Pre-Reserving Seats In Club World...

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by Whatwasthat..., Apr 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Whatwasthat...
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    Whatwasthat... Silver Member

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    Being a newbie, I posed my initial query about whether/when it makes sense to pay extra to pre-reserve seats on the Newbies Forum, and I received some wonderful advice - including a suggestion that I bring part of my question to this Forum. So here goes.

    I and the Mrs. have booked flights in May on BA in Club World from LAX to FCO (via LHR), with returns from CDG (via LHR) to LAX - thanks to the BA Chase Card 2-4-1 Voucher. We're looking forward to this being our first time traveling Business Class to Europe on BA (did this on AA before and it was an interesting experience for a number of reasons). But we've been wondering whether we should pay the extra fees to pre-reserve our seats now (and which seats would be best to reserve together).

    Our transatlantic flights in both directions are scheduled to be on B747-400 (70 Next Generation). On our outbound flight, about half the seats have already been pre-reserved (including all of the Upper Deck). There appears to be a bit more availability for our return trip, including a few seats on the Upper Deck in rows 63 & 64. In any event, I'm getting the strong feeling I better go ahead and pre-reserve seats now.

    I've checked SeatGuru and SeatExpert for their preferences, which were somewhat puzzling (they seem to like seats facing the rear of the plane in the middle of a row of four, something about "extra privacy"). Now I'm wondering if any of you would be willing to share your recommendations based on your experiences?

    Any advice would be very much appreciated indeed, thanks!
     
  2. ben senise
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    ben senise Silver Member

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    On a last trip from YVR to LHR, about half of the upper deck seats were reserved according to the seating chart when we bought our tickets. we did not pay for seat selection at that time. instead, we logged in EXACTLY 24 hours before the flight and strangely enough, only four or five seats were taken and we had the pick of the litter. Upstairs is nice since there is no real "traffic" to speak of since it only seats about 24 pax (if my memory serves me correctly) but you will have one aisle and one window if you travel with your partner.
    Personally, I really enjoyed the two middle seats on the main deck since it's kind of like being in a small cabin. when you are seated, you really don't see anyone else unless they are walking by. yet your are right next to your travel partner with no divider between you as you have when you are upstairs or on the aisle and window seat downstairs. It's easy to talk, eat, hold hands, etc. But having said that, there are a lot more people around you and it can be noisy.
    It's a tough call to say which is better but we tend to take the smaller cabin upstairs when we can.
     
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  3. Whatwasthat...
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    Thank you Ben, that's really helpful feedback! With only six seats left on the Upper Deck for our return, I think I'll just go ahead and book a couple of them now. Very much appreciated!
     
  4. Primula
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    Primula Silver Member

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    The seats recommended create a nice little private cabin when the dividers are raised around them so you are in your own little world with your partner, and are sitting side by side, not face to face.

    That said, flying backwards is one of the interesting points of CW if you haven't done it before.

    I personally prefer upper deck on 747, but I wouldn't be prepared to pay to reserve it.
     
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  5. Whatwasthat...
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    There are dividers??? Aah, this is now making a bit more sense to me. The "flying backwards" thing is a bit disconcerting conceptually. But you've helped me to understand the appeal with the "private cabin" analogy. Thanks very much, Primula!
     
  6. ben senise
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    ben senise Silver Member

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    taking off backwards is a bit strange. once you're in the air though i didn't really notice it. i found that landing backwards was actually more comfortable since with the hard deceleration, you are pushed into your seat back rather than forward out of it.
     
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  7. ben senise
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    ben senise Silver Member

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    here's a pic of a window and aisle seat. for the middle section there are four seats as follows: aisle facing forward, two middle facing backwards, another aisle seat.
    So the guy in the pink shirt would have someone sitting beside him also facing backwards than another aisle seat like the woman in the blue top.
    the upstairs deck has this configuration on each side. no middle section.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Whatwasthat...
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    Thank you for all this, Ben - especially the picture! Although now I'm wondering how two people in the middle of a row of four (or a solo traveler in a window seat) would be able to get in and out. Do people get into their seats from the front/back, instead of from the side (sorry, this is probably a dumb question)?
     
