Has BA done away with exit row seats for Golds?

BA’s equivalent of oneworld Emerald is BA Gold. There are variations above this, but it is generally seen as the top tier for most benefits. Important amongst these is advance seat selection, including exit rows.

The BA web site describes the benefit thus:

Free seat selection at the time of booking for everyone in your travel party, whatever cabin you’re travelling in (except on hand baggage only fares). This even includes family or friends on other bookings as long as they’re travelling in the same cabin and on the same flight

However, today seems to mark an unannounced change whereby exit row seats can no longer be selected by Golds in advance. There are some suggestions that there will be an option 72 hours before departure, but I haven’t seen that yet as my flights are some weeks away.

My example is from a flight to Berlin in late March where the Club Europe section extends to the exit row on the A321. As you can see below from Expert Flyer, the exit row seats are blocked, not booked:

BA flight plan

The BA web site seat plan shows this:

BA seat plan

This is when I am logged in as a BA Gold Guest List member. Compare Row 1, where 1D is available to me on the BA site, against on Expertflyer where it is blocked. In theory the other blocked seats in Rows 8 and 9 should be available to me.

Unless BA has made a change!

People are speculating that with the awful legroom on BA now, people are picking EuroTraveller exit rows rather than Club Europe and they could be right. The next few days will reveal whether access to these exit rows suddenly become available but chargeable.


  1. What is your undisclosed source seeing you claim ‘people are speculating ‘?

    Wouldn’t happen to be Flyertalk of course…. Thread has been there for nearly 24 hours and matches closely the comments in your article.

  2. I’m interested to see how this pans out but have you considered the obvious at this stage of a Club Europe flight?
    An A319/A320 configuration would usually only give a Club Europe configuration to row 7 or 8 which prevents upset if you do book the exit now and lose it if this flight doesn’t go on an A321.
    What happens if you check the Euro Traveler availability and seek map? You may find it starts it’s row numbering at the first available Row behind the exit .

  3. (Please be so kind as to edit my above post, I was on Iphone dictate and didn’t spot the auto word edit … thanks !)

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