to board, I expect to have full meals with proper china and cutlery, I expect my luggage to be off first, I expect to have lounge access, and I expect to be able to choose a seat at time of booking without being charged extra to do so. Anything less is a not a premium product offering and it is ridiculous charging such hefty premiums.
You are basically confirming the point you were trying to clarify in the previous post: US domestic F, which can be extremely expensive does not include lounge access with most airlines. For that matter, it doesn't include meals either on flights that can be more than 2 hours long. Both can be a shock to many.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 12:59 am
  #145  
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Originally Posted by tdietterich View Post
I don't think it was disclosed prior to purchasing the original reservation (although maybe I missed the disclosure).
I'm not really sure what you mean. The seat policy is/has always been clearly explained on the BA website. If you mean that when you purchased, there was not a message saying "be careful, we don't offer free seat selection", well, why should they? Do you explain big flashy messages when booking a very expensive AA F ticket that says "be careful, we don't include lounge access on domestic first flights except transcon services" or "be careful, we don't serve meals on flights of under ~2h30 because we consider them too short" or "be careful, we don't serve meals on flights departing after 10pm even if they are 6 hour long because we consider them red eye", etc?

Disclaimers are needed where a flight does not meet your own service standards (e.g. you claim that all flights above 4 hours will have a hot meal but flights from destination x don't because of catering issue) not where your usual service standards may not be those expected by some of your millions of potential customers each used to different ways of doing things which may or may not be the same as yours.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 4:13 am
  #146  
 
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It really is very simple and I think we can park the BA is terrible/ I worship BA folk argument. Unlike virtually any other Business seat I’ve flown the BA offering varies greatly according to aircraft/deck/aisle/window and so on. They charge because they can and because some of us, me included, sometimes pay the pricey fee to secure for example UD on the 747. I do feel that the fee is excessive though and I do understand the argument that seat selection ought to be included, but BA sees an opportunity for extra revenue and charges, not sure I buy the argument that they love Golds so much they reward them with free seats, if they felt they could get away with charging everyone they would.
Roll on the new seating as I for one can’t see a great difference between seats in the new configuration and I’d have thought a nice little earner would likely wither on the vine
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Old Jun 6, 19, 4:51 am
  #147  
 
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Originally Posted by LTN Phobia View Post
I think the big picture needs to be considered for pay-for-seat-assignment to be seen as rational.

The big picture being that it puts other people who have booked before you off reserving a 'good' seat, and therefore, when you make a booking, you can still get a 'good' seat even if you do not have a higher level status with that alliance.

In fact, at $9,000 it may well be that it actually does come with a free seat assignment as more expensive fares do come with a free seat assignment.

It is also a 'benefit' to those who have access to free seat assignment by virtue of OW status, as it also keep 'good' seats available to them even if they book late, because having to pay for it often turns people off assigning them.

Then, if someone who is keen enough to pre-assign their preferred seat, they would also have a reasonable chance of getting their preferred seat because not so many people who booked before them have assigned them free of charge.

In other words, keeping good seats available is the benefit to some people, and the rationale for considering pay-for-seat-assignment a good thing.

Just as an illustration of the disadvantage of free seat assignments, I frequently fall victim to free seat assignments with other airlines, removing options for me to select one my preferred seats because they are all taken because they are free to assign, despite having their top-tier status. Frankly, I do not like it for a very selfish reason (I get free seat assignments and access to preferred seats based on status).
I do not understand what you are saying. Whether the prices for business class is $9,000 or $15,000 or $20,000 makes no difference because it is BA's policy all classes except first class pay additionally for pre- booking a seat. No worries though: You find this acceptable and fly BA. I find this unacceptable and do not. We all have choices and make use of them. That's a good thing...
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Old Jun 6, 19, 5:02 am
  #148  
 
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Originally Posted by AJNEDC View Post
I do not understand what you are saying. Whether the prices for business class is $9,000 or $15,000 or $20,000 makes no difference because it is BA's policy all classes except first class pay additionally for pre- booking a seat.
No, it's not the case. Forget class and think fare buckets. Yes, the F ones do come with free seat selection, but so do full fare J, and if I'm not mistaken full fare Y do as well.

Originally Posted by AJNEDC View Post
No worries though: You find this acceptable and fly BA. I find this unacceptable and do not. We all have choices and make use of them. That's a good thing...
Agree with that.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 5:05 am
  #149  
 
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
You are basically confirming the point you were trying to clarify in the previous post: US domestic F, which can be extremely expensive does not include lounge access with most airlines. For that matter, it doesn't include meals either on flights that can be more than 2 hours long. Both can be a shock to many.
Does anyone truly consider US domestic first as first? I for one do not. Last time I flew "First" in February of this year on business to the west coast, the price differential from economy to "first" was $571.00 not $5,000 or more. Except for LAX/JFK market where "First" bears some semblance of a premium product offering and where lounge access is freely provided the rest of US domestic is a misnomer.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 5:38 am
  #150  
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Originally Posted by amt View Post
Originally Posted by Jimmie76
This isn't true on my route to BOS from LHR, the reasons I'm using BA are due to my onward connection. VS and DL also fly the route but DL use seats with a foot cofin and VS get in after 10pm to BOS. As I don't like the antiquated foot well idea and there are no connecting flights when VS arrive, BA it is.
So what you’re saying is despite the appearance of competitors, none provide a close substitute good to the BA product rendering BA the only choice for you, a customer who doesn’t want to spend extra nights away or unnecessary lengthy connections?
What I'm saying is that BA don't have a monopoly on the BOS route. However the alternatives for me involve either:
Spending two nights of my holiday in the airport Hilton at BOS.
Or
Two flights with foot coffins which I detest. Both DL and VS only have one flight a day whereas BA have four.
Eventually BA will be downgrading the seats to ones with foot coffins. At this point one of the reasons for flying BA will go.

Now B6 have been making noises about flying to BOS from London. They also fly to ACK (Nantucket - my onward connection) from BOS and buying one return ticket to the Island on one carrier from LHR would be very attractive. That way if getting off ACK is difficult* B6 still have to get me back to London. I don't have to buy another TATL ticket if I miss the flight from BOS. Now B6 have foot coffins but when DL and BA also have them B6 looks attractive because of the ticketing.

*Fog happens etc.

Last edited by Jimmie76; Jun 6, 19 at 7:07 am
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