easyJet dropped me a line with its revised cancellation and change policies which went into effect on Wednesday.
These policies are not all new but are worth highlighting because, in general, they are reasonable and show why more cost-conscious business travellers are moving across.
British Airways does not allow name changes on issued tickets. You would need to cancel your ticket – usually with nothing refunded on a cheap economy flight – and rebook for the current price.
easyJet will let you change the name of a passenger as long as the lead passenger name is unchanged. This will cost £45 per sector and just £15 per sector if done more than 60 days before departure. This presumably comes in handy if you’re not sure that your current partner is a ‘keeper’!
easyJet will let anyone change their flight time for £45 plus any fare difference. This is reduced to just £15 plus any fare difference if done within 60 days of departure.
British Airways also allows flight changes on payment of a £60 change fee plus any fare difference. The BA fee is per ticket whilst the easyJet fee is per flight segment, so the cost could be higher if you make the change within 60 days.
Note that if you make your change by telephone, easyJet adds on an extra £5. British Airways adds on an extra £30.
Missed flight rescue fee
This one is slightly trickier to judge. If you arrive at the airport up to two hours after your original flight departed, easyJet will put you on the next available flight for a flat fee of £80.
Whilst BA is not contractually obliged to do this, they would – in many cases – do this for nothing in my experience. If they refused, you would have a very expensive bill to pay for a ‘bought at the airport’ one-way ticket.
This last option is a very powerful one for business passengers who would otherwise buy a semi-flexible British Airways ticket. As long as the only risk was that the passenger would be delayed for a couple of hours, it makes an easyJet ticket substantially better value even if the £80 fee has to be paid.
With easyJet moving its entire Gatwick operation into the North Terminal next November, it will continue to grow in the business market. The one thing that is still not clear is whether it will start offering interlining (letting you check through a bag to your ultimate destination) – transferring from one easyJet flight to another is currently inconvenient if you have a checked bag.