British Airways has launched a new “hand baggage only” fare, initially being offered on five short-haul routes from Gatwick airport.
The fare is available for purchase from today for travel from February 26, on flights to Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Jersey, Tunis and Turin.
Fares will start from £39 one-way to Amsterdam and Turin, £45 to Jersey, £49 to Dubrovnik and £69 to Tunis. BA says that the discount compared to fares including checked luggage varies between £9 and £15 depending on the route.
Announcing the move Peter Simpson, director of Gatwick for British Airways said that the fare is “all about giving our customers more freedom to choose the kind of flying they want”.
He said that “Many British Airways customers on Gatwick short-haul breaks choose not to check in a bag as they’re already taking advantage of our generous two-bag hand luggage policy”, and stressed that those wishing to check in a bag “will simply pay the same price they do now”.
The carrier said it has redesigned its online reservations at ba.com, adding a symbol flagging up the fare throughout the booking process, and added that it plans to extend the new fare to the rest of its Gatwick short-haul network “over time”.
BA also said that the new fare has been introduced “alongside the transfer from Heathrow of five Airbus A319s for the Gatwick short-haul fleet”.
The announcement follows KLM’s decision to begin charging for checked luggage on short-haul flights from April 22 (see online news February 13).
To read Alex McWhirter’s blog on KLM’s new luggage charges, and what it could mean for the rest of the airline industry, click here.
Report by Mark Caswell