Seat fees (again) Head for Points article

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Old May 29, 19, 10:13 am
  #61  
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Originally Posted by 1010101 View Post
BA will know exactly what the prime seats are. They know which seats people pay for or select first.
Given the wide variety of choices that people make even when every seat is available, including utterly illogical or ill-advised choices, that is an exercise that is reminiscent of those river-crossing statisticians.
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Old May 29, 19, 10:15 am
  #62  
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Surprising a state run airline can't always offer a cheaper direct fare to its home hub than the competition. Maybe something to do with the EU investigation into how they operate?
They probably can, but maybe they don't want to.
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Old May 29, 19, 10:30 am
  #63  
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
This is a perfect example of a non-starter. The fact that a policy might have been worse in the past tells us absolutely nothing as to whether the present one is a good one.

The fact that a cook used to use rotten eggs and tomatoes and now no longer uses rotten tomatoes but still uses rotten eggs does not mean that what is now provided is a sound and healthy meal on a par with those that contain neither rotten tomatoes nor rotten eggs..

Either the policy is a good and sensible one on its own merits or it is not. Whatever policy might have been there before does not have one iota of relevance in determining whether it is a good policy or not.
On the contrary, the current policy gives a choice to those who hitherto didn't have one. Before this policy was introduced those without status or who booked tickets from the lower fare buckets had no choice, they could only select their seat at check-in. The new policy provides those passengers with the option to choose their seat in advance, where before they could not.
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Old May 29, 19, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Surprising a state run airline can't always offer a cheaper direct fare to its home hub than the competition. Maybe something to do with the EU investigation into how they operate?
It’s a nice quip HIDDY, should be interesting to see what the EU comes up with. (I’m sure it’s a hot topic down there in South America )

Maybe just as well the EU didn’t look too closely at BA’s balance sheet at the time of its privatisation. The privatisation was an undoubted success - largely because the newly-floated company was able to make a clean start, after huge accumulated debt had been written off by HM Government - aka UK taxpayers.

I guess many people have short memories where State aid is concerned .......
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Old May 29, 19, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post

so fewer than half of the days EK is cheaper than BA? I guess for those people travelling on any of the other 17 days which you could have picked at random BA would be cheaper, and with the saving more than covering a cab at each end.

EDIT: just to add that tbh I don't really have the same concerns as others do on this issue. it works very well for me and has done for years. I fully appreciate that for those without OW status it can be an issue, but with the amount of options out there for alternate carrier they can easily avoid BA if they wish to do so.
Problem is that on five of those seventeen ‘cheaper with BA days’, the fare difference of around £300 or less would barely cover my lengthy transfers to and from LHR (around 60 mins on a good day)..... even if using Jo’s Speedy Cabs - let alone the full limo service provided by EK both here in UK and then also when at DXB of course. And that’s before BA’s hefty seat selection fees are taken into account. Not that I’m directly impacted by the fees myself, but many will be of course.

All that said, yes, fully concur that there are various options out there for those looking for a better overall product than the BA services.


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Old May 29, 19, 11:36 am
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*cough* the seating fees are optional…

I don't pay them, and I've been happy with the seats I've been able to get at OLCI for the past 10 years.

As for the BA/EK comparison and average fares/limos, etc., it's swings and roundabouts, you win some, you lose some…
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Old May 29, 19, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by JAXBA View Post
[COLOR=&amp]*cough* the seating fees are optional…

I don't pay them, and I've been happy with the seats I've been able to get at OLCI for the past 10 years.

As for the BA/EK comparison and average fares/limos, etc., it's swings and roundabouts, you win some, you lose some…[/COLOR]
Out of interest, are those seat selections for a single passenger or a group? I tend to agree that this isn't much of a problem for a single traveller but for a couple or family group knowing where you are to be seated in advance is more important that is generally realised by those who usually fly alone or whose status means that that fact and the high cost is all irrelevant to them.
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Old May 29, 19, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Blueboys999 View Post
Out of interest, are those seat selections for a single passenger or a group? I tend to agree that this isn't much of a problem for a single traveller but for a couple or family group knowing where you are to be seated in advance is more important that is generally realised by those who usually fly alone or whose status means that that fact and the high cost is all irrelevant to them.
Some interesting stats were posted here a few months ago, researched by Which? I think. IIRC, the percentage of families who were allocated seats at checkin and ended up seated together was much higher than I expected it to be. This was a based on criteria where being seating together was the main priority, rather than cherry picking specific seats. If you want a specific seat then the paid option is there for that very purpose.
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Old May 29, 19, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
Some interesting stats were posted here a few months ago, researched by Which? I think. IIRC, the percentage of families who were allocated seats at checkin and ended up seated together was much higher than I expected it to be. This was a based on criteria where being seating together was the main priority, rather than cherry picking specific seats. If you want a specific seat then the paid option is there for that very purpose.
Interesting - thanks for that.

