Pay No Attention To That Man Booked Behind the Curtain

If you have flown intra-European routes on most any European carrier you are aware that business class on these routes is a bit of a moving target.

A given airline might designate rows 1-4 as business class pre-flight. But if more passengers than anticipated purchase business-class tickets, well that’s no problem at all. The flight crew will simply unhook the curtain that separates business and economy and move it back however many rows are necessary to accommodate the increased number of business-class passengers.

Easy peasy bulkhead squeezy.

This is precisely what happened on SwissExPat’s flight. And much to his chagrin, despite his British Airways Executive Club Gold status, he’s pretty sure he got the shaft:

2 weeks ago, I booked 2 seats in Europe Y for a flight to London and selected exit row seats when I booked (as I can as Gold). …


3 days ago, I checked my booking and saw the 2 seats A/C just behind the curtain were now freed-up and changed to these. …


Today once online check in opened, I when to check in and saw that I had been moved back a few rows to non exit row seats and the curtain was moved back 2 rows. The 2 seats immediately behind the curtain were now not available for selcetion and all teh exit rows were gone also. …


I was offered to upgrade to CE for £89 per person. …


So in summary, BA have kicked me out of my seat and then tried to re-sell it to me for £89 [times 2].


….. Nice business if you can get it !!!!!

His fellow travelers are largely unsympathetic:

Best option is to stick with the exit row, especially now that BA are introducing “enhanced” legroom in CE! ~Ian_from_HKG

I am the first person to scream and shout when my seat is moved.. however, the circumstances described, I do not see an issue. ~MartynSinclair

I have complete sympathy with the airline in this case.The risk of selecting the seat row immediately behind the curtain is always just this ie there is higher demand for CE seats so the curtain gets moved and you are reallocated. ~SimonS1

How would you feel if you purposefully booked a bulkhead seat – even if the bulkhead “wall” did only consist of a curtain – giving up an exit row for the privilege, only to discover at the gate that you had been moved to a non-exit row seat further back? Should SwissExPat’s Gold status have warranted a better option?

And what’s your strategy when booking intra-European seats? Stick with the exit-row? Risk the bulkhead and take your chances? Pay extra to be seated in “business class”?

Read the thread in its entirety: Just became a victim of BA ‘revenue enhancement’ strategy

Image: “Why the curtain?” by Lars Ploughmann. CC BY-SA 2.0.

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