British Airways (BA), the UK’s national carrier, is planning to extend its ‘hand baggage only’ fares to short haul flights from Heathrow and London City, media reports have said.
The ‘no frills’ fares are available for purchase now for BA flights leaving on or after September 24 from Heathrow Airport to eight short-haul destinations including Stockholm, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Rome and Rotterdam, The Telegraph reports.
The airline had already introduced the ‘no frills’ policy on some short haul flights from Gatwick Airport in February, as part of efforts to keep up with budget airline easyJet. The hand luggage-only fares were initially offered on flights from Gatwick to Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Jersey, Tunis and Turin, before it was extended to all short-haul services from the south London airport.
Meantime, Luton-based easyJet has taken a different route last week by launching an ‘inclusive fare’ that includes seat assignment and a checked- in bag in the ticket price.
According to the Daily Mail, the British Airways’ ‘no frills’ tickets are £10 cheaper than those including luggage check in charges. Fares for passengers travelling between Heathrow and Edinburgh with only hand-luggage will be as low as £37. Similar discounted tickets are also available on sale for flights from London City Airport to Amsterdam, Stockholm, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
All the new hand luggage-only fares will reportedly cost less than the previous lowest return fares for the same flights.
Robin Glover-Faure, British Airways’ head of short-haul, said: ‘The hand baggage-only fare at Gatwick has proved very popular with our customers so we’re now introducing it on a selected number of short-haul routes from Heathrow and London City.
‘If it proves as successful, we plan to roll it out across the whole short-haul network in the coming months.’
British Airways also launched a new ‘semi-flex’ ticket, which allows passengers to change their ticket on the day of departure for no extra fee. The ‘semi-flex’ fare will be available on flights between Heathrow and Amsterdam, Stockholm, Barcelona, Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Rome, Rotterdam, Glasgow and Edinburgh.