British Airways spread ‘hand baggage only’ option to more routes

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Increasing pressure from 'no-frills' budget airlines has forced British Airways to extend the cheaper ticket service that they have been experimenting with for the past month.

prepaid cardsThe iconic airline has been offering passengers the option of paying less for a ticket if they only use ‘carry on’ hand luggage on flights to Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Jersey, Tunis and Turin – and now plan to extend the service.

“The new fares have been very well received by customers and we have now decided to make the discounted prices much more widely available,” Peter Simpson, the director of Gatwick for British Airways, explained.

Passengers who do not want to check in any luggage can now take advantage of the cheaper fare prices on all 32 BA short-haul routes flying out from London’s Gatwick Airport, with the changes becoming effective immediately.

Commentators say that the move has been forced upon BA by the continued popularity of rivals such as Ryanair and EasyJet.

Nick Trend, Consumer Editor of the Daily Telegraph’s travel section said “The surprise is not so much that BA has made this move, but that it has taken so long to do so.”

The ‘no frills’ rivals’ headline prices do not include the extra costs for checked bags, with the result that the fares offered by BA look uncompetitive.

“BA says that the new fares are about giving its customers more freedom to choose the kind of flying they want, but they are also about giving British Airways the freedom to make its fares look cheaper,” Trend continued.

Peter Simpson from BA responded to the claims by saying that those who still want to check in a bag will “simply pay the same price they do now”, indicating that passengers who do use the checked luggage services will not be charged extra to make up the shortfall caused by the new cheaper fare option.

Forgoing luggage is one way to keep overall holiday costs to a minimum. An easy way to stick to your budget overseas is by taking a prepaid card, which you load up with currency before you jet off.

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