British Airways ends free baggage allowance for cheapest long-haul tickets
- Long-haul ‘Basic’ fare includes no checked baggage allowance, with seats assigned at the airport, but saves up to £119 return
Wednesday 11 April 2018
British Airways has followed rival carriers by introducing a “Basic” fare designed to appeal to the most price-sensitive passengers. Passengers who chose the cheap ticket can carry only hand baggage, and will have no choice about where they sit on board.
BA is trialling the concept on only 10 routes: Austin, Boston, Delhi, Denver, Dubai, Hong Kong, Oakland (the budget airport for the San Francisco Bay area), Philadelphia, Punta Cana and Singapore. The majority of these are currently served from Gatwick by its long-haul, low cost rival, Norwegian.
On Norwegian, checked baggage and seat selection are always charged as added extras. Both Norwegian and BA allow two pieces of cabin baggage. But while British Airways has a weight limit of 23kg for each bag. Norwegian permits a combined weight of only 10kg.
On test bookings made by The Independent for travel in November, “Economy Basic” fares are far lower than “Economy Standard” — the existing deal which includes 23kg in checked baggage and the chance to choose a seat 24 hours before departure.
- -- Between Heathrow and Singapore in November, the Basic fare is £460 return, while Economy Standard is £112 more expensive.
-- From Heathrow to Delhi, also in November, the saving is even greater: the Basic fare of £420 is £119 less than Economy Standard.
-- To the Dominican Republic resort of Punta Cana from Gatwick, the Basic traveller pays £478, saving £98.
Adam Daniels, the airline’s chief commercial officer, said: “We know that when our customers travel with us their needs vary from trip to trip – some will be flying on business, some for leisure, some will be on short hops, others will be longer stays. We need to ensure that the fares we provide reflect those differing needs so customers can select the best option for them on that occasion. 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.”
The onboard service for Basic and Standard passengers remains the same.