Faster Flying

New: extended hand-baggage only and semi-flex fares

British Airways is introducing new semi-flex fares and hand-baggage only options across entire short-haul network of more than 90 destinations. The seats are now on sale for immediate travel on European and domestic routes to and from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City.

The semi-flex fare will give customers all the benefits of a standard fare plus free booking changes on the day of departure from the same airport to the same destination; the ability to select a seat for free two days prior to travel; and no change fee prior to the day of travel.

The semi-flex option offers customers an option between a standard ticket and a fully-flex one. It gives customers the opportunity to change their booking for free on the day of travel. For example, if a customer’s meeting runs over or finishes early, they can simply switch to a later return flight provided there are still seats available in their cabin. There will be no change or service fees and customers won't have to pay the difference between the cost of their original ticket and the price available on the day.

Those with a semi-flex fare will also be able to reserve a seat on for free two days before travel (rather than 24 hours as with a standard fare).

Customers will also be able to mix and match between the standard, semi-flex and fully- flex fare classes. For example, a customer travelling for a meeting in Edinburgh may want a standard ticket from London as they know the start time to a meeting, but a semi-flex back in case it finishes earlier than planned.

Customers choosing the hand baggage-only fare can continue to take advantage of the airline’s hand luggage allowance and carry on a good-sized case (56cm x 45cm x 25cm), plus a handbag or laptop bag.

Robin Glover-Faure, British Airways’ head of short-haul, said: “The hand-baggage only and semi-flex fares have proved popular with customers as they are able to create a booking that suits them best, either with flexibility in one or both directions, or by delivering an added discount to those who don’t want to check in a bag.

“We’re now planning to roll out both ticket types across our short-haul network so all our customers flying to Europe or within the UK will benefit from greater choice and more flexibility.”