British Airways Goes No-Frills With Discounts if No Checked Bags
A British Airways worker loads a cargo container onto a flight. / British Airways
Who is British Airways anyway? It offers a lavish London-New York flight on a modified A318 for the 1%, and now BA is trying the Ryanair-like no-frills approach on short-haul flights in Europe. Identity crisis?
British Airways is extending a discount option for passengers traveling with hand-luggage only, offering the service to select routes from its Heathrow hub in a sign the carrier is embracing no-frills tactics.
Passengers on nine short-haul routes to destinations including Amsterdam, Stockholm and Barcelona stand to reap a discount of 20 pounds ($31.50) off the current lowest return fares when traveling with hand-luggage only, the carrier said in a statement today. The airline is also making the service available for select cities from the London City airport.
British Airways first announced the plan in February from London’s Gatwick airport, and the carrier said today that the model had proven “very popular” with customers. Persuading travelers to avoid baggage check-in on shorter routes emulates a push by discount airlines including Ryanair Holdings Plc, which charges passengers extra for each piece of luggage they hand in.
“If it proves as successful, we plan to roll it out across the whole short-haul network in the coming months,” said Robin Glover-Faure, British Airways’s head of short-haul.
British Airways, which is part of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, will also introduce what it called semi-flex fares between London and a selection of eight European cities that provides last-minute free booking changes and seat selection. The hand-luggage option becomes available from Sept. 24.
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