BA Extends HBO Fares to LHR and LCYBack to Forum
Anonymous11 Sep 2013
News from BA on the continued roll-out of HBO (Hand Baggage Only) fares:
We are simplifying our short haul point to point fare ladder and introducing a suite of new fare types, to offer customers travelling on our UK domestic and European flights more choice and greater flexibility.
The Hand Baggage Only (HBO) fare, introduced at London Gatwick in February, will be extended to selected routes to/from London Heathrow and London City and new Semi-flex and Fully-flex fares will be introduced:
•Hand Baggage Only (HBO) – our lowest price for when customers want to travel light
•Standard – our lowest all inclusive price, with everything expected when flying with British Airways
•Semi-flex – when travel plans change last minute, our Semi-flex price gives customers the option to change flights on the day to an earlier or later flight
•Fully-flex – our fully flexible price gives complete flexibility and control to change when and where they fly
The suite of new fare types, including the HBO fare will be trialled on the following routes and are available for sale from 11 September for travel from 24 September 2013:
•London Heathrow to/from: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris CDG and Paris ORY, Rome, Rotterdam and Stockholm
•London Gatwick to/from: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Rome
•London City to/from: Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stockholm
New more flexible fare attributes mean that customers will have the option to make changes to their itinerary with no change fee and the ability to be able to make changes to their ticket on the day of travel free of charge.
Semi-flex tickets will also give customers the opportunity to select their seat free of charge two days in advance of travel and Fully-flex tickets allow customers to choose their seat free of charge at any time.
We’ve listened to customer feedback and recognise that customers sometimes want more control over their travel plans. This means giving them greater flexibility to be able to change their booking, particularly on the day of travel, or giving them a lower price when they don’t need to travel with checked baggage and they know their plans won’t change.
Our standard Euro Traveller fares will continue to be available year-round.”11 Sep 2013
Here’s the Business Traveller news story on the hand baggage only fares. A separate semi-flex ticket story will follow. As usual, it will appear on the site homepage.11 Sep 2013
Bit ironic this coincides with the introduction of new checks for short haul passengers. Extra checks to make your journey easier. Probably based on ‘customer feedback’….
“If you are travelling from London Heathrow Terminal 5 on a shorthaul flight with hand baggage only, there will be some change to process that is being rolled out over the next few months. This is part of our ongoing commitment to making the customer journey easier, to help to speed things up at the boarding gates and improve punctuality.
If you have checked in online, we now need to verify your passport / travel document before you go through security.
Your travel document can be verified at any Self service Check-in kiosk by selecting ” reprint boarding pass” or alternatively, you may go to any one of our passport and visa desks and we will verify your documents before you proceed through to security.
The changes will take effect from LHR T5 as per the attachment below.”
Sweden (Gothenburg Only)
Sweden12 Sep 2013
I doubt this will simplify an already complex range of fares and structures, especially until the difference in fares are known.
What it certainly makes me realise is that as long as avios is left untouched, it makes the European redemption scheme stronger than ever in terms of availability, cost and flexibility (if you are Gold).
What is also strange to see, is Easy Jet considering the business traveller more whilst BA trying to poach the LCC passenger. Wouldn’t it be easier for the 2 airlines to cooperate more, together……?12 Sep 2013
What are the rules in the HBO scheme if you buy a HBO fare and then find later that you want to take something in the hold?
Is this (a) impossible without buying a new ticket or (b) possible for a fee – and if the latter, does it work out the same price or more expensive than a traditional “with hold luggage” ticket would be?12 Sep 2013
You pay £20 – not a disaster.
Not sure how this leaves the fare. As a bit of a cynic in such things my thinking is that within a year the HBO fare will be where the inclusive fare previously was and the inclusive fare will have been bumped up.12 Sep 2013
When the HBO fare was introduced at LGW some months ago, there was a purge at the gate on hand baggage size. Pax were being charged at the gate….well the first few that got caught! It was taking so long to process the pax with oversize hand baggage on HBO fares and flights being delayed that gate staff were told to turn a blind eye….especially after a couple of Golds kicked up!
It will be interesting to see if the HBO fares are baggage fares minus £10, or the baggage fares go up £10. The latter I fear.12 Sep 2013
Interesting psychology here as BA are effectively charging for checking in baggage, like Easyjet or Ryanair, albeit coming from a different angle.
In other words, say Easyjet show you the fare, then add you ‘add on’ the checked baggage fee, whereas BA are showing you the ‘all in’ fare, or you can subtract the checked baggage fee.12 Sep 2013
What makes it worse is that there are no benefits for gold and silver. I would prefer a more opem policy of charging for baggage but this then being waiived for gold and silvers (i.e. like aa).12 Sep 2013
The gold and silver benefits are still there. If you go for the cheaper handbag fare you still get all the tier-points, lounge access and Avios…but at a lower fare. If you go for the baggage fare nothing changes. If you go for a long-haul connecting fare then you still get the massive 3 pieces at 32kgs each, plus two cabin bags…a possible total of 114kgs!
I use BA LGW short haul a lot. I was sceptical when the trials started some months ago. Basically nothing has changed, just a new fare level of hand bags only.12 Sep 2013
As I and most others feared, this is just a way for BA to raise their fares.
A couple of weeks ago I was checking a couple of ABZ/LHR journeys and the semi-flex fare with no baggage is £142 – the same as the lead-in fare is now. “Normal fares” are £162.14 Oct 2013