Um… has anyone on here actually looked at what the Amadeus system is doing now ? That’s the booking system used by a large proportion of airlines in Europe and a significant number around the world.
A couple of years ago they showcased functionality that allowed travel agents / booking offices to break down the cost of flying into a number of component charges. So you would see the cost of the base ticket and be able to select whether you had checked baggage, wanted an inflight meal, specified seat, etc. each of which could have a charge associated – very much like the booking engines on LoCos. The killer benefit was that you could price compare operators. The snag for full service airlines was that they would show a single cost (that of the ticket) with all other items (well almost all) showing as no cost. At first sight the agent would see that before you start specifying requirements, the full service carriers were looking expensive. Of course by the time you add in the ‘frills’ the situation may be very different.
How does this relate to the rumour on this thread ? Well, if true I’d suggest that BA might be putting a toe in the water to demonstrate what the punter can expect to pay if you strip out the bits that come as standard. Shorthaul is a tough market and there is no doubt that LoCos have made inroads. LGW provides competition with EZY being based there. I’d suggest that it could be part of a strategy to maintain or increase share on the shorthaul economy business at a time when customers in that segment are becoming increasingly price conscious.