BA cuts long-haul fares for hand luggage-only customers

Nyree Stewart
12 April 2018

British Airways is launching a lower ‘basic’ fare for certain long-haul flights for passengers who don’t want to select a seat and are willing to travel with hand luggage only. 

The fares start from £143 each way, based on a return fare, and are currently on sale on flights from London to Austin, Boston, Delhi, Denver, Dubai, Hong Kong, Oakland, Philadelphia, Punta Cana and Singapore, although selected travel dates will apply.

Under the ‘basic’ fare, BA says customers can expect a generous two-item hand luggage allowance, allocated seating, food and drink on board, in-flight entertainment, blankets and headphones. 

The fares are being launched in conjunction with BA’s transatlantic joint business partner airlines, American Airlines, Finnair and Iberia, and will cost up to £60 less than the standard return fare. Customers will also be allowed to use Avios points as part-payment to further cut the cost. 

Prices will start from:

·      London to Dubai - from £143, 

·      London to Boston - from £175, 

·      London to Oakland - from £185, 

·      London to Denver - from £191, 

·      London to Delhi - from £210, 

·      London to Hong Kong - from £228, 

·      London to Singapore - from £230, 

·      London to Philadelphia - from £234, 

·      London to Punta Cana - from £240 

·      London to Austin from - £246 

All prices are each way, based on a return fare.

Customers will have their seat allocated for them at check-in, or they can pay extra for seat selection. The airline says it will also continue to try to seat families together in advance of travel.

Silver and Gold Executive Club members can continue to select their seat at the time of booking and Bronze members can select their seat seven days in advance as they do now.

Travellers who do wish to check in a bag or allocate their own seats can still purchase the current standard fare or choose to add checked bags and seating before travel. 

The BA hand baggage allowance is one handbag/laptop bag (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 40 x 30 x 15cm / 16 x 12 x 6in) plus one additional cabin bag (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in). 

BA says changes to the booking can be made for a fee, plus any difference in fare, while the basic fares can be combined with other fare types - for example, an outbound basic fare and a standard fare return. 

Adam Daniels, BA’s chief commercial officer, says: “Someone travelling for a short meeting or leisure break, who isn’t planning to check in a bag and is happy for us to allocate them a seat, will appreciate the option to secure a lower fare. 

“They’ll still receive our generous hand baggage allowance, a seat allocated to them in advance, complimentary food and drink, in-flight entertainment, blankets and headphones, all at no extra cost. And those looking to make even more savings can use Avios [reward points] towards the flight too."


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