Is API required for online check-in?

Old Jun 25, 2022, 4:11 pm
  #1  
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Is API required for online check-in?

Hi everyone, my family is flying with British Airways departing July 4 out of LAX, and I've been trying to provide Advanced Passenger Information on their web site for weeks. Every time I try, I get an error, "Sorry, there seems to be a technical problem. Please try again in a few minutes, and please contact us if it still doesn't work." (My wife is on a separate ticket, and everything worked fine for her for some reason.) I'm happy to just provide the API at the airport, but I'm concerned that not having API will prevent me from checking in on-line and choosing seats for me and my kids 24 hours before departure. Does anyone know if I will be able to choose seats 24 hours before departure even if I have been unable to provide API? I've also been trying to call the US customer service number but it just hangs up due to heavy call volume. Thanks!
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Old Jun 25, 2022, 4:53 pm
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No answer, but interested as well. Same experience for me. I have been able to add the info in the app.....but then it disappears! Get the same non-existent phone support, and contacting them through social media takes forever--by the time they responded to me, I thought I had fixed the problem (through the app), and I told them the problem was gone. But it still isn't.
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Old Jun 25, 2022, 5:02 pm
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You should be able to provide the API data as part of the online check in process.
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Old Jun 25, 2022, 6:50 pm
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As an update, after repeatedly speed-dialing customer service, I managed to get in a queue to wait on hold. After about 25 minutes, I spoke to a customer service rep who managed to enter in all our API. I asked him why I couldn't do it myself online and he said it just happens sometimes 🤷‍♂️ I was able to view the API online after the call and edit it. Good to know that I would have been able to provide the API as part of the online check in process.
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Old Jun 25, 2022, 7:02 pm
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The API issue has been going on for awhile, and there have been a couple of threads about it. Maybe someone knows how to search for those, as there were several solutions suggested. One is to go through Manage My Booking without logging in to your BAEC account (if you have one). That worked for providing my husband’s API, which had caused problems when I went through “ my trips” while logged in (we are on the same ticket). Another solution that I saw here is to go through the Qantas booking system, using the same BA confirmation code/PNR. But I don’t remember the details on that.

I don’t know that the customer service agents can help even if you manage to get through on the phone. As for providing API at online check-in, I don’t know that you can count on that working either. Hopefully one of the experts will come along and confirm one way or the other. But FWIW, our last few flights with BA I have had trouble with on-line checkin even though all API was correctly entered for both of us, and even though we have been BAEC members and flying with them yearly since 2010. So I always pay to select our seats in advance.

Whose ticket—yours or your wife’s—-are the kids on? And how old are they? I believe BA has special provisions for seating for families with children under age 12, assuring that they will be seated with at least one parent. And maybe earlier check-in than 24 hours ahead?
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Old Jun 25, 2022, 7:08 pm
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Thanks, [MENTION=597877]enzian[/MENTION]! As you can see in my previous comment, I did have luck with a customer service agent in getting the API entered. Sad to hear we still may have issues with online check-in. The kids are on my ticket, and my youngest is under 12. So hopefully, one way or another the seating will work out. We thought about paying ahead for seats, but there are four of us and two flights, so with that the cost really adds up.
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Old Jun 26, 2022, 5:32 am
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Pre-covid I used to be able to check in for regular US flights when this happened without providing API, which I always gave at the airport. Its a while ago now though and I dont know if its changed.

But really I wouldnt worry about seating. I understand why you do, ryanair (etc.) have conditioned everyone to be terrified, but BA systems do try to seat people together, and they get it right far more often than not. Particularly with under-12s, where youre almost top of the list (and will find in practice that everyone else is moved around you). I flew this week on a shorthaul flight where 5 rows on a full flight were blocked - turned out it was to allow a group of 30 to sit together.
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Old Jun 26, 2022, 6:58 am
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Originally Posted by Confus
Pre-covid I used to be able to check in for regular US flights when this happened without providing API, which I always gave at the airport. Its a while ago now though and I dont know if its changed.

But really I wouldnt worry about seating. I understand why you do, ryanair (etc.) have conditioned everyone to be terrified, but BA systems do try to seat people together, and they get it right far more often than not. Particularly with under-12s, where youre almost top of the list (and will find in practice that everyone else is moved around you). I flew this week on a shorthaul flight where 5 rows on a full flight were blocked - turned out it was to allow a group of 30 to sit together.
Children under 12 have to be seated with an adult in the same party. Usually you will get seats assigned a few days before travel.

Last edited by Anonba; Jun 26, 2022 at 9:33 am
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Old Jun 26, 2022, 8:34 am
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Thanks so much, [MENTION=874118]Confus[/MENTION] and [MENTION=738887]Anonba[/MENTION]; really appreciate the information.
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Old Jun 26, 2022, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Anonba
Children under 12 have to be seated with an adult in the same party. Usually you will get seats assigned a few days before travel.
This misunderstanding is quite often perpetuated around Facebook groups; I am slightly surprised to see it here.

The correct statement is that the UK CAA says airlines should (my emphasis) seat under-12s within one row of an adult in the same party. That would include, for example, child in 29B and adult in 30K.

Now, on a day to day basis as mentioned elsewhere BA is very good at going above the minimum, though it isn't an absolute entitlement.
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Old Jun 26, 2022, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by stifle
This misunderstanding is quite often perpetuated around Facebook groups; I am slightly surprised to see it here.

The correct statement is that the UK CAA says airlines should (my emphasis) seat under-12s within one row of an adult in the same party. That would include, for example, child in 29B and adult in 30K.

Now, on a day to day basis as mentioned elsewhere BA is very good at going above the minimum, though it isn't an absolute entitlement.
Yes a bad choice of wording on my part, in terms of saying have to. However the below is on the BA website under family seating.

If you dont choose your seats in advance, we always do our best to seat your family together. This may mean that youll be seated in adjacent rows or across the aisle. All children under 12 will be seated with an accompanying adult. Anyone over 12 may be seated separately.
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