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No point reserving seats with BA - they steal them back!

(139 Posts)
ajandjjmum Fri 16-Aug-19 14:19:26

DS moved to Australia on Monday, and we had reserved - and paid over £70 - for a specific seat in economy.

He was stopped at the boarding gate and told that his seat had been changed, despite him having a copy of the receipt and confirmed seat number with him.

The BA woman lied and said that he was still in an 'extra legroom' seat - he wasn't - he was in a standard row of three.

The seat he paid for was given to a 'silver' tier member of the exec club at no charge - DS is merely 'blue'.

DS was polite and understanding to the crew (more than I would have been), and accepted that on a full flight they could do nothing.

Four days later, BA haven't replied to any of the three emails, other than a generic 'holding' email - clearly don't give a monkeys.

I know the reservation of seats is something that is often discussed on this board, particularly in relation to the lower cost airlines. Just thought others might be interested to know that a paid reservation obviously means nothing to BA - the theft of which is obviously covered in the small print! So much for being the national flag carrier (yes, I know it's Spanish now!)


happyasasandboy Fri 16-Aug-19 15:05:54

Do they refund the £70 if they have to move you?

Teddybear45 Fri 16-Aug-19 15:07:41

They do provide a refund. Keep chasing and I’d suggest you put this on Twitter too for a quicker response.

Teddybear45 Fri 16-Aug-19 15:08:45

I’m guessing the silver tier member might have needed to be downgraded from business and that’s why they didn’t honour your son’s reservation. Silver tier members are usually not given preferential treatment over paying customers!

ajandjjmum Fri 16-Aug-19 15:09:20

I would think they should, but they haven't found time to answer me yet!

It's more the fact that a 24 hour journey was made more uncomfortable than was planned and paid for.

I know the treatment from Ryanair et al can be rubbish, but somehow I expected better of British Airways!

ajandjjmum Fri 16-Aug-19 15:13:12

I tweeted on the night Teddy (as I lay awake wondered if it had been sorted - as promised - once the plane was in the air), only to be told that it was allowed within the T's and C's.

I will keep chasing, but I think they should be straight on to this, it shouldn't be left to me to chase. Appalling customer service all round.

Teddybear45 Fri 16-Aug-19 15:17:13

It’s definitely awful. But I’ve been that silver tier member who needed to be bumped off business and it’s a similarly crap customer service. It takes a while to get the refund but usually pushing them via Twitter and emailing the CEO / board member tends to work!

Bluntness100 Fri 16-Aug-19 15:18:59

I don't think this is what you think it is. I strongly suspect there was a change in aircraft and there was less seats in the new one, hence the change, they only do it for operational reasons. You will get a refund,

BeardedMum Fri 16-Aug-19 15:22:33

I would also tweet them

CedarTreeLeaf Fri 16-Aug-19 15:39:57

BA is worse than Ryanair because at least Ryanair is honest about who they are. BA is resting on its laurels hoping people won't notice the shift but they are noticing that you are paying Virgin Atlantic pricing and getting easyJet service.. I hope you try another carrier next time.

CedarTreeLeaf Fri 16-Aug-19 15:44:21

Actually, I take that back. It's a bit unfair to say about easyJet.

ajandjjmum Fri 16-Aug-19 15:48:19

No Bluntness, there was no change in aircraft.

The CEO email contact I've used previously now bounces back Teddy, so I'm on the hunt for the current email! grin

You're right CedarTree - it's sad, but they really don't care.

Yabbers Fri 16-Aug-19 15:48:25

It’s in the Ts &Cs. They can do it and if you’d read it you’d have known that. All airlines are the same.

Top tier customers are often shifted if the pre-allocated seats we can’t change are too far up the plane for DD to walk and there isn’t an aisle wheelchair available for her. We’re not members of any airline scheme. Would you piss and moan about that?

