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What if many travellers boycott paid advance seat selection ?

What if many travellers boycott paid advance seat selection ?

Old Jun 22, 19, 7:21 am
  #31  
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So much has been said but here’s my thoughts:

if you book a flight late in the game you are often only given this choice: either pay for this or that seat selection or let the gate agent give you one for free when you show up.

It forces you to pay. And if you risk just waiting for a gate agent to give you one, this will not always play iut because if there’s an oversold situation or an aircraft change, guess who they boot? The guy w onseat assignment.

What gets me is that if you pay for a ticket to something it should automatically come with and include a freakin seat!

who the heck invented the idea that it somehow does not or that you now have to pay extra for that same ticket? We need to find this first person and hang them up Benito Mussolini style! (And the person who made it so once you join apple family sharing you cant undo it, and the person who made it so you can only share a link in facebook to people with facebook and can’t ever copy it out to share to other people with any ease)

look, I paid the airline for a darn ticket. It should let me pick and seat and be done. And they should all be the same.

It looks petty and cheesy to do fees
i hate fees

fees make people ansty and upset. People do the “ok fine whatever I’ll pay it but in protest!” And then they carry that internal frustration when they fly.

upset fliers make it harder on the staff
this is why there’s all these reported incidents of FAs kicking people off planes

if airlines want nice happy calm passengers that comply with rules, make the fees go away and just become part of the overall price! Stop dogging everyone!

think about anything you buy in life. Do you want just a one price or do you want to be roped in and then have to keep paying hidden fees? Which ride you wanna be on?

come on! Enough.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 7:46 am
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post
So much has been said but here’s my thoughts:
< SNIPPED>

if airlines want nice happy calm passengers that comply with rules, make the fees go away and just become part of the overall price! Stop dogging everyone!

think about anything you buy in life. Do you want just a one price or do you want to be roped in and then have to keep paying hidden fees? Which ride you wanna be on?

come on! Enough.
Next you want them to stop charging for bags ?
While I am against paying for seat selection especially for the likes of BA where after paying thousands of dollars for a J ticket, you have to fork over another $ 100 plus to find a seat of your liking ! But ultimately we need to uncover the warts on everyone's body_______ so how about identifying one's own line of work ? Perhaps then we can shoot at others too ?
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Old Jun 22, 19, 7:58 am
  #33  
 
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How would someone “boycott” or refuse to pay a fee and still get booked on a flight? I don’t think more than a handful of frequent flyers would, in protest, only book their flight at the basic economy fare. Or is the proposal that, whatever fare class you choose to fly, you don’t choose a seat that has a fee associated with it?

With certain fares and certain membership levels, you can have any seat you want, so if you’re of the “privileged” class, there’s really no way to boycott. The way the industry works these days, what one airline does, the others do. If, for example, a large number of people stopped flying on United and booked on another airline (and paid the seat fees there as long as they’re willing), perhaps United might take to the suggestion that “I’d fly with you if I didn’t have to pay extra for an aisle seat” and the rest of the airlines would follow. But for many, I feel that giving up their privileges on one airline for a possible greater good might be too much of an obstacle.

I’m only a peon, so the only way I get an exit row seat nowadays is on Southwest when I check in early enough to get a good place in line. I remember the Goode Olde Days when I was able to reserve any available seat in the cabin that I paid for, but a lot has changed since then. For what it's worth, on my last round trip on American (DCA-MCO), I looked at the seat map, found that nearly all of the available seats were in the center except for an exit row seat at a $59 premium (the Basic Economy fare was about $100), I took the cheap option and was pleasantly surprised that I indeed got a seat assignment when I booked the flight. Sure, it was a center seat within a row of the bathroom, but I anticipated not getting a seat assignment until I got to the gate. Small consolation, significant saving. If this was a 5-6 hour flight rather than a 2-1/4 hour flight I might have opted for a 'paid for' seat.

I'm not a Luddite, just a cheapskate.

Last edited by Mike Rivers; Jun 22, 19 at 7:59 am Reason: Paragraph formatting
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Old Jun 22, 19, 8:36 am
  #34  
 
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Basc Economy; paying for seats

[QUOTE=Mike Rivers;31228420]
How would someone “boycott” or refuse to pay a fee and still get booked on a flight? I don’t think more than a handful of frequent flyers would, in protest, only book their flight at the basic economy fare. Or is the proposal that, whatever fare class you choose to fly, you don’t choose a seat that has a fee associated with it?

