WT Hand Baggage Fare Seat Selection Con?

Old Dec 8, 19, 11:18 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Oil-man View Post
So, I’ve just checked in for BA12 back to LHR tomorrow night.

I’ve been ‘randomly’ assigned a middle seat on the lower deck of economy. Once again I was given the option to select a seat for a fee.

Of the 299 economy available, once again I’ve been offered around 15 seats to choose from (with only one seat on the less popular lower deck!). The remaining 280+ economy seats are not for selection.

I know the flight is booking into discount economy class N (same as the outbound) for any new ticket booked today. Therefore, it should be a relatively quiet flight in economy and BA are trying to pull a fast one again.
Using a LON POS, N is not available. F, J and W are almost full.

The current seat map (on EF) shows 20 available seats, although a number of blocked seats as well.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by Oil-man View Post
So, I’ve just checked in for BA12 back to LHR tomorrow night.

I’ve been ‘randomly’ assigned a middle seat on the lower deck of economy. Once again I was given the option to select a seat for a fee.

Of the 299 economy available, once again I’ve been offered around 15 seats to choose from (with only one seat on the less popular lower deck!). The remaining 280+ economy seats are not for selection.

I know the flight is booking into discount economy class N (same as the outbound) for any new ticket booked today. Therefore, it should be a relatively quiet flight in economy and BA are trying to pull a fast one again.

The seat map you are seeing is the result of theoretical seating which kicks in at T-72
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Old Dec 8, 19, 11:45 am
  #18  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
ps: plus the argument makes little sense: if ba wanted to tempt you they’d offer as many seats as possible for you to choose in order to tempt you. People know others will check in too so you could have a tonne of seats to choose from even in a cabin that will be sold out. Listing few for sale would just increase the risk customers won’t be offered something they want to buy.
I would disagree.

By (incorrectly?) showing only a limited selection of seats for purchase, BA are clearly wishing to convey the message "if you don't pay now, you'll have to settle with whatever has been passed over and rejected by everybody else!"

Your statement, which I have highlighted in bold, means you consider that BA are trying NOT to "tempt" the passenger, by showing only a limited selection. If BA truly didn't want to "tempt" the passenger, then they simply wouldn't offer seat assignments for sale. {Which we all know is balderdash - BA will grab whatever ancillary revenue they can from passengers, just as all other airlines do, too}

But I think that you, me and the OP would all agree that BA should show all available seats to customers indicating a wish to buy a seat assignment.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 11:54 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
I would disagree.

By (incorrectly?) showing only a limited selection of seats for purchase, BA are clearly wishing to convey the message...
But again, if I may, you and the op are building this argument on a mistaken assumption: that ba ‘chooses’ not to offer all the seats the op would be allowed to get.

this is simply, plainly, wrong. As explained, the limited number of seats offered for the op to purchase are actually all those he would be allowed to buy after check in opens and all he would be allowed to choose for free if he were not on a basic ticket simply based on his status.

this is the whole point of theoretical seating amply discusses elsewhere in this forum.

The whole notion that ba are restricting seat choices below what is available to the op is plainly wrong, and therefore the notion there can be no intention behind something that simply does not exist.

and no, I do not agree at all with your last statement if it means that ba should suspend theoretical seating when customers are willing to pay. I like theoretical seating and I think it would be completely wrong to suspend it for for cash.

After all, the op would have had plenty of opportunity to buy many other seats before the flight went into airport control, and if he had, theoretical seating would have dynamically updated to still prioritise free seats next to high status and full fare customers by the time flight opened for check in. The fact that he wanted to first try his luck with the random selection before deciding to fork out for a specific seat does not mean that high value customers should be short changed as a result. As he confirmed, passengers can always request to move to free seats on board subject to crew approval (and again they may say yes to some requests and no to others, but that too is discussed elsewhere).
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Last edited by orbitmic; Dec 8, 19 at 12:00 pm
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Old Dec 8, 19, 12:12 pm
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When I first flew to the Far East - 20 years ago - in my teens and on my own dime, it was over £700 for the cheapest economy - that was on MH. Flights are now often £400ish non-stop, I’d certainly book and if necessary pay the small amount for a seat of my choice if I was without status and not look back. Flying has never been so reasonably priced!
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Old Dec 8, 19, 12:25 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
But again, if I may, you and the op are building this argument on a mistaken assumption: that ba ‘chooses’ not to offer all the seats the op would be allowed to get.

this is simply, plainly, wrong. As explained, the limited number of seats offered for the op to purchase are actually all those he would be allowed to buy after check in opens and all he would be allowed to choose for free if he were not on a basic ticket simply based on his status.

this is the whole point of theoretical seating amply discusses elsewhere in this forum.
Theoretical seating starts at T-72, yes?

