Budget airlines have taught us a thing or two about precision packing. Now traditional carriers like KLM and British Airways are giving us an incentive to travel light on their short-haul flights: lower airfares.
After trialling ‘hand baggage only’ fares on a few routes last month, British Airways has decided to extend the discounted tickets to all its short-haul flights from Gatwick, for travel from April 2.
The airline says the new fares offer customers “more freedom to choose the kind of flying they want”, with ticket prices staying the same for those travelling with checked bags.
“All British Airways’ short-haul customers will continue to receive free seat allocation within 24 hours of departure, priority boarding for families, complimentary food and drink, high levels of customer service and a frequent flyer programme that rewards them with Avios and tier points,” an airline spokesperson said.
BA’s hand luggage limit is one case measuring no more than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm, plus a handbag or laptop bag.
An airfare search on ba.com shows that those willing to forfeit their 23kg baggage allowance can make small savings – as long as the ‘hand baggage only’ fare is available at the time of booking.
As an example, at the time of reporting, flights from Gatwick to Venice on 15th May are £12 cheaper (one-way) if you are just bringing a cabin bag. However on the return leg, the ‘hand baggage only’ fare is only available on certain dates.
The new fare type will also force shoppers to look for airfares on ba.com as well as price comparison sites, which just show the headline fare.
The airline says it has no plans to extend its ‘hand luggage only’ fares to flights from other UK airports.