British Airways to offer budget-style baggage option

Taking a lead from budget airline experts Ryanair and easyjet, UK-based carrier, British Airways, is to offer passengers on certain flights the option of paying less for a ticket by not checking baggage into the airplane’s hold.

BA is to trial the new service on five routes to European destinations from Gatwick. The short-haul flights will be those to Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Jersey, Tunis and Turin, routes that the airline says are flown by a large percentage of passengers that are only making short visits and who therefore have less need to take a large amount of baggage. If the initial results are promising, the company intends to make the option available across all of its Gatwick short-haul flights.

Discounts for not checking in baggage will range between £9 and £15 depending on the destination, according to BA. The carrier was keen to point out that this is a cost saving for not checking in baggage, and not a price increase for those passengers that do still use the baggage check in service. It was also keen to point out that this was the only change to the standard services on the affected flights.

A spokesman for BA was quoted in reports, saying, ‘All passengers still get features like on-board drinks, seat allocation and priority boarding for families. We are trying to give more choice on those routes where there is demand for just hand luggage’.

According to BA, its own booking website will show the standard and discounted fares alongside one another, with a clear indication that the cheaper option does not include check-in baggage.