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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Family seat allocation and check in advice

  • Jonathans 128 posts

    Our checkin opens in 7 hours. All adjoining seats have been booked for many months. We’re a family of 4 (travelling with a 3yo and 6yo). On previous flights BA has allocated seats for us around 3 days before departure and then as a blue member I could pay to change them if required.

    BA are yet to allocate us any seats for our flight tomorrow and still no adjoining seats showing. As now a bronze member I could have selected any of the remaining ones for free but haven’t.

    Whilst it would be nice to all sit together it’s an overnight flight and I’m Club and don’t find the new suite seats ideal for our family so not overly concerned about all 4 of us sitting together. Although an adult with a child seems like an obvious must right?!

    Come checkin opening later today, if there are still no adjoining seats should I continue to check in and select any seats or wait until I get to the airport tomorrow and try to resolve this?

    Tocsin 66 posts

    @Johnathans – if you post the flight number or origin/destination airports, I can check which seats are taken and which are blocked (the BA site will only show the seats they currently want people to select)

    Jonathans 128 posts

    Thanks, it’s BA0254 from Barbados leaving 3rd June.

    Tocsin 66 posts

    Ok – that is a packed flight…

    In First, 1A and 1K are blocked, 2K is free
    In Club, 9A, 9K, 11F and 14F are blocked – no seats are marked as free
    In WTP, 20K is blocked and 20A is free.

    Don’t panic yet. Either BA have already ‘booked’ seats for you, or some lucky people may get upgraded to make the necessary space. /more advice in next post…

    Tocsin 66 posts

    The flight has the new Club Suite, which is actally not as good for young families, as each seat is quite private and not easily overseen. The likely best option would be to get adjoining pairs, I would recommend window/middle rather than the obvious middle pairs – you can see into the middle, but can’t easily get round from one to the other!

    BA should get you one parent and one child together according to CAA guidance, but you may be in two different pairs.

    I would try and call BA to ensure they have considered your situation – use Skype to minimise costs. Keep checking the booking. BA have had several IT meltdowns recently, so this may be disrupting the website and their normal customer operations.

    If not sorted by arrival at the airport, then it will have to be dealt with there. Don’t accept ‘pass the parcel’ from check-in to gate to cabin crew.

    The good news is that there are very few good or bad seats in Club Suite, so there is less reason for people to refuse a ‘swap’. Good luck.

    SamG 1,724 posts

    Yes either you were “shadow allocated” some seats or a human will move people around to at least get you next to eachother 1a+1c x 2 . I agree with @tocsin – I would guess 2 people are going up to F

    The flight is still selling an F seat so I don’t think it’s oversold up front

    Jonathans 128 posts

    Thanks both, will keep you posted on the outcome.

    Jonathans 128 posts

    OK so I’m now showing as seated in 17a according to the app but when I go into change seats it says I have no seat but I can select one of the three remaining ones. No other seats showing for anyone else either.

    Spoke to BA who after an hour wait were no use other than saying “from my experience, I’d be amazed if they didn’t sit you altogether.” Which fills me with zero confidence.

    Checkin opens in about 3 hours so we’ll see then I guess.

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,357 posts

    Check again once OLCI opens but don’t generate a BP as once you’ve done that you can’t go back in again and change seats.

    Select the option that says “pick up at airport” or words to that effect.

    Phone agents can’t do anything with seats when the seat map is showing basically everything is allocated or blocked.

    I’d be surprised in the hours between now and OLCI opening that seats haven’t been allocated to you that has one child with one adult adjacent even if you’re in two separate parts of the cabin.

    Note seat allocations can include being in the seat in front/ behind or across the aisle from the child.

    Jonathans 128 posts

    So at check-in I have been allocated 17a and my wife 16a. The 3yo and 6yo have been allocated 16&17k – so not strictly within the guidelines.

    It that the best BA IT can do – leave it to us to sort ourselves out? Both kids will want to be next to mummy, so at least if BA allocated the seats correctly they’d be no arguments.

    Roberto 301 posts

    It will get sorted… Ba’s system wont allow it to proceed with kids not actively seated “near” parents.

    Yes the new club suite is an impractical option for adults with 3 year old kids , you might not even be able to even see them when the seat belts are on let alone help or comfort them.

    Yes you could be spilt up into two x 2 spead over the two club world cabins .

    Yes the child may not even be next to you. It could be behind or infront of you or across the aisle

    Yes you would have been better on on the old club suite flying Gatwick (or another carrier but it’s too late to sort that now)

    But if you don’t pay or chose in advance unfortunately you will be at the behest of the algorithm sorting out the seat allocation for you.

    Remember other may have paid for the middle pairs , why should they be split up?

    Jonathans 128 posts

    I started the checkin process, selected the bags and then forgot about it. The page timed out, but has checked everyone in and has allowed the kids to not be near any parent. The system is not full proof at all.

    JDB 4,797 posts

    Although it has given a slightly silly result, BA has doubly complied with the limp CAA guidance both by having seats in the same row and one behind the other.

    “Young children and infants who are accompanied by adults should ideally be seated in the same seat row as the adult. Where this is not possible, children should be separated by no more than one seat row from accompanying adults.”

    Roberto 301 posts

    To be fair the adults could sit in 17A and 17K with a kid infront of each. Well within the guidelines

    Jonathans 128 posts

    Agreed, but as you said earlier – checkin shouldn’t have been allowed with the current seat arrangements as kids and parents are not adjacent. Especially as on some flights attendants don’t allow you to swap seats for lead and balance reasons.

    Jonathans 128 posts

    @jdb does that go for 3year olds? Really that’s not practical.

    Roberto 301 posts

    Agreed, but as you said earlier – checkin shouldn’t have been allowed with the current seat arrangements as kids and parents are not adjacent. Especially as on some flights attendants don’t allow you to swap seats for lead and balance reasons.

    Its not adjacent…Infront/behind or across the aisle is enough to fulfil their obligations to you.

    Barbados is a heavily couples destination, the middle pairs are the only seats “next” to each other and will often sell out especially on night flights.

    JDB 4,797 posts

    @jdb does that go for 3year olds? Really that’s not practical.

    Yes, the guidance (and it is only guidance, not regulation) covers three year olds. It also doesn’t specify, if seated in a different row that children must be in front of or behind the adult – they could be on the other side of the aisle and still be compliant.

    Jonathans 128 posts

    Although on BA’s own webpage they say “All children under 12 will be seated with an accompanying adult.”

    Whist on the face of it, it’s seemingly obvious what BA means, taking the CAA guidance into account it can then means something totally different.

    Jonathans 128 posts

    Credit where it’s due with BA Barbados ground staff. They couldn’t change our seats at bag drop but made a note for the gate staff who moved our whole family into row 16 before we arrived to board.

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