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British Airways extends ‘hand baggage only’ fares to all short-haul fare classes

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The ‘hand baggage only’ experiment is clearly working.  This was initially trialled at Gatwick, offering a £10 discount each-way on non-flexible economy tickets to a handful of destinations.

Over the course of the last year British Airways has gradually been extending its coverage.  From July 17th, it is now available on ALL short haul departures in ALL fare classes:


From Heathrow and City airports, you can now save £10 each-way on semi-flexible and flexible tickets in the following fare buckets – L, M, K, H, B, Y.

From Gatwick, you can now save £10 in B and Y  – it was already available in the lower classes.

These tickets are only available for point-to-point trips and will not be offered if you are connecting to another flight.

Whilst this does simplify the BA ticketing structure, I’m not entirely sure it makes financial sense.  Business travellers on flexible tickets are unlikely to be price sensitive to the tune of £10.  It will also require a lot of telephone calls back and forth between corporate travel agencies, PAs and travellers over whether the passenger intends to take any checked luggage or not.

For clarity, a British Airways Silver or Gold member CANNOT buy a ‘hand baggage only’ fare and then try to check in a bag for free on the basis of their BA status.  You are effectively required to give up your right to an additional free checked bag in return for buying one of these tickets.

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Comments (24)

  • idrive says:

    does buying the cheap hand luggage only fare allow to pay for the luggage at a later time and benefit of MarcoPolo 2x luggage benefit?

    by the way, thanks to this fare i booked 4 flights that saving lots of money. I usually need the bag on the return flight, not on the outbound.

  • squills says:

    Just been checking ‘our’ route back from our place in Europe next year – I still need to book the return flight. Actually the hand luggage only discount is £20 and with 5 of us that makes a somewhat appealing £100! Fare’s only £50 if I buy now – so definitely competitive with the discounters.

    Trouble is, we’re going from Gatwick and this return is to Heathrow. If I park the car at Heathrow on the way out, how easy is it to get to Gatwick by public transport?

    • windowseat says:

      It’s not especially easy, no direct rail link – coach service probably the quickest but depends on time of day and traffic. Main problem is that the hand luggage discount will be eaten up and probably exceeded once you add in the cost of parking at Heathrow and then buying ticket from Gatwick

      • Aeronaut says:

        The National Express coach between Heathrow and Gatwick costs £25 for an adult, £12.50 for a child – there are no special advance purchase deals on this route either.

  • Juha says:

    Recently I booked HBO, and then upgraded to Club Europe on MMB; the upgraded fare then showed as including checked bags. I would assume that this is no longer possible but would be interesting to get confirmation once somebody tries the same trick again now that the new fare options have come in.