Do we know that this was prior to that magical "theoretical" window? OP, when did you first look at the seat map?
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Old Dec 8, 19, 12:28 pm
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Customers shouldn't have to go to a third party site such as ExpertFlyer in order to find out what the true situation is regarding available seats.
The information should be directly available on the BA seat map. Not just a subset of seats that BA has decided to show you.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 12:33 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
But again, if I may, you and the op are building this argument on a mistaken assumption: that ba ‘chooses’ not to offer all the seats the op would be allowed to get.

this is simply, plainly, wrong. As explained, the limited number of seats offered for the op to purchase are actually all those he would be allowed to buy after check in opens and all he would be allowed to choose for free if he were not on a basic ticket simply based on his status.

this is the whole point of theoretical seating amply discusses elsewhere in this forum.

The whole notion that ba are restricting seat choices below what is available to the op is plainly wrong, and therefore the notion there can be no intention behind something that simply does not exist.

and no, I do not agree at all with your last statement if it means that ba should suspend theoretical seating when customers are willing to pay. I like theoretical seating and I think it would be completely wrong to suspend it for for cash.

After all, the op would have had plenty of opportunity to buy many other seats before the flight went into airport control, and if he had, theoretical seating would have dynamically updated to still prioritise free seats next to high status and full fare customers by the time flight opened for check in. The fact that he wanted to first try his luck with the random selection before deciding to fork out for a specific seat does not mean that high value customers should be short changed as a result. As he confirmed, passengers can always request to move to free seats on board subject to crew approval (and again they may say yes to some requests and no to others, but that too is discussed elsewhere).
Thanks for this explanation. On my outbound flight BA must have blocked 100++ economy seats, as they weren’t filled on the flight and they certainly weren’t open for purchase.

I’ve now subscribed to expert flyer on the trial basis, and if I understand it correctly, it shows 57 blocked seats in economy on tomorrow’s flight, including the middle seat next to me. Although the middle seat next to me is only blocked, I had incorrectly assumed it was occupied (it may well be in the end) and this may fuel my desire to pay to move seat.

These numerous blocked seats certainly give the impression that the flight is fuller than it is, and whether intentional or not, I believe it will fuel seat purchases.

I do hope BA are not using the flexibility to block seats to drive revenue.

Last edited by Oil-man; Dec 8, 19 at 12:42 pm
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Old Dec 8, 19, 12:37 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
Theoretical seating starts at T-72, yes?

Do we know that this was prior to that magical "theoretical" window? OP, when did you first look at the seat map?
Unless I misunderstand post 1, Op explained that he checked in then as he wasn’t happy to have received a window he wanted to pay to change his seat. Same on the way back (but from a middle), so my understanding is both times he tried to change after check in ie after theoretical seating kicked in.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Oil-man View Post
Thanks for this explanation. One my outbound flight BA must have blocked 100++ economy seats, as they weren’t filled on the flight and they certainly weren’t open for purchase.

I’ve now subscribed to expert flyer on the trial basis, and if I understand it correctly, it shows 57 blocked seats in economy on tomorrow’s flight, including the middle seat next to me. Although the middle seat next to me is only blocked, I had incorrectly assumed it was occupied (it may well be in the end) and this may fuel my desire to pay to move seat.

These numerous blocked seats certainly give the impression that the flight is fuller than it is, and whether intentional or not, I believe it will fuel seat purchases.

I do hope BA are not using the flexibility to block seats to drive revenue.
Again I’d recommend a look at the theoretical seating thread because it’s more complex than blocking seats. What theoretical seating does is that it ‘slices’ the plane into different series of seats which will each be shown/available to a specific type of customer status. So some seats which are NOT blocked will be available to, say, silver customers at check in but not to you, others will be available to hold customers but not to silver etc. So in the end, you were not shown all unblocked seats but all unblocked seats available to non status customers. The more you go up in status, the more your group is over catered whilst yours as no status, will be given barely more seats than there are people in the group so that most of the free space is enjoyed by ba’s most valuable customers. Other airlines like af do exactly the same
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Old Dec 8, 19, 12:51 pm
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If you want a fuller selection of seats to pay for then do so before theoretical seating kicks in. Dont wait till check in.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Oil-man View Post
These numerous blocked seats certainly give the impression that the flight is fuller than it is, and whether intentional or not, I believe it will fuel seat purchases.