  9. ben senise
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    ben senise Silver Member

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    not a dumb question at all. imagine another row behind the woman in blue. the person sitting directly behind the woman has their foot stool immediately behind the back of the woman in blue. the guy in pink would walk out behind the woman in blue which is where the foot stool is. so if that passenger is in the bed position, you can't get out. this sucks. just make sure you go to the toilet before bed time and hope you don't have to get up in the middle of the night (so to speak).
    there are a few seats upstairs where even the window seat has direct access to the aisle. from memory, 64 A is one of them. also the ones immediately forward of the emergency exits i believe.
    hope that helps.
     
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  10. Whatwasthat...
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    Ohmygawd, really? I think that settles it then - the Mrs. would never want to take a chance at getting stuck in the middle of a row of four at an inopportune time. Thanks again, Ben!
     
  11. martinfoss
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    martinfoss Silver Member

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    Don't you mean that the person behind the woman in blue would have to walk out in front of the guy in pink?

    As mentioned, row 64 is great. I have limited experience in longhaul business class flying, but have had about half of them in row 64 on BA's 747's (that's two out of my four flights...). This row means you wont have the "guy in the pink shirt" to climb over. I also like the privacy of these window seats when travelling alone.

    In addition to row 64, there are similar rows on the main deck, as well as on the 777's. Any row in the rear end of the cabin will not have the "guy in the pink shirt"
     
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  12. Whatwasthat...
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    Thanks for sharing this with me, Martin! At present, I could lock in Row 64 or 63 - any thoughts on 63 (an "exit row")?
     
  13. martinfoss
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    martinfoss Silver Member

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    If you want a window seat without "the guy in pink"; it's either 64 or 62. They should both have quite unrestricted access to the aisle from the A and K seats. Have only tried 64 myself, and liked it a lot. Maybe K a bit better than A, but that's a personal preference.
     
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  14. Whatwasthat...
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    Row 64 it is. Thanks so much for your advice on this, Martin!
     
  15. martinfoss
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    martinfoss Silver Member

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    You're welcome. Enjoy the flights ;)
     
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  16. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    I always fly in 64K. Fortunately I fly enough with BA to keep Gold every year and I can grab my 64K at the moment of booking.
     
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  17. Whatwasthat...
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    Very much appreciated, Stimpy! That's just where the Mrs. & I will now be for our flight home. Thanks for your feedback!
     
  18. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    I'd go upper deck in a heartbeat and be grateful I got the tickets for free (well, almost!). BA Club is comfortable but when you first walk in to the lower level section, you wonder if they could have shoe-horned any more seats into this section - I mean it looks very crowded! I would much rather be in the smaller section and would pay for the privilege.

    That said, I still don't understand why they can't let Business Class seat holders not select seats when they are purchased like pretty much every other airline does!
     
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  19. stimpy
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    Because they reserve that privilege for their loyal customers. That's capitalism. And a good thing.
     
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  20. ben senise
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    ben senise Silver Member

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    i was trying to explain what the middle of the main deck was like. so the guy in the pink shirt would be beside another passenger also facing the rear. i couldn't find a picture like this one with all four pax. and in that case, he would have to go out behind the woman in blue.
     
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  21. Whatwasthat...
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    Thank you, Steven - even though the Mrs. & I are currently status-challenged, we are pretty darned grateful and looking forward to the experience! Thanks for your feedback!
     
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  22. Globaliser
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    If you don't qualify for free seat pre-allocation, then only a handful of upper deck seats are available. That's why most of the cabin will usually appear to be "reserved". When online check-in opens, everyone can grab any remaining upper deck seats.
    If you're in a non-aisle seat, it's no big deal to climb over the aisle seat passenger to get out if that passenger is lying fully flat. Anyone with normal mobility can do it.
     
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  23. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    I agree, but there are some who do not have normal mobility. BA do try their best, both on the ground and on-board to accommodate these folks in aisle seats. But again, loyalty to an airline counts for something. In this case I always have my choice of aisle or window, upper deck or lower. I don't always get my favorite 64K, but more than half the time I do. On 747's of course. ;)
     
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  24. Globaliser
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    Of course: For them, an aisle seat would definitely be a better choice.

    Entirely agree about the benefits of getting 64K (or 62K), and of higher-tier membership allowing one to access them.
     
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  25. Whatwasthat...
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    Thank you Globaliser and Stimpy. We're still normally mobile, but over the years I've found it contributes to family harmony for the Mrs. to have unencumbered access to things like coffee and "the facilities" :cool:.
     

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