With certain fares and certain membership levels, you can have any seat you want, so if you’re of the “privileged” class, there’s really no way to boycott. The way the industry works these days, what one airline does, the others do. If, for example, a large number of people stopped flying on United and booked on another airline (and paid the seat fees there as long as they’re willing), perhaps United might take to the suggestion that “I’d fly with you if I didn’t have to pay extra for an aisle seat” and the rest of the airlines would follow. But for many, I feel that giving up their privileges on one airline for a possible greater good might be too much of an obstacle.

Well I guess that they can charge for these if they're upfront about it. But UA basically threatens the passenger and tries to convince them not to use the fare. I'm a Million miler w/UA and find this disgusting. Here's my message to UA:
Your sales tactics for basic economy are both ridiculous and threatening. Other low-cost airlines, such as Southwest Airlines, give two free bags and other amenities, particularly treating customers like human beings. I think that United airlines are idiots for how they market their basic economy ticket. I have taken American and Delta on the same fare and they are much more amenable. Since I am a Premier gold passenger with United, I don’t have to worry about some of these Draconian features; If you really don’t want passengers to use this why don’t you simply eliminate it and become competitive with other airlines?

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Old Jun 22, 19, 9:32 am
  #35  
 
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The predicted recession can't come soon enough

That will bring the airlines to their knees, and they will be begging for customers, just like it was in 2008. I predict there will be reshaping of the fees at the same time.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 9:42 am
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
if travellers collude and constitute a collective collaborative bloc, perhaps there will be change.
I doubt it... Too many travellers want the cheapest flight that they can get to go from Point A to Point B and don't really care about seat selection. As long as they got that flight from JFK to SFO for $200 and can brag about it, they are thrilled... It's the old WFBF (want first buy first) or in this case WSSBSS (Want Seat Selection buy seat selection) as a 2019 flyer...

Recently I heard somebody throw a hissy fit that they paid $400 apiece for 4 tickets on a base fare on an international flight which had a main cabin fare of $985 per seat. The flight was full and his pregnant wife and two kids (8 and 10) couldn't all sit together since there were only middle row seats not taken. I didn't feel sorry for him. The $400 was a great deal, but came with limitations... The cheap fares are great if you wish to accept the limitations and for those who are, I say leave the seat selection fees.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 9:56 am
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Probably won’t make any difference.

It's all part of inventory control. I believe we are talking coach. The airlines sell cheap seats via third parties to get “key money.” I’m guessing they make money off the full fare class seats purchased by businesses and last minute travelers. If someone pays full fare and gets a non reclining seat next to the bathroom, you can bet they won’t be happy, especially if they find out the good seats went to people paying half the price. Perhaps a less obvious method would be to restrict pre-selection to less desirable areas based on category (e.g. United’s Y,B,M,H,K,L,Q,V,W,U,T,S fares). S would be restricted to pre-selecting seats next to the bathroom.

Personally, with the hassle of flying, I figure if I can drive there in 8 hours or less + drive time to destination from the airport, I’m much happier driving. That’s the ultimate boycott.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 10:13 am
  #38  
 
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I have no beef with seat fees, heck they can ask for £30 one way for a 2 hour exit row seat if they like (I won't pay it). They can charge what they like, heck they can give me a middle seat if they like, but what is draconian & should be illegal is deliberately sitting folk on the same booking 3/4 of the plane apart deliberately to blackmail them to pay for a seat.

My wife is a nervous flyer, with health conditions & I am basically a lowest grade carer - to take advantage of that to leverage maybe 50% of the headline fare is disgusting.

For those who must be seated together, I find that on Ryanair, the best tip is to check in, see what stupid seats 20+ rows apart they give & then pay to move 1 person beside the other (at least halving what they extract from you).

If you don't have to sit together (but it is a preference), take pot luck on the seats, keep checking (even take screenshots of) the seating plan until the paid seating window closes, then sit in a seat nearby that was sold - I even had a chance encounter with someone in the same position - I was able to inform her which seat I was meant to be in, in the same row as her friend & we both sat beside our travel companions without succumbing!

