BA and Iberia launch 72-hour hold flight option

21 Aug 2014 by BusinessTraveller

BA and Iberia have launched a new service allowing customers to hold flight reservations for up to three days before paying for them.

Users of the Business Traveller forum have been discussing the move by British Airways this week, and Iberia has confirmed that it is also participating.

The service allows passengers to hold flight reservations and prices for up to 72 hours, at a cost of £5/€5 per person for short and medium-haul flights, and £10/€10 per person for long-haul services.

Providing the flights are then purchased before the 72-hour deadline, the hold fee will be refunded.

Note that seats can only be held up to 21 days before departure, so the service will not be available for those looking to book last-minute trips.

It’s available for reservations for flights operated by BA, Iberia, Iberia Express and Air Nostrum, but not BA subsidiary British Airways Cityflyer.

And certain destinations including Buenos Aires, Cairo, Monrovia, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Lagos, Freetown, Abuja and Caribbean routes are not eligible, because of “complex fluctuating tax calculations”.

Announcing the new service Drew Crawley, BA’s chief commercial officer said:

 “There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a great flight price but not being able to book it straight away, either because you may need to get the time off work or check it’s ok with family or friends – then coming back and finding there are no seats left or the price has changed.

“Now customers can see the price, hold their seats and be sure that’s all they’ll pay, up to three days later.

“Feedback from customers means we are confident that this reassurance will prove very popular and give them the time to book the flights they want and give certainty they have a great deal.”

Last year Flybe lauched a Price Lock-down service, allowing passengers to hold tickets for up to 24 hours for a non-refundable £1.99 per person per sector (see news May 2013).

Mark Caswell

What do you think about the new service? Have your say on our forum.

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