Pre booking seats on British Airways to New York

(20 Posts)
MirandaWest Fri 08-Jan-16 19:00:38

DP and I are going to New York in October and have found some well priced tickets. Went through to the booking part and if you want to reserve tickets now it's either £30 or £35 per person per flight which is quite a bit considering the price of the tickets. Alternative is to get them 24 hours before the flight when it's free.

What's the chances of being able to get two seats together then? Can't see everyone pre booking but obviously don't want to be in odd seats not near each other. Has anyone else either booked/not booked and regretted it or not?

Eggsbutnobacon Fri 08-Jan-16 19:14:02

My DH and I have been to NY a few times ( in fact we are going back in April using British Airways).

I am too tight to pay the extra for pre allocated seating and we have always managed to get seats together.. It's not as if you are going with DC when it may prove more problematic to all sit together.

Just remember to check in online as soon as you are able to give you the best chance.

MirandaWest Fri 08-Jan-16 19:50:24

Thank you - that's my thoughts and I'd rather spend the £120 plus on something rather than reserving seats. Wouldn't be the end of the world if we didn't sit together I suppose but glad to hear you haven't had a problem with it.

MirandaWest Sat 09-Jan-16 15:44:01

Anyone else had any experience of this?

chajazam Sat 09-Jan-16 15:57:55

I would be very very surprised if you struggled to find two seats together upon check in.

Set an alarm to check in as soon as it opens. Pre allocated seating is best for larger groups or people that have preferred seats. The earlier you check in the better your chance for an upgrade too. Use Seat Guru to assist if you want "good" seats (the 747 can have some sets of two seats towards the rear of the aircraft which are nice for a couple) although for the U.S. I would consider being as far towards the front of the plane as possible to try and minimise the queue at immigration which can be long!

lavendersun Sat 09-Jan-16 16:01:44

I try to only ever fly BA for our holidays, I have never paid for seats. When check in opens 24 hours ahead we have always been allocated three seats together and I just take them up.

That is with a child though, but they have never allocated 2 + 1 elsewhere for instance.

I would only ever pay if I particularly wanted an emergency exit seat for more leg room or window seat in a certain row.

I think you will be fine.

Onamissionfor2015 Sat 09-Jan-16 16:09:14

I checked in 12 hours before we flew to New York and got seats with dh, forgot to check in on way back (oops) till we got to the airport and we were still together

originalmavis Sat 09-Jan-16 16:19:08

We prebooked out seats this summer, which is just as well as BA wouldn't let DH check in online - or by the self service machine in tbe airport - because he (a British citizen) was born in the ME ('technical hitch' and 'random check' my arse).

I won't fly BA again because they 'randomly' do this every fucking time. Oddly I've never been selected for extra scrutiny. It's usually him and some bloke from the republic of Ireland standing there.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 09-Jan-16 17:22:04

You should be able to still get two seats together in World Traveller particularly if you are not travelling in the half term.

If you are travelling during that half term week (or if you are actually travelling in another class like WTP) I would prebook the seat selection. I would state as well that we came back from NYC last October and the flight was fully booked.

Virgin also charge for seat selections in advance; its another revenue stream to them. Infact many airlines now do this.

(In fairness to BA mavis, they are not the ones themselves who are responsible for that. Both my son and myself have had to collect our boarding passes at the airport before now on flights to the US and then selected for extra screening at the gate. That has involved our passports being looked at again along with a bag and pat down. We are both British citizens; the process is supposed to be totally random and initiated by the American authorities. I did think something had gone badly wrong when I could not check in online but BA explained that I had been selected for extra screening).

originalmavis Sat 09-Jan-16 17:31:00

It happens every time though with BA.

Whatdoidohelp Sat 09-Jan-16 17:33:52

You will more than likely be sat together but honestly it's worth paying to pick. There is a vast difference in the comfort of economy seats depending on where on he aircraft you sit. Find your flight number on seatguru.com.

ChesterFuckingDraws Sat 09-Jan-16 17:36:41

DH and I went to NY in December and didn't prebook our seats, I'm far too tight for that! On the way out we were lucky to have a row of 3 to ourselves. And on the way back we had aisle and middle seats. We only checked in for the flight 3 days before we flew too so I was expecting to be separated.
We've flown long haul a few times and I never book and always sit together, never had an issue

eurochick Sat 09-Jan-16 20:09:38

I'd expect you to be fine. It is a route that attracts a lot of people travelling alone, both on pleasure and business.

DickDewy Sat 09-Jan-16 20:11:29

We never pre-book seats and never have any problem getting them together.

Sunflower1985 Sat 09-Jan-16 20:15:54

I second the warning on immigration. Went through jfk last November and the queue was hours. And that was them dealing with just 2 flights.

DickDewy Sat 09-Jan-16 20:56:18

I had the opposite experience at JFK recently.

We went through automated passport control and it took all of 10 minutes. Never known anything like it in the US.

MirandaWest Sat 09-Jan-16 22:05:32

Thank you all very much - I think we will take our chances and not reserve seats.

We went to America a couple of years ago but with icelandair and didn't have the option to reserve seats. We flew in to Boston that time and can't remember immigration being too bad then so maybe we'll be lucky this time smile

LagunaBubbles Wed 20-Jan-16 12:46:36

I have mixed thoughts on this. Last year we flew BA to Phoenix and back from San Diego. Theres me, DH and our 2 boys so quite a lot of money to pre-book, so we didn't, plus the travel agent assured us most people didn't and we would have no bother at on-line check in. As we were travelling with an under 12 BA allocated us seats 3 days before our flight - separated us believe it or not despite lots of 4 seats together still being available, but we could change it at check-in. I did get a bit anxious as the nearer this arrived and I could see seats getting blocked of mind you!

We did knock it off though because when I went to do the check-in the 4 seats in the middle where the baby cots are became free - BA block these up until online check -in in case they need to be booked by people with babies. In this case they weren't so we got them, a bit of extra leg room.

Coming back we weren't so lucky, because of a combination of a dodgy wi-fi signal in our cottage and then when my DH eventually got online to try and change our seats (again we were separated despite seats being available together) the system wouldn't let us check-in my youngest son. Still no idea why so we had to wait till airport. But it was fairly anxiety provoking so I think I would pay for my return journey the next time!

Bunbaker Sat 23-Jan-16 15:00:18

"Can't see everyone pre booking but obviously don't want to be in odd seats not near each other. Has anyone else either booked/not booked and regretted it or not?"

I really dislike this pressure to pre-book seats, especially when you are travelling with children. I didn't book our seats to Rome with Jet2, until a couple of days before we went I decided to check it out. There were just two lots of two seats together and the rest were at different ends of the plane. So I booked seats at extra cost because, although DD is 15 she suffers from social anxiety and didn't want to not sit with me.

Want2bSupermum Sat 23-Jan-16 15:08:19

The crew normally sort everyone once they are on the plane. Don't pay for the seats.

It's a bug bear of mine that they charge for seat allocation on the transatlantic flights. I never pay less than $1250 for seat on a return flight from Newark. There is a healthy profit margin on the transatlantic flights unlike most of the discounted European flights or domestic American flights (it's $600 return to Seattle which is the same distance and I don't see the $550 going on taxes).

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