I would agree to the boycott, plus observe & promote it, provided the aim is clear - reasonable charges & no more split group blackmail.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 4:41 pm
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by Tharos View Post
It's all part of inventory control. I believe we are talking coach. The airlines sell cheap seats via third parties to get “key money.” I’m guessing they make money off the full fare class seats purchased by businesses and last minute travelers. If someone pays full fare and gets a non reclining seat next to the bathroom, you can bet they won’t be happy, especially if they find out the good seats went to people paying half the price. Perhaps a less obvious method would be to restrict pre-selection to less desirable areas based on category (e.g. United’s Y,B,M,H,K,L,Q,V,W,U,T,S fares). S would be restricted to pre-selecting seats next to the bathroom.

Personally, with the hassle of flying, I figure if I can drive there in 8 hours or less + drive time to destination from the airport, I’m much happier driving. That’s the ultimate boycott.
I agree the whole premise hear is everyone is paying the same price for a ticket and that is not the case, a seat at 200 is not the same as a seat someone pays 500 for, and you are correct, part of the reason they started creating all the sub categorías is people paying 500 could not find a good seat and then would go to another airline. The article mentions a movement for tall people wanting-needing an exit row, I feel for them, but their are only a few of those seats and pretty much everyone at the end of the day wants to be comfortable, which is hard to do on todays airlines in coach.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 5:18 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by EdGordon007 View Post
That will bring the airlines to their knees, and they will be begging for customers, just like it was in 2008. I predict there will be reshaping of the fees at the same time.
That is a fallacy which seems to pervade FT.

The carriers' mistake the last time round was that they decreased price in order to drive sales. The lesson learned was that this does not increase net revenue. PRASM means cutting availability. Either fewer flights or smaller aircraft or a bit of both.

Seat fees are particularly not subject to boycott because one need not reserve a seat if one is not eligible for free advance seating. Others will pay or book late and nab a decent seat and you can sit in the middle seat next to the lav.

The bottom line here is that passengers are not always the customer. When third parties, e.g. pay the tab, they drive unbundled pricing and the individual has little choice or market share.

Or you could fly WN and never pay to have a seat assigned.
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Old Jun 22, 19, 7:08 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
What if there was an initiative to boycott paid advance seat selection that gained massive/viral traction? Will airlines stop charging for advance seat selection ?

To me charging for seat selection is like to making travellers bid against each other for the desirable seats, but if travellers collude and constitute a collective collaborative bloc, perhaps there will be change.
Isn’t the “seat assignment after check-in something that DL does for “basic economy” passengers on some international routes at least? That may create a rather interesting mess at close to boarding time, especially when there are lots of young kids traveling with fewer parents than there are young kids on the flight.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 1:31 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post
What gets me is that if you pay for a ticket to something it should automatically come with and include a freakin seat!
It does, only the airline chooses it in some cases.

I don't know who you fly with, but to use BA as an example, they claim to carry 132,000 passengers per day (March 2018). If only 20% of these pay an average £30 GBP to book a seat (my guesstimates), that's almost £300 million per year. If they don't get that ancillary revenue from seat sales then they'll get it from somewhere else. Giving the passenger the choice seems the fairest way.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 2:52 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
Don't fall for the airlines strategy of dividing us to rule us better. Stop the selfish thoughts for a little while and join the ranks of collective bargaining. A few small sacrifices will pay off greater benefits for everyone !
I agree that airlines play the divide-and-conquer game a lot. When they first introduced these fees I predicted correctly that they'd get a public-relations black eye at some point for breaking up families, so that's a possible lever if seeking regulatory or legislative action.

A key domino with this one will be Southwest. They already have an unusual and timeworn seating procedure (that they'll let people jump to the line of for a fee). They're no doubt under pressure from Wall Street to go to the dark side on this and on bag fees.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 8:08 am
  #44  
 
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This discussion is about how selecting a specific seat is valuable to some people, but not valuable enough for them to pay for it. This makes no sense.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 8:21 am
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
you’re asking the question in a forum of frequent travelers who aren’t in any way representative of the vast majority of airline passengers

whether we admit it or not, most of us are probably resigned to the fact that airlines — being in business to make money — are not likely to change lucrative practices in the interest of becoming more consumer-friendly

I recognize the power of social media in attempting to effect change, but I suspect there are too many variables in play here to make that kind of a change campaign work: a vast number of airlines, disparate individual travel patterns/priorities, etc etc
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