BA greed in a time of very low demand

Old Dec 1, 20, 6:29 am
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BA greed in a time of very low demand

I was just reading another thread about selecting exit row seats for free when a passenger holds status and it got me thinking about the benefit of charging for seat selection in times of low demand.

I recently had a weekend in GIB, flying at the back of the bus. I had thought about booking exit row seats for each leg but BA wanted 40+ for each leg of the journey. This was more than the actual cost of my ticket.

On both legs of the trip the plane was about 25% full and none of the exit row seats were taken. Once the doors were closed, I asked if I could move to an exit row, and both times I was allowed. Total cost to me - 0.

I appreciate there is little appetite to fly in these difficult times, but surely no-one in their right mind is going to pay the exorbitant seat selection fees on short haul, so would BA not be better off just removing seat selection fees for the foreseeable future, perhaps in the hope of stimulating a little more demand?
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Old Dec 1, 20, 6:34 am
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Originally Posted by wb1969 View Post
I was just reading another thread about selecting exit row seats for free when a passenger holds status and it got me thinking about the benefit of charging for seat selection in times of low demand.

I recently had a weekend in GIB, flying at the back of the bus. I had thought about booking exit row seats for each leg but BA wanted 40+ for each leg of the journey. This was more than the actual cost of my ticket.

On both legs of the trip the plane was about 25% full and none of the exit row seats were taken. Once the doors were closed, I asked if I could move to an exit row, and both times I was allowed. Total cost to me - 0.

I appreciate there is little appetite to fly in these difficult times, but surely no-one in their right mind is going to pay the exorbitant seat selection fees on short haul, so would BA not be better off just removing seat selection fees for the foreseeable future, perhaps in the hope of stimulating a little more demand?
Frustrating situation To remove exit row charging would involve modifying their IT system. Keeping it means someone somewhere might pay (more revenue for BA). Maintaining seat charging also allows Golds and Silvers more of a chance to get these 'priority' seats.
On the other hand in favour of removing- given low demand and fleet slack, less administration if equipment change and seat payments have to be refunded, ability to space out cabin for social distancing, which might be difficult if you have to reseat people who paid for their seats.....
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Old Dec 1, 20, 6:35 am
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Originally Posted by wb1969 View Post
I recently had a weekend in GIB, flying at the back of the bus. I had thought about booking exit row seats for each leg but BA wanted 40+ for each leg of the journey. This was more than the actual cost of my ticket.

On both legs of the trip the plane was about 25% full and none of the exit row seats were taken. Once the doors were closed, I asked if I could move to an exit row, and both times I was allowed. Total cost to me - 0.

I appreciate there is little appetite to fly in these difficult times, but surely no-one in their right mind is going to pay the exorbitant seat selection fees on short haul, so would BA not be better off just removing seat selection fees for the foreseeable future, perhaps in the hope of stimulating a little more demand?
I would suggest both you and BA were equally involved in this dance. Moreover non exit row seats would not have been 40. So perhaps the better answer would be for BA to look at the cost of seat selection since I guess that if it was say 10 you would have paid? Except, of course someone else may have got their first (and thus annoyed a status passenger looking to enjoy this perk), and so to that extent the 40 helped you. And the lower thresholds for status would be another approach.
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Old Dec 1, 20, 6:47 am
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I think folk will pay for seat selection more than ever, to be next to a companion rather than a stranger in these times
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Old Dec 1, 20, 6:56 am
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As mikeyfly mentioned, there are people who pay for seat selection just to be in the front, do board last, and deboard first.
Although this is not my mindset, airlines are making subsequent money from those who are seeking extra personal comfort and peace and purchasing their seats.