It rather matches my own and my family/friends’ experience that, as the research indicates, in the end most people are accommodated to their satisfaction. That said, the genuine anxiety felt by many who aren’t necessarily in a position to fork out perhaps hundreds of pounds on pre-selection that it won’t happen is not to underestimated.

if asked, my advice to those people where there is a comparable alternative carrier with free pre-selection, is to go with them.
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Old May 29, 19, 1:12 pm
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I did a quick scan across 5 different sets of dates over the next year on a popular route with two airlines that have different business class seat reservation policies.

LGW to MCO with BA and Virgin. Virgin were more expensive each time; only once did they come close and then there was still £200 in it. So even if you booked Club World and paid for seating you would still pay the same as Virgin and most of the time far less. Donít get me wrong - I donít like paying for seat assignment on BA but when the flights are that much cheaper that you can factor in paid seat assignment and you still pay less then you have to wonder whether the other airlines are building their cost into the fare and just not telling you. Slightly OT but we find Club World seats more comfortable and a better arrangement for travelling as a family than Upper Class anyway.
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Old May 29, 19, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
On the contrary, the current policy gives a choice to those who hitherto didn't have one. Before this policy was introduced those without status or who booked tickets from the lower fare buckets had no choice, they could only select their seat at check-in. The new policy provides those passengers with the option to choose their seat in advance, where before they could not.
You are engaging in the very same non-sequitur as a consequence of your confusing better and good. The fact that a previous policy was worse tells us absolutely nothing as to whether the current policy is good. It just tells us that it is better.

If it takes me 15 minutes to run 100 meters, that is not very good. The fact that it used to take me 30 minutes changes nothing to that. It might be better than before but it is still not good.

So telling us that BA used to have a worse policy does not, and cannot, tell us that the current policy is good. The current policy may or may not be a good policy but knowing that the previous policy was worse does not help us one iota in determining whether the current one is a good policy or not.
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Old May 29, 19, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Blueboys999 View Post
Out of interest, are those seat selections for a single passenger or a group?
Fair point. Sometimes 1 pax, sometimes 2 pax.

I can understand that the larger the party of non-status adults, the options for a block together might be reduced at OLCI time.
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Old May 29, 19, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
You are engaging in the very same non-sequitur as a consequence of your confusing better and good. The fact that a previous policy was worse tells us absolutely nothing as to whether the current policy is good. It just tells us that it is better.

If it takes me 15 minutes to run 100 meters, that is not very good. The fact that it used to take me 30 minutes changes nothing to that. It might be better than before but it is still not good.

So telling us that BA used to have a worse policy does not, and cannot, tell us that the current policy is good. The current policy may or may not be a good policy but knowing that the previous policy was worse does not help us one iota in determining whether the current one is a good policy or not.
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:

Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
... dissuade those who really don't mind where they sit and to provide those who do mind an option (that was hitherto unavailable) to choose at a price if it really is that important for them to have a specific seat. I see it not about committing daylight robbery but about dissuading uptake to allow greater choice for those on higher fares or with status.
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Last edited by Tobias-UK; May 29, 19 at 3:26 pm
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Old May 29, 19, 3:41 pm
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post

If it takes me 15 minutes to run 100 meters, that is not very good. The fact that it used to take me 30 minutes changes nothing to that. It might be better than before but it is still not good.

.
if anyone could halve their time on the 100, I would say thatís an excellent improvement. Iím sure Usain Bolt would agree

To stay on topic, the policy is there for whoever it appeases. Whether you have higher status, want to pay the fee or wish to simply wait and choose your seat 24hrs before the flight. Whilst thereís lots at play, paying for a seat is a bone of contention because of the original fare but also itís connotations with the low cost model. People automatically assume, this isnít easyJet, so why am I paying for a seat? But there are plenty of examples when you pay for many extras in luxury industries. You may not agree with that but it is what it is and life progresses.

You donít expect to buy one of the best mares for a flat race track, say, Royal Ascot and get Frankie Dettori to ride for free do you?
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Old May 29, 19, 3:46 pm
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Nothing like the article showing two sides to the story. Iím quite happy that BA do this because it means when I book a few days before departure, Iíve still got a chance of an upper deck seat or even a window seat on the lower deck, or in F when the budget allows.
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