Seat fees (again) Head for Points article

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Old May 27, 19, 11:48 pm
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Seat fees (again) Head for Points article

Raffles writes about this issue that regularly crops up here.

No doubt some full and frank views will be expressed!


] BA CW seat reservation costs

Mod edit: to comply with rule 7, FT requires a summary so members can decide whether to click through to the blog. Here’s a pertinent extract from the HfP article:

Reserving a seat is not a particularly cheap affair. Without Executive Club status reserving a seat used to cost £60+ in Club World, and frequently more.

British Airways appears to have changed its pricing structure in recent weeks. On a Boeing 747 to New York, there are now SIX different prices available, running from £59 to £91. This is per person, each way, meaning that a couple is facing a ludicrous £364 cost to reserve upper deck seats next to each other for a return flight.

I should also point out that these are New York prices, for a 6-7 hour flight. You will pay more on longer routes.





Last edited by NWIFlyer; May 28, 19 at 11:44 pm Reason: Rule 7 compliance
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Old May 28, 19, 12:13 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
No doubt some full and frank views will be expressed!
I’m sure, but equally all of them will likely have been seen dozens of times here. The seat booking fee in J question gets a new thread on this forum every few weeks, the arguments are always the same, the people for and against are always the same, the examples, counter examples and alternatives are always the same, the claims about how much business is lost as a result and how much is gained are always the same.

The only thing that surprises me is that Flyertalk has not come up with an article on ‘What to do if you worry that arguments over seat selection fees in J will spoil the atmosphere of your Christmas dinner?’ — Yet.

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Last edited by orbitmic; May 29, 19 at 12:43 am
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Old May 28, 19, 1:26 am
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Yes it's a well-thrashed topic on the forum. But essentially frequent-flyers like you'll find on FT are generally in favour of it because it means that their Silver/Gold cards allow them to reserve good seats for free even when booking at short notice for work, whereas on other airlines the good seats would've been snapped up months in advance.


Whereas 'visitors' to BA tend to have their noses put out of joint, having just forked out a large amount for business class, and thus come on to the forum to rant about it and claim that BA 'have lost their business'.
This is despite the fact they obviously didn't get much of their business, considering they're a Club-class traveller but don't even have a Bronze card !
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Old May 28, 19, 1:30 am
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The first time I flew CW I noticed that I would have to pay for seat selection and decided I wouldn't bother. I had no status at all at the time with BA and just saw it is part of their pricing structure. Every airline has their oddities, and we just need to live with it. In the end I got the seat I had wanted at OLCI anyway (probably because it was one of those 'secret' good seats that only FT followers know about ...).
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Old May 28, 19, 1:48 am
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London Air Travel covered the seating price changes in an article it published last week.

https://londonairtravel.com/2019/05/...harge-changes/
Since Tuesday 14 May 2019, BA has split the pricing of seats on the main deck of Club World into no less than six tiers.

These are Front Side, Front Centre, Middle Side, Middle Centre, Rear Side, Rear Centre.

In the example of an 86 Club World seat Boeing 747 below, there are now higher prices to select a seat on the side of the aircraft, which are £87 per person at the front of the cabin, £80 in the middle of the cabin, and £67 at the rear of the cabin.

Centre seats are at reduced prices of £79, £72 and £59 per person. Charges will vary by aircraft, and are higher on other aircraft such as the Airbus A380.
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Old May 28, 19, 1:54 am
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This is ARD, Additional Revenue Desperation. If they seriously considered obstacles to general revenue income, the total revenue picture could be different.
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Old May 28, 19, 2:08 am
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Originally Posted by richardwft View Post
TIf they seriously considered obstacles to general revenue income, the total revenue picture could be different.
You think they 'forgot' to take that into account in their formulas??!
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Old May 28, 19, 2:11 am
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Originally Posted by richardwft View Post
This is ARD, Additional Revenue Desperation. If they seriously considered obstacles to general revenue income, the total revenue picture could be different.
If income from seat selection goes down , then it may reconsider ; if it improves income, then I would expect it to stay

If people think that sitting near the front is worth paying extra for, then BA will happily take their money

Not sure how this is a desperate act
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Old May 28, 19, 2:39 am
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For the in-frequent long-haul traveller like me, why chase status when you can pay for (pretty much) the seat you want?
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Old May 28, 19, 5:03 am
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Whereas almost every airline now offers paid seating options in Y, has a single airline in the world followed suit in charging for pre-booking seats in Business?

I did get Hong Kong Airlines try and charge for a Business Class Emergency Exit on their shortlived all Business LGW-HKG (declined - and I saw as ridiculous as load factor was about 15%).

But I havn't come across a single airline charging for specific regular seating in Business. Anyone?
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Old May 28, 19, 5:09 am
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Fly First - problem solved
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Old May 28, 19, 6:07 am
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Originally Posted by richardwft View Post
This is ARD, Additional Revenue Desperation. If they seriously considered obstacles to general revenue income, the total revenue picture could be different.
Itís actually priced at a level to dissuade you from paying for seating, but to still allow you to do so if you wish. BA will happily take the money from those choosing to spend it.
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Old May 28, 19, 8:41 am
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The flipside is that for those passengers who have status with BA, the seat map may be pretty open even when booking close to the departure date (putting theoretical seating aside).
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Old May 28, 19, 8:57 am
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Being an FT reader and for a while OW Sapphire, I at least understand the goal of protecting good seats for elites. I disagree with it though because to me, part of the benefit of J travel is the "all inclusive" product. And first come first served has worked for the other airlines.

I like CW aisle seats to be honest, but I chose to fly DL/AF for my next trip because for +$100 in fare, I was able to select seats on four legs for two of us.
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Old May 28, 19, 9:09 am
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As much as free seat selection would be ideal, BA has got a really good case for charging ridiculous amounts for it.

With other airlines (and I'll use Cathay Pacific as an example) they fly 1-2-1 cabins from HKG to JFK. If you want a window/aisle seat, you'll probably get one at the airport. There's no (relatively) large benefit from being in the front/rear of the cabin. They charge for seat selection for deep discount economy fares for non status/ruby passengers.

British Airways have (premium) economy layouts across the cabin (2-4-2; 2-3-2) where there are seats (such as 64K on the UD of the 747) that people really want. If BA can operate high density cabins anyway, then it'll be somewhat silly as it leaking revenue for them.
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