Forced seat change at the gate

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Old Jul 18, 19, 2:03 pm
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Forced seat change at the gate

For the fourth or fifth time in a row, BA has changed my assigned seat whilst at the gate.

Today I was flying to ATH in CE (and had my friends in the row in front me fwiw). My previously selected seat is still a club seat and the number of club rows hasn’t changed since check-in:

So for the life of me I can’t understand why my seat selection was changed so I have to sit in a different seat (albeit in club).

Also by the time the gate agent figured out why the gates wouldn’t let me through, group 4 or 5 was boarding so no overhead space for my carry on anywhere near me.

As I said this is the fourth-fifth time it happens and it has now become frustrating.

Cabin crew and purser claim that the gate agents should know but are unwilling to ask them.

Apologies in advance if this has been asked before and my search function failed me.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 2:13 pm
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i fly easyjet most weeks. Never have i been asked to move seats or had it forced on me.

ba have engineered complexity into their business like no company on earth. Most recently theoretical seating - the mind boggles

the reasons will range from conspiracy ( staff member wanted your seat ) to broken seat ( that seems ok for someone else to sit in ) to whatever. aircraft change for once seems unlikely given it happened at the gate.

You have my commiserations. I have just booked all seats ( free on aa) for the family Xmas trip to Mexico. I too would be mighty pissed off if they got changed.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 2:36 pm
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That’s an annoying run of bad luck you’re having, Zephyrous

I’ve had two seat shifts in c. 15 years (opups excluded). Both caused me minor irritation.

I understand families travelling with infants can only be seated in certain rows (due to the placement of O2 masks). Could this be a plausible cause on your flights?
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Last edited by Prospero; Jul 18, 19 at 2:42 pm
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Old Jul 18, 19, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by jeremyBA View Post

the reasons will range from conspiracy ( staff member wanted your seat ) to broken seat ( that seems ok for someone else to sit in ) to whatever. aircraft change for once seems unlikely given it happened at the gate.

.
In some cases a broken seat is OK to fly in but BA will move a paying passenger from such a seat so they have the full facilities and a non revenue passenger (so BA staffer / staff travel etc) can sit in the broken seat. Indeed on some airlines it is policy for a non rev passenger to have to move if necessary to give a paying passenger a fully working seat.

Don't know if that is the case here but not every seat move is a conspiracy

And AA also changes seats as well
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Last edited by UKtravelbear; Jul 18, 19 at 2:49 pm
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Old Jul 18, 19, 3:08 pm
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That is simply terrible luck. I would not ascribe it to anything in particular. The likely reasons are all listed above. That they have occurred for you 4-5 times in a row balances against someone who essentially never has it happen.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 5:05 pm
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Never have I known a passenger moved for a staff passenger, ever. Unless it is a broken seat.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 5:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Zephyrous View Post
For the fourth or fifth time in a row, BA has changed my assigned seat whilst at the gate.

Today I was flying to ATH in CE (and had my friends in the row in front me fwiw). My previously selected seat is still a club seat and the number of club rows hasn’t changed since check-in:

So for the life of me I can’t understand why my seat selection was changed so I have to sit in a different seat (albeit in club).

Also by the time the gate agent figured out why the gates wouldn’t let me through, group 4 or 5 was boarding so no overhead space for my carry on anywhere near me.

As I said this is the fourth-fifth time it happens and it has now become frustrating.

Cabin crew and purser claim that the gate agents should know but are unwilling to ask them.

Apologies in advance if this has been asked before and my search function failed me.
I had this the other week too.
I feel your pain. See the thread HERE
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Old Jul 18, 19, 7:37 pm
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Originally Posted by jeremyBA View Post
... Most recently theoretical seating ...

Whilst a tad off topic, BA did not engineer TS. TS is a feature of ALTEA, a 3rd party application (BA call it FLY), and is used by many other airlines including LH
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Old Jul 19, 19, 1:34 am
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Thank you very much for the responses everyone.

How things unfolded -

Eventually the purser came and spoke to me for quite some time. She told me that after talking to the ground staff the message was that either I was moved because a family or a couple wanted to sit together (they were indeed a couple and there were no children in CE at all). I also do not think they were staff. Either way that made me more frustrated:

She did hint that she found it bizarre that I would be the one moved out of the entite cabin, in fact saying that I would be the last one that would be moved, which I suspect was pointing to my status/ranking without revealing anything about anyone else.

(FWIW the “couple” excuse also seems weak to me as the same thing happened to my partner (GGL) and I (unmarried but same booking) a couple of years ago where we were bumped off from 2A/2C and the excuse at the time was that a family or someone with a medical condition was the reason for our move).

In any event, I do appreciate the time and empathy from the purser who I think did the best she could to calm my frustration. She also did write to a report about it which she showed to me for comments before submitting.

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Old Jul 19, 19, 1:41 am
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Originally Posted by Zephyrous View Post
In any event, I do appreciate the time and empathy from the purser who I think did the best she could to calm my frustration. She also did write to a report about it which she showed to me for comments before submitting.
It looks like the purser did a professional job here, so kudos to them for going the extra mile on this. Seat shifting has reduced a lot, it used to be a regular running commentary in this forum and the advent of TS has greatly reduced problems on the whole. In addition to what we see in the forum, I personally very rarely get moved (well under 1% of flights) but I am generally able to find out the reason one way or the other. And the two reasons which are often behind moves at the gate in an invisible way are "hidden disabilities" and fear of flying. This is actually a lot of people but it's not something that BA staff are able to talk about much for obvious reasons. In Eurotraveller, toddlers and air masks are another reason. If this was actually something that happened since T-72 then I suspect Curtain Roulette probably had something to do with it too.

So I think you have had a string of bad luck here, hopefully it will go away as mysteriously as it started.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 2:07 am
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Out of interest, do either gate staff or cabin crew have any indication as to whether you've paid for seat selection or not? For gate staff, will they know if you are a status passenger? Or do they simply move passengers on the basis that "we need that seat"?
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Old Jul 19, 19, 2:11 am
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Crew can see who has paid for seats so I assume ground staff can too.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 2:31 am
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Originally Posted by xPositor View Post
Out of interest, do either gate staff or cabin crew have any indication as to whether you've paid for seat selection or not? For gate staff, will they know if you are a status passenger? Or do they simply move passengers on the basis that "we need that seat"?
It is all visible in FLY, though some aspects are hidden down from the main screens. However bear in mind the time pressures on gate staff, which is the downside to BA's (correct) focus on timekeeping. Also that you often get 50% of Club Europe, or a third of the entire aircraft, with status of some sort. There isn't really time or capacity to work this through in great detail, so an element of rough justice may happen. And not all passengers get terribly worked up about this, in fact I suspect it's a minority concern overall, particularly on relatively short flights.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:54 am
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To avoid having this discussion and frustration at the gate, try the following.

Once you’ve passed the BP check and security, delete your boarding pass from the app.

Then re download the BP on the app just before you plan on heading to gate. This will then show you if your seat has been changed. If it has then you could go to the lounge desk and enquire or go to gate and enquire before boarding starts.

I do this especially on flights were my cabin is showing full on EF and chances of an upgrade are high (as a GGL). This way I know before I get to the gate if I’ve been upgraded 😊. Has worked a treat over the years. also if you have been upgraded and your app BP is updated, you wouldn’t get the beep at the auto gates and then have to speak to gate agent for BP refresh.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:57 am
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Duplicate - Deleted
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