Most people outside of FT would not even have an estimate of their flight load before arriving at the airport.
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Old Dec 1, 20, 6:58 am
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Or more likely, surely BA is only days away from allowing purchase of an empty seat next to you like so many airlines? (or have they started doing it without me noting?). I'm 6ft5 and flown 3 semi empty BA flights in the past few weeks - been more than happy to benefit from knowing i'd have an empty row for the leg space, and amending seat choice 24 hours prior to back of plane. I can't be bothered to do that putting Flight Attendants in uncomfortable positions anymore (which I did with many airlines when these charges were first introduced).
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Old Dec 1, 20, 8:03 am
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Absolutely ludicrous to call this action "greedy" because it does not deliver the result you want. BA is losing millions of Pounds a day and struggling to compete against Air France and Lufthansa who are receiving bungs from their respective governments despite this being against EU law (who would have thought?)
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Old Dec 1, 20, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by Sam Bee View Post
Or more likely, surely BA is only days away from allowing purchase of an empty seat next to you like so many airlines? (or have they started doing it without me noting?). I'm 6ft5 and flown 3 semi empty BA flights in the past few weeks - been more than happy to benefit from knowing i'd have an empty row for the leg space, and amending seat choice 24 hours prior to back of plane. I can't be bothered to do that putting Flight Attendants in uncomfortable positions anymore (which I did with many airlines when these charges were first introduced).
Technically you have always been able to do this. You can purchase an extra seat for comfort, although you would pay the fare for the extra seat!
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Old Dec 1, 20, 9:00 am
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I would also like to add the point that, they are not policing access to these emergency exit seats like AA.

When someone tries to self-upgrade themself to a MCE seat on an AA flight, the crew kindly asks the passenger to pay for the seat or to return back to their original seat.
Of course, they are OK, if you are moving within a non-MCE seat.

The same goes for United, not sure about Delta.
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Old Dec 1, 20, 9:02 am
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Isn't it a requirement that there's always someone in an emergency row if there are passengers on the flight? Anyway, with flights so empty, why bother worrying about this?
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Old Dec 1, 20, 10:07 am
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I have been moved up from the row behind the exit row a number of times as the crew have said they need someone to occupy the exit row....
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Old Dec 1, 20, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
I would also like to add the point that, they are not policing access to these emergency exit seats like AA.

When someone tries to self-upgrade themself to a MCE seat on an AA flight, the crew kindly asks the passenger to pay for the seat or to return back to their original seat.
Of course, they are OK, if you are moving within a non-MCE seat.

The same goes for United, not sure about Delta.
Isn't this typically for the fact there are additional service privileges that comes with MCE (free drink etc...?)

On BA the crew see on their iPad who's assigned to which seats but there's no additional service to protect in any specific row/seat. And of those passengers who've paid for their seat assignment and also those who have status. A free seat is a free seat. I've been approached on BA in the past to see whether I'd be prepared to move into exit row at least for take off and landing. It is a CAA requirement that each overwing "self help" exit row is occupied by at least one able bodied passenger during the critical phases of flight. I've also witnessed first hand a passenger on a AMM-LHR who berated the purser for allowing a passenger to move into the exit row after take off for free after he'd paid for the privilege. I don't think there was any need to berate the purser and ultimately the paid up passenger got what he paid for but I completely see the argument he was making too.
I don't think crew necessarily think about the wider picture and how them being helpful in this way can lead to others feeling out of pocket. I see it as a learning opportunity rather than a something that should be addressed as a priority. They also appear not to know about the seat blocking for golds and above that FLY introduces and see and empty seat as just that. No special block shows on their seat plan.

Last edited by 1Aturnleft; Dec 1, 20 at 10:14 am
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Old Dec 1, 20, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Skipcool3 View Post
I have been moved up from the row behind the exit row a number of times as the crew have said they need someone to occupy the exit row....
What would happen if there was only one passenger ? Has to be exit row ?
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Old Dec 2, 20, 1:40 am
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Originally Posted by BRITINJAPAN4 View Post
What would happen if there was only one passenger ? Has to be exit row ?
I think the exit rows only have to have someone in above a certain number of passengers, so if you were the only passenger on a A319 you would not have to move to an exit row.
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Old Dec 2, 20, 2:21 am
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Interestingly other carriers' crew (who charge for seat selection) police the premium seats and stop you moving there once on board even if empty.

Basically if you want the legroom, you pay for it.
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