The British Airways credit card fee increased yesterday from £4.50 to £5 per booking. This is the first increase since the fee was introduced in 2009 (was it really so long ago?).
Despite this, British Airways still claims that it does not recover its entire credit card costs. Arguably this is a moot point, since it is still cheaper than accepting cheque payments or running city centre ticket offices to receive cash!
Customers could use a debit card, of course, but would have no protection if BA went bust and would fail to receive the travel insurance benefits that come with most credit cards. BA would also lose business, especially for higher priced tickets, to online travel agents who do take credit cards – but also take a commission from BA.
The lucky residents of many other countries in the drop-down menu on ba.com still seem to be exempt from payment …..
At least BA has not gone down the Virgin Atlantic route with a flat charge of 1.5% whatever the total, which is a killer on long-haul bookings. The BA fee is also per booking and not per passenger.
The seat selection fee also crept up a few weeks ago without most people noticing.
The current British Airways seat selection fees can be seen in this chart:
Given the huge number of BA routes, it is impractical to list which flights fall into which band. You can make a pretty good guess, though, based on how far you are flying.
LH is long-haul, SH is short-haul, ‘Upper’ refers to the top deck of a Boeing 747.
I am stunned that there are people paying £85 EACH WAY PER PERSON to prebook seats on a long-haul flight, but clearly this is proving to be a good revenue generator for British Airways. It may be playing on the naivity of very occasional premium flyers, however, since anyone who flies more than two long-haul Club World trips per year is likely to have Silver status (and free seat selection) in any event.