I do hope BA are not using the flexibility to block seats to drive revenue.
You have to do a bit of interpretation here. So 71A I suspect is a Silver card holder, 71B is their Theoretical Seating block for status. 70D to G could be blocked for a family group of 4 who haven't checked in yet, or it could be for 2 couples. And it is dynamic, it will look a bit different in a few hours. And different again when all the upgrades are processed. TS does a number of things, including trying to prevent family groups from being split up, so I suspect 40F and G are examples of this.

By the time you've put TS blocks for status, taken into account the 50% of passengers who have probably checked in already, those with status, those with corporate tickets (which often come with free seating), those booking via travel agents with seating deals, couples, assistance passengers, and everything else - you can see how eventually the seating map you are looking at is what it is.

I should also point out that I very much doubt that many other passengers on this flight will be parsing row by row through the options, far more will simply ask the check-in agent whether they can have a window seat.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Oil-man View Post
Thanks for this explanation. On my outbound flight BA must have blocked 100++ economy seats, as they weren’t filled on the flight and they certainly weren’t open for purchase.

I’ve now subscribed to expert flyer on the trial basis, and if I understand it correctly, it shows 57 blocked seats in economy on tomorrow’s flight, including the middle seat next to me. Although the middle seat next to me is only blocked, I had incorrectly assumed it was occupied (it may well be in the end) and this may fuel my desire to pay to move seat.

These numerous blocked seats certainly give the impression that the flight is fuller than it is, and whether intentional or not, I believe it will fuel seat purchases.

I do hope BA are not using the flexibility to block seats to drive revenue.
You get 5 free searches a day on expert flyer for seat maps without any subscription.you do not need a trial subscription.

Lots of seat blocks is exactly what you will see after T-72 no matter how heavy the load is.

This is true for most airlines the many airlines that use ALTEA software.

You really cannot wait till check in to see what seat you get and then decide if you want to buy a seat

The available seats you are shown will vary over time as more people check in, this happens for everyone but may vary less as you move up the status levels.

Personally I prefer to think of it as dynamic seating as I feel that better describes what is happening.

Last edited by Prospero; Dec 8, 19 at 1:21 pm Reason: Merge consecutive posts
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Old Dec 8, 19, 4:23 pm
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Theoretical seating is a god send on my various short intra European hops- long may it continue, although I do also understand the OP's point.
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Old Dec 8, 19, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by South London Bon Viveur View Post
Theoretical seating is a god send on my various short intra European hops- long may it continue, although I do also understand the OP's point.
Indeed, what Theoretical Seating does is that it rectifies an oddity. Typically, in the pre-TS world, the so called "high value customers" (HVC - ie high status or full fare) would typically assign seats at the front of their cabin (nice because they are first out, better placed for food choice, etc) leaving less privileged customer to first fill in windows and aisles further back. Later on, however, if the plane was - say - 3/4 full (close to the average in the industry in fact) and some middle seats had to be taken, people would choose them in the front rows too (in between two HVC) whilst the back would retain its empty middle seats. So if you were HVC, you were less likely to have a free middle seat unless you decided to use your seat selection paradoxically, ie assign a less desirable seat near the back in the hope nobody else would bother (and that was even before BA introduced different seats in different parts of the cabin, though in fact many airlines had higher seat pitch in the first 10 or 12 rows). I remember those days very well, for instance when KL first introduced free seat assignments for FB Platinums and basically, we'd all be congregated in the packed first few rows whilst there would be entirely free rows nearer the back.

Instead, theoretical seating goes back to the airline's intention which is - rightly or wrongly - to give greater seat advantages to its HVC ie better rows AND greater likelihood of free middle seats or even entire row. It does that by slicing the cabin in segments (giving far more seats than needed if at all possible to its HVC whilst giving regular folks fairly full rows) and even blocking specific seats (typically middles, sometimes aisles to ensure that even by "mistake", those HVC won't come to squeeze each other just because they all want the first row.

The whole point - and again, I am not saying that this is right or wrong - is that we are not all playing on a level play field and that is what the airline is choosing to do. Now with improvement to loads, very often, this is no longer a real benefit bar for a few passengers (TS can be quite subtle actually) but even on empty ones, that is the choice BA and others do - they decide which passengers will likely get a full row to themselves by not offering certain sections of the plane to passengers who might like them. It is frustrating for them, but obviously a major benefit for HVCs.
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