Nutmeg Avios

BA changes its baggage rules – effective today, no notice given!

British Airways changed its baggage policy last night with literally no notice.  Even the travel trade was not informed until yesterday.

For all BA bookings made from today, the Most Generous Allowance luggage policy no longer exists.

The Most Generous Allowance policy allowed you to retain the biggest luggage allowance from any flight on your itinerary and have it apply to all flights.

The most common use of this would be if you flew outbound in one class and inbound in another.  Fly out in Euro Traveller but back in Club Europe and, as long as the entire flight was on the same ticket, you got the higher Club Europe baggage allowance for both legs.  No longer.  You will now have to pay for extra baggage on the Euro Traveller leg.

This does NOT apply to tickets with a connection on the inbound or outbound.   If you are flying domestically from Manchester to Heathrow and then onwards in Club World, you still get the Club World baggage allowance on the domestic flight.

Except …. this no longer applies if you have a stopover of more than 24 hours.   Fly from Manchester to London on Monday, with your onward flight in Club World on Wednesday, and you do NOT get a higher baggage allowance on the Manchester to London flight.  You will need to pay.

Here are two example from BA’s own travel trade site:

Gatwick to Barbados – outbound in World Traveller, returning in Club World

Previously:  2 x 32kg allowance on both flights

From today:  1 x 23kg allowance outbound, 2 x 32kg allowance inbound

Edinburgh to Barbados, with the domestic leg to Gatwick in Euro Traveller and a Club World onward flight and a stopover in London

Previously: 2 x 32kg allowance on all flights

From today:  1 x 23kg allowance on Edinbugh – Gatwick, 2 x 32kg allowance on Gatwick – Barbados

For clarity, in the 2nd example it is the stopover that causes the problem.  If the passenger is connecting immediately then they keep the higher allowance on all flights.

Existing tickets booked before today are not affected.  British Airways has said that, even if such tickets are amended, they will retain the old rules.

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  1. Tord Nilson says:

    That’s incredibly annoying. I fly with skis a lot during the winter season for work and one around paying extra is paying for Club Europe the cheapest way. I guess I’ll go back to flying Swiss…

  2. Question, so if I book a hand baggage only return in ET and then proactively upgrade one of the sectors to CW, would I still be HBO on the ones sector I’m in ET?

  3. totaltool says:

    O/T sorry but could not see a “Bits” article today. Last year Virgin East Coast ran a campaign with Nectar Points where you could transfer any number of Nectar points for East Coast vouchers and then half were returned to Nectar. Am sitting on a considerable number of Nectar points and would like to do something similar. Unfortunately I did not put dates in my diary so can’t recall exact dates and I assume its a yearly occurrence(?). Can anyone else recall?

    • Genghis says:

      It was Oct last year

      It’d be great if they could wait till late Nov / early Dec for such an offer when my wife and I will have a good amount of nectar points from the life insurance deal that ran over the summer.

      • totaltool says:

        Thanks Genghis, slightly concerned as its more than a year ago so may not run again but not sure how often these run (I was new to HFP this time last year)

    • Nectar seems to be all bad news on spend these days but earnings have been good this year. I’m not too inclined to hold onto the points, redeeming at standard rates on argos 342 on toys or Sainsburys 50% toy sale which startdd today is not a bad option for anybody witn kids in the family. Saibsbury double up hopefully coming soon too.

      • would be interested to hear what readers suggest to do with 200,000 nectar points..

      • Agree. Oddly I have, without trying, picked up quite a few points this year – almost all from the regular ‘500 points for a Virgin trains booking’ offers which come along very frequently, usually when I need to head back north.

  4. Very annoying change for ski holidays as some have mentioned. Need two checked bags. I’m currently Silver so i’m OK, but once my card lapses i’ll be more likely to use Swiss who still offer free ski carriage in addition to the standard luggage allowance.

  5. I assume this does not affect luggage allowance for Silver / Gold Exec Members. If booking flights for the family, some of whom do not have up to Silver status, would they still get the same baggage allowance as the Silver / Gold Member on the booking?

  6. Sporting goods rules changed as well?

    Your ski or snowboard boots must be packed separately from your skis or snowboard – this will count as a separate item of baggage.

    If you’re travelling with your skis/snowboard in a bag and your ski/snowboard boot-bag as well as your free checked baggage allowance, you will be charged for two extra bags.

    Im sure I have previously checked my boots for free with my board

  7. Nathan J says:

    Anyone have any idea whether adding a return leg (open jaw) to an existing 2 for 1 booking would constitute an “amendment” and hence would still qualify? I have a first class outbound and was looking to retain that allowance on my WT+ or CE return but I know that changes that involve many changes, such as open jaw, generally cause a new ticket to be generated. Wasn’t sure if anyone has any thoughts? Regardless I will be calling in the next week so can report back to see what happens to my booking.

    • You keep the same ticket reference so I reckon it would count as an amendment, but who knows?

      • When the club world luggage rules changed from 3 to 2 bags in May 2016, I had booked the outbound leg of a 2-4-1 but not the return. The return journey this coming December retains the 3 bags so I expect you would be OK.

  8. kevin salt says:

    Wonder how long before the next enhancement for a charge for a ‘briefcase/handbag’ in addition to your carry on…shh don’t give BA more ideas

  9. Genghis says:

    OT. Don’t think it has been mentioned here yet but Monzo have published their new fee structure effective from Dec

    • Haven’t touched Monzo-but the statement looks like a load of “BS” to me.

    • Yep – in fairness they went with the top community option. For infrequent users (like my parents) is still a decent deal, although will need to sign them up for the current a/c option otherwise only 1 free ATM withdrawal per month.

  10. The Original Nick says:

    OT: Do you have to pay for car hire with your Amex Platinum to benefit from the car hire insurance?

  11. Does this apply to interline flights booked on the same ticket? Eg Edi-LHR in Y on BA and LHR – HKG in J with CX like when you book through Cathay website?

    • Oddly, no. Book BA domestic connecting to Cathay Business (with a stopover in London) and BA will give you Cathay’s allowance on the domestic. BA cannot, it seems, unilaterally change the way different carriers work with each other. All it can do is change what happens on trips where it operates all the flights.

  12. Antonio says:

    Also unannounced changes to musical instruments policy; guitars are no longer permitted in the cabin, and must be checked in a hard case into the hold. Found this out at First check in, yesterday.

  13. Here come the hand baggage only fares to long haul 😉