View Full Version : Long haul seat selection

24th Aug 2004, 16:55
Hi all, following on from the Air China/B.A thread i've narrowed it down to Emirates or British Airways.

I was wondering if you can choose your seat after/during booking or at check in, as i really want a Window seat and would hate the thought of being stuck in the middle seat in the middle row, so much that i dont think i would make it to the other side still sane!

Thank you


p.s the get EasyBaby to Australia fund is going slower than expected but it looks like i can buy one beer on board at least!!

Fester T Adams
24th Aug 2004, 17:45
Hi Easybaby

Well I'm flying BA to the States soon & like you I've a bit of a penchant for a window seat. When I booked they had none left on the outward journey for me to prebook but instead the've booked me in an aisle seat on the outward jouney & a window seat on the return.

Thinking back on when I travelled long haul last year & was stuck in the middle of the centre aisle :{with little to no leg room. I'm beginning to wonder if a view from a window seat should be such a priority when leg room & freedom to move & exercise ones legs takes on an unprecedented importance when you're sandwiched between two people for hours on a flight. Remember too flying to the states even the west, is alot shorter from Europe than flying to Oz particularly with no stopovers. Just a thought for you to bear in mind. Also please bear in mind to prebook the seats you requested you must book early, more than likely months in advance, cause window & aisle seats go like hotcakes.

If you can't get the seat you want when booking they often tell you to ask when checking in for the flight but its a slim chance & I wouldn't bet anything on getting it at the stage unless you're extremely lucky.

Emirates I know nought about, sorry. :(

the get EasyBaby to Australia fund is going slower than expected but it looks like i can buy one beer on board at least!!
Has the lovely captain started the balls rolling, it occurs to me it's just the advice he'd give to you on how to spend your few bob? LOL ;)

Have a lovely & safe trip whatever your decision & enjoy Oz you lucky thing. :D

Wannabe Flyboy
24th Aug 2004, 21:09
I can't speak for EK but with BA a limited number of seats are available for pre-assignment on all long haul flights.

If you are an exec club member you can check-in online 24 hours before you go where almost all seats are released. Otherwise you can register with BA and do it 12 hours before.

Final 3 Greens
25th Aug 2004, 06:51
looks like i can buy one beer on board! Make sure that you have the right change ;)

25th Aug 2004, 15:44
I know a lot more about BA than EK, but what I know about EK is very shortly stated: No seat pre-allocations in economy (or at least in discount economy). At least that was my experience in November 2002.

On BA, about 30% of the economy cabin is available for pre-allocation. This is done in bands across the cabin, rather than by numerical count. (For example, all of rows 25, 26, 27 and 28, including the dud middle seats.)

Once those seats are gone, they're gone - and the rest of the cabin is then only normally available for pre-allocation at check-in. The exceptions are for higher tier frequent flyers (BA and other oneworld) whose requests can be sent to the seating department who can override and pre-allocate anything else in the cabin.

If you can't get a pre-allocated seat to your liking, ask res to put a request into your booking for what you'd prefer. You never know if anyone's ever going to read it or action it, but it can't hurt.

If you're a BA Executive Club member (of whatever tier) you can log in to the BA website and check-in at -24 hours. Anyone else can register on the BA website and check-in at -12 hours.

If you're not already a BAEC member, you can now join only if you have flown on, or have a current booking for, a premium class ticket (I think World Traveller Plus counts as premium for these purposes) or a flexible economy ticket. There are said to be some obscure ways around this but I wouldn't count on it.

But online check-in is not infallible. Often you cannot change your seat even though check-in has already been opened - you simply get what you are given. On most flights, the seat change function comes live a little while later (often somewhere between -15 hours and -12 hours), but I have had flights where it hasn't come live at all.

If that doesn't work for you, go to the airport early. If you can use a self-service machine, you can see for yourself what seats are available for you to move to, if you don't like what you first get. Although the entire flight might still be locked up, at least you know the machine isn't being "creative" in what it tells you about what's available and what's not.