Last week, there were some great Business Class deals floating around for travel to Europe later this year and even into next year. It seems like the East Coast gets the majority of the European deals, but this wave included departures from the West Coast (SFO and LAX) on either American Airlines or British Airways as low as $2,100.
While I’m never keen to transfer via London’s Heathrow airport, I was able to knock an additional $400 off the price by booking with British Airways and utilizing the AARP discount, so it was a no-brainer to choose BA over AA.
But after typing in all of my information, as I went to select my seats I was surprised to be presented with a $125 fee for the right to reserve my seats in advance. That’s $125 each way, per person, meaning that for 2 people to select round-trip seats we are talking $500 in total.
As a infrequent flyer of BA I wasn’t expecting the fee, but in this day and age where airlines keep coming up with miscellaneous revenue streams, I certainly wasn’t shocked. At first I went ahead and selected seats, but backed out at the last minute and simply bought the ticket without seat assignments.
As I’m thinking about it further, this is where my head is currently at:
- If I was by myself I wouldn’t care as much about seat assignments, but given that I’ll be traveling with my wife, what’s it worth to me to make sure we are seated next to each other?
- $500 is a LOT of money to pay for the right to choose seats in advance…
- One long-haul leg will be on a Boeing 747 where I can definitely see value in securing seats in advance in the quiet and private upper deck. On the return we are on the Airbus A380 which has so many seats in both the upper and lower deck that maybe I should just take my chances
- Based on the seat charts today, it looks like most people aren’t selecting seats in advance. If I’m quick and select seats at check-in 24 hours in advance, I may be able to get the seats I want for free
- Since I was able to knock off $800 from the purchase of 2 tickets using the AARP discount, even though I’d be giving back $500, I’m still ahead by $300
- But $500 is a LOT of money to pay for the right to choose seats in advance…
At this point, I keep going back and forth in my mind on this…what would you do? Are you typically willing to pay an additional fee for advanced seat assignments?