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COMPLAINT: BA2205 - Punta Cana - Mis-sold seats

 
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Old Jul 14, 2017, 4:31 PM
drenwick drenwick is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
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My wife and I travelled with BA on flight to Punta Cana (29th June)
We paid extra for seats 25E and 25F in advance of the flight as they were shown clearly on the website as being isolated on their own instead of being in a normal row of 3 seats. This is ideal for us as we both like to rest / sleep as much as possible on a flight an have the option to move about without disturbing each other.
When reviewing the seating plan and making the 'seat purchase' - it's very clearly "just two seats" in the centre isle.


Quite why BA has started charging people to pick their seats or in some instances even to be able sit with their partner / family is beyond me. You have started to nickel and dime customers for pretty much everything.
However, I do see the value of being able to pay for seats that you might consider more desirable (bulkhead etc).

In the days on the run-up to the flight we did try to book an upgrade via the website but repeatedly saw a 'technical issue' error.
Upon arriving at the airport on Thursday we did attempt to purchase an upgrade but missed out by 10 minutes or so on the last spot.

We have booked the same seats our up and coming return flight on 6th July BA2204. All up these seats have cost us an additional 144.

As mentioned, the BA site clearly show the seats as a 'row of two' there is no indication of a 'crew jump-seat' to the left. You discover this when you get on the plane.
OK - so it's a jump-seat - ie. temporary seat for crew to use during take-off and landing etc. We'd still be able to sit together and enjoy the space.
That in itself is not a problem although the jump-seat absolutely should be represented on the site especially if you are asking customers to pay for the adjacent seats. That there is no indication of the jump-seat on the website is a mis-representation on the 'map' and the offer to sell those seats to customers. It is misleading and false advertising.

With my wife in the now middle seat, it was not a problem for a crew member to use that seat for the take off and landing in the slightest.

What was totally unexpected was that not 20 minutes after take off - another 'passenger' was relocated to the adjacent 'crew jump seat' and remained therein for the duration of the flight.
Let me be clear - I do not hold any ill-feeling towards this gentleman.
There was also no consideration given to us by way of simply discussing the move with us before doing so. Instead we had to verbalise our concern and question the cabin crew member in-front of the 'passenger' before he took his seat. I am sure he felt just as uncomfortable about it as we did.

Upon discussing this with the Cabin Manager and other members of staff we were clearly told that the jump-seat can be used at the full discretion of staff and that the flight was 'so full' they had no choice and that they "can do what they like with those seats".
There is no indication of this 'policy / rule' in relation to jump-seats on the site.

But the plot thickens.

My wife and I know very well that this same 'passenger' was sitting in another rear-facing jump-seat upon take-off. It was clear to us that he was BA staff or that he was traveling on a staff discount. He of course could not have been left in the rear-facing jump-seat at the back of the cabin for the duration of the flight. Instead, he was relocated to the more 'normal', forward facing, passenger style jump-seat located in row 25.

The begs the question how a member of BA staff was allowed to travel in a jump-seat and how these are considered 'normal' passenger seats when the rest of the flight is full. I shudder to think what would have transpired if there was an emergency and the 'staff member' was asked to quickly relocate so that a on-roster staff member to re-take the row 25 seat and assist customers.

If I am wrong about the passenger being a BA staff member then please let me know. You should know however that it was very clear to us this is the case as he was not served a meal until the entire cabin had been served first and that he was indeed relocated for back to the original seat for landing. Please let me know if this is indeed an unfortunate full-paying customer that we move from pillar to post during his flight.

That BA over-crowded that plane to such a degree and then allowed an additional member of staff to fly without the actual availability of a regular seat sounds to be a highly questionable policy and practice and possibly even a breach of safety although I'd be happy to hear it is not.

Notwithstanding the notion of selling a row of 2 seats to unsuspecting passengers and then switching a member of staff to the same row therefore leaves me gobsmacked. Please remind me why I have paid 144 pounds to be in no better seats then those already allocated to us.

You should know also that it seemed to us also that during the flight there was a veritable game of off-duty BA staff seat musical chairs with many people at the rear of the plane taking turns to switch seats. I'll happily except an explanation for this if indeed these were not staff members but that level of switching and changing did nothing to suggest these were not staff and off-duty cabin crew. I don't know many 'passengers' that feel it's OK just to move about and make use of the jump-seats at will.

All up I can't help feeling that you mis-sold us the seats and that you prioritised BA staff members with their heavily discounted staff flights over full-paying customers.
You disregarded our own journey and experience over your own staff self interests and in turn took and additional 72 from us for the privilege. I am not holding any hope for a better experience on the return trip.
You should also know that the seat itself had a fault and they the 'foam' packing repeatedly fell-down and bounced around my head until I or a member of staff poked it back up.
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