You have no idea why this person was moved.

ajandjjmum Fri 16-Aug-19 15:57:36

Yes I would 'piss and moan' Yabbers, if it wasn't explained to me. On the other hand, if people communicated in an informative and courteous manner, I would be far more likely to happily support a decision where someone was in the same position as your DD.

Having said that, surely a seat that was suitable would be pre-allocated for your DD and anyone accompanying her?

You would pre-plan to make the journey as comfortable as possible, which is exactly what I tried to do for DS. I accept that he obviously has nothing like the same challenges as your DD - although he came straight to the airport from having minor surgery at hospital - hence my pre-planning to give him as comfortable a flight as possible.

And of course I know it's in the T's and C's, but they are a catch all for any situation.

Expressedways Fri 16-Aug-19 15:57:43

Keep pushing for the refund. Sometimes they need to change seats for operational reasons- it might have been a change in aircraft, or passengers who’d missed their previous connection that required a bit of jiggling, a broken seat etc.

Sometimes it goes your way- last week we were delayed, would have missed our connection and the only way BA could accommodate us on an alternative flight was in First. Sometimes it doesn’t and I was once downgraded from Bus Class to premium economy because the seat was broken and there weren’t any spares in CW or F. I suppose someone like your son could have been out of premium economy to accommodate me, I never really thought about it.

tanstaafl Fri 16-Aug-19 16:00:19

CEO email contact?

I would email customer services.
Please note you only have a limited time to begin a claim for a reserved seat refund... as I found out to my cost.

If you have the original and replacement seat numbers you can have a look on and check what type of seats they are.
You can search by airline, flight number , destination and so on, to find the aircraft that is used for that route.

GCAcademic Fri 16-Aug-19 16:01:20

BA can take longer than four days to deal with this kind of thing. They will refund the seat reservation fee though. Emailing the CEO is overkill.

GreyBasket Fri 16-Aug-19 16:01:22

You can't expect to be told other people's personal circumstances of why they had been moved into your son's seat, not even bare bones of circumstances. It might have been something serious; it might not. The other passenger was probably unaware.

Push for the refund to happen fast, but you're going to have to just take it as one of those things. Full flights have no wiggle room.

tisonlymeagain Fri 16-Aug-19 16:01:53

I had this with BA from New York. I was told at check-in that my seat 'was not operational'. Me and my friend had booked a row that had just two seats in. Got on the plane and of course it was operational, they had just put a rather obese man in it. Hope he paid for two bloody seats!

Peridot1 Fri 16-Aug-19 16:03:03

We had similar this summer. Booked in January and as DH is Gold level member he could prebook seats and he booked the extra legroom seats for four of us. Two weeks before travel we find out that we have lost those seats and moved further back the plane. DH emailed and phoned to complain but got nowhere.

The reason given was that they had extended Business Class (European flight).

Irony was they were then trying to flog the new business class seats at £90 extra each!

And no business wasn’t full when we boarded! Quite a few empty seats.

ajandjjmum Fri 16-Aug-19 16:04:10

It definitely wasn't a change in aircraft, so far more likely that it was the broken seat scenario. And although I'm not happy about it, I accept that this can happen.

But the fact that the BA staff member at the desk blatantly lied, and that BA haven't jumped on this to refund me and try and make it right, is what really grates.

As a family, we currently have 17 flights booked with BA. If this is how they treat their loyal customers........

BentBastard Fri 16-Aug-19 16:06:36

Same happened to me a few months ago on a long haul flight. They tried to do exactly the same on the bloody return too but we noticed in advance during check in this time and stood our ground for original seats.

tisonlymeagain Fri 16-Aug-19 16:06:44

It's the lying that gets me too @ajandjjmum Just be honest?! We're all adults and would probably be a lot more understanding if they just explained the situation and the reasons.

BentBastard Fri 16-Aug-19 16:08:26

These exceptional circumstances excuses don't wash with me given they tried to do it on both legs. That would be a bit of a coincidence!

JoyceJeffries Fri 16-Aug-19 16:10:56

I’ve always found British Airways very sub par when it come to customer service.

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