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BA Seating

(19 Posts)
WAGofFernandoTorres Sun 17-Nov-13 15:40:33

We're off to Seattle on BA. Kids are 12 and 15 so from what it says on the website we won't be automatically seated together as this is only for families with DC under 11.

Agent thinks it's unlikely we'd be split up though and thinks we'll get 4 in a row. Can anyone vouch for this?

LadyEdith Sun 17-Nov-13 15:47:16

Have done many flights on BA (only short haul though, don't know if it makes any difference), we have always been seated together without prebooking. Sometimes 4 across, sometimes 2 in 2 rows next to each other.

Ememem84 Sun 17-Nov-13 15:48:55

It is unlikley. We flew BA to NYC last Christmas, when I went to check in online, the day before we couldn't get seats together (only 2 of us). However, when we got to heathrow, to check in, and I asked the check in guy, he said that they usually keep a proportion of the seats back for families. SO you should be ok

WAGofFernandoTorres Sun 17-Nov-13 16:06:46

Thanks. Am worried though that 'families' to BA means dc under 11. They might be 12 & 15 but we'd hate to be split up for 10 hours!

mummymeister Sun 17-Nov-13 16:09:12

we had a horrible experience with BA last new year. we booked Premium economy and thought this meant we could pick our seats. when we saw the ones allocated all 5 were separate - DCs were 10,12 and 14. you need to talk to them the day before you fly.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 17-Nov-13 19:35:35

It pays to be an Executive Club member in these situations.

From BAs website:-

"Reserve your seat for free during check-in

Once check-in opens, from 24 hours before departure, everybody can choose their seat for free, although your choice may be limited.

Choose your seat in advance for more choice

Whether you want extra legroom or to sit together as a group, you can reserve your seat in advance. It's easy to do, either at the time of booking your flight or afterwards by using Manage My Booking. When you make your seat choice online, we will tell you whether you have to pay or not.

You can pay for seating if you are travelling on any flight operated by British Airways, BA CityFlyer, our franchise partner airlines or a British Airways flight operated by American Airlines.

Some people can reserve their seats for free

Executive Club membership cards.

Executive Club Members plus companions

Choose your seats free of charge for everyone in the same booking if you
are a:
•Blue Member - from 24 hours before departure, when check-in opens
•Bronze Member - from 7 days before travel, except exit row seats and on British Airways flights only
•Silver Member - from time of booking, except exit row seats
•Gold Member - from the time of booking

If you decide not to reserve your seats in advance, we'll do it for you 5 days before departure. If you can't be seated together, we'll make sure each child is seated with an adult from your group"

In your case I would get the reference from the agent and see if you can choose the seats now. You will likely have to pay for reserving each seat unless you are an Executive Club Member.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 17-Nov-13 19:37:36

With BA now I usually pick a seat at the time of booking using their "Manage my Booking" service.

Mabelandrose Wed 15-Jan-14 22:13:54

You really need to pre book your seats when you do online check in. They can be very unhelpful on the day if you do not reserve seats in advance. The only way you can be 100% sure you will sit together is to pay for pre booked seats!

everydayinMK Mon 31-Mar-14 17:10:24

Seems to be a common problem if you read Twitter. A lot of people are trying to sit with their kids on British Airways but haven't been able to - even if they ask to pay extra! There may be a glitch in the automated IT system and some people get missed when staff try to reallocate seats manually and/or the flight is fully booked.

chonorez123 Wed 23-Apr-14 23:19:16

Just returned from a round trip to San Francisco with BA (2 adults and 2 young children); although BA terms and conditions state that each child will be seated by an adult from the party, we were pre-allocated seats on 4 different rows on the way our and on 2 rows (not together) on the way back. After waiting for more than 1 hour calling customer service we were told that we could purchase our seats for £26 per person if we wanted to be together! We hang on and complained and got satisfaction on the way out but not on the way back. As there were many empty rows at the time of the pre-allocation (one can see the empty seats ready to be purchased!) I believe that it is a scam to incite customers to pay for their seats, Never again BA with young children!

