News in brief:
BA now selling economy fares at Heathrow from £26
British Airways has announced a wave of price cuts for the Winter schedules. It has to be said that they are getting very aggressive on pricing.
On the BA press event earlier this year, Alex Cruz was saying that people who fly to Rome for £29 shouldn’t be getting free snacks. Which was a good point, except that BA wasn’t actually selling tickets to Rome for £29.
Perhaps we spoke too soon. They are getting there. Here are some headline prices from the Winter schedule:
Luxembourg (photo below) – £26 each-way
Palma – £28 each-way
Malaga – £30 each-way
Bilbao – £30 each-way
These are based on a return trip. You cannot actually buy a one-way ticket at this price as far as I can see. I found days with more than nine seats to Luxembourg available for £26, so they haven’t just released a token 2-3 seats per flight at these prices.
According to BA, the “bulk” of Heathrow short-haul routes now have some seats for £39 or less.
I’m worried that BA is actually pricing these too low. Any status member who books one of these and uses fast track security and the lounge will be losing BA quite a bit of money.
Luxembourg, for example, is a Terminal 3 flight and anyone using the Cathay Pacific lounge (click for review) or – from November – Qantas lounge (which any sane person would do) will be incurring a bill for BA greater than their ticket price. A £52 return ticket to Luxembourg is actually £11 of base fare and £41 of taxes and charges. These are all ‘real’ taxes and charges so BA is only getting £11 of your money.
So … BA chips away at leg room and free food and snacks in order to sell tickets to Luxembourg for £52 return. There are, however, plenty of people who need to travel to Luxembourg at short notice who will have to pay £649 return in economy – and those are the people who are most likely to be defecting to other airlines with more leg room and better refreshments. One of those passengers brings in the same revenue as 12 passengers who have paid the cheapest economy fare. This is why I worry about the BA strategy.
New hand baggage restrictions to The Maldives
Male has been added to the list of departure points where there are severe hand baggage restrictions on flights TO the UK. Outbound flights are not affected.
Here is the full BA guidance:
“You will not be able to carry laptops, tablets and larger mobile phones in your hand baggage on these flights. Only mobile phones smaller than the following dimensions will be allowed in the cabin:
- Length: 16 cm
- Width: 9.3 cm
- Depth: 1.5 cm
In addition, certain items known as peripheral devices (which can be attached to a laptop, tablet or larger mobile phone) are also subject to new security requirements. Please be aware that some peripheral devices will not be allowed on board the aircraft at all.”
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