MacCallum Tue 29-Apr-14 10:43:07

Certainly Air Canada and United Airlines have no DC policy in my recent experience. They allocated us seats in 3 separate rows meaning a 5 year old had to sit on his own! We're a family of 5 with a 4 month old, a 3 and a 5 year old. Having just flown to Orlando here are a couple of airlines to avoid if you are travelling with a baby and/or small children. This is because they do not appear to care about you at all even when it was booked a year in advance so here goes:

Air Canada had no bassinet although one was requested and also travelling with a 5 and a 3 year old we were allocated seats in 3 separate rows meaning that my 5 year old was seated on his own for this overnight flight; flew out with United Airlines and again no bassinet available although we believed it was reserved.

Here is a part of the email received from them about this: "United Airlines offers bassinets on select international and transcontinental flights for infants weighing 22 pounds (10 kg) or less. A request for bassinet can be made when reservation is made, but please understand bassinet requests cannot be confirmed. Please visit for more details."

So even if you believe you're booked one it is not confirmed thus making it difficult for you to know what will happen on the flight. I really think that if you reserve one then it should be confirmed, or you are told that sadly there are only 2 available on each flight and these are already booked. I least then you know where you stand.

intheenddotcom Tue 29-Apr-14 19:29:40

They cannot confirm it - the plane might change, those seats might have to go to others (only certain seats can have a bassinet), there may be a younger baby booked on the flight.

The oft repeated advice is that if you want to guarantee the baby will not be on your lap then you book them a seat (and take a car seat) otherwise you take the risk.

The guidelines are that children are seated either in the same row or one behind or in front of one of their parents. Did this happen?

My own experience when travelling with children (all under 8) is that if the computer allocates seats apart a quick word at checkin sorts it out. Otherwise ask nicely (don't just assume) to swap with someone on the plane - it is unlikely anyone is going to want to sit next to your 5 year old overnight and will move if the swap is for a same or better seat e.g. don't offer them a middle if they previously had the aisle.

MillyMollyMama Wed 30-Apr-14 00:29:28

We have always gone through manage my booking and moved seats around if need be. I don't buy BA long haul through an agent if I can avoid it because I prefer to sort my own seats out. Also this is only a free service if you do it less than 24 hours to go when check in opens. Before 24 hours you can pay to be sure of the seats. Can't see it is a great hardship to be 2 and 2 though with teenagers. They are not babies. If you cannot check in on line it is usually because it is overbooked! Get to the airport very early and see what checkin can do there if you have any problems. We have always found BA helpful. DH and I liked to escape from our teens occasionally on a flight!

Cerisier Wed 30-Apr-14 14:33:47

I will never fly with BA again after last summer's fiasco. We had bought BC seats for the four of us for a long haul flight but when we arrived at LHR to check in (on-line check in didn't let us check in, which we thought was odd) two of the family had been downgraded as the flight was over booked. Given what we'd paid we thought it was shoddy service. It didn't help that BA didn't give a toss.

intheenddotcom Wed 30-Apr-14 18:08:49

You should get a part refund on BC tickets if downgraded.

MillyMollyMama Wed 30-Apr-14 19:01:29

I'd still rather BA than Ryan Air!!! All airlines overbook and you should have had a refund. We have had difficulties checking in a couple of times but have accepted compensation from BA if flights are changed. £1000 on one occasion.

MillyMollyMama Wed 30-Apr-14 19:02:26

Actually it was £1000 and upgrades to BC there and back. I feel they have been very fair to us.

Cerisier Thu 01-May-14 09:01:44

We did get some money eventually but it was just a partial refund on the flight. We were offered money off another BA flight but declined. We weren't offered anything else. I still can't believe they split a family up.

HermioneWeasley Sun 11-May-14 15:39:37

We flew with BA didn't pay to reserve seats and didn't get 4 together - got 3+1 on the way out and 2+2 way back

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