BA Releases Basic Long Haul Fares – But How Cheap Are They Really?

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I wrote yesterday about the astonishingly low fares that BA is offering from Luxembourg to London – starting at less than £10 one way. It may have been a little too much to hope for that the new Basic long haul fares would be similarly priced, but we can always dream!

What are BA Basic long haul fares?

In BA’s own words:

  • New lower ‘Basic’ fare gives greater choice to customers who don’t want to check in a bag, or select a seat, to receive a lower fare.

  • Customers can expect same great quality from British Airways with its generous two-item hand luggage allowance, allocated seating, food and drink on board, in-flight entertainment, blankets and headphones, all included in the fare.

I’m broadly sceptical about BA succeeding long term in a ‘race to the bottom’ on long haul routes (their cost base is simply too high to compete purely on price with low cost carriers), but I actually like the sound of this new option. On the face of it, this provides more choice, but doesn’t devalue the onboard experience.

I hardly ever travel with checked luggage though and might therefore be biased, so it would be interesting to hear what you think in the comments.

British Airways’ new long haul Basic fare is now on sale on flights from London to 10 destinations. The real question though, is what are the fares like?

Good deal?

The press release (unhelpfully) lists some eye-catching prices – it turns out that those are one way, but only available if you book a return… Anyway, here’s the real ‘starting from’ return fares:

  • Dubai: £286
  • Boston: £350
  • Oakland: £370
  • Denver: £382
  • Delhi: £420
  • Hong Kong: £456
  • Singapore: £460
  • Philadelphia:£468
  • Punta Cana: £480
  • Austin: £492

As you can, they’re quite good, but they’re certainly not amazing – particularly when you consider that this is the ‘starting from’ fares. Presumably, fares will actually be higher quite a lot of the time.

Adam Daniels, British Airways’ chief commercial officer, said:

“We know that when our customers travel with us their needs vary from trip to trip – some will be flying on business, some for leisure, some will be on short hops, others will be longer stays. We need to ensure that the fares we provide reflect those differing needs so customers can select the best option for them on that occasion.”

Silver and Gold Executive Club Members can continue to select their seat at time of booking and Bronze Members can select their seat seven days in advance as they do now.

Bottom line

I sometimes give BA a bit of a hard time, but this actually seems like the sort of ‘unbundling’ of fares that I can understand and appreciate. It’s certainly a different approach compared to the ideas that were being tossed around last year, like cutting all complimentary food and drink on long haul flights in Economy.

What do you think of the Basic long haul fares? – Slippery slope or nice option to have?

Comments

  1. David C King says

    Could not agree more with previous sentiment about life being too short to fly BA. From stingy seat pitch to barely there service to a user unfriendly website, this, at best, Basically Average airline is seriously poor value for money.

  2. Winnie says

    i’m flying with BA on friday LHR – HKG for a similar price quoted above, and have 2 luggage allowances per person (not that me or my partner is planning to check in any luggages!) so i’m not sure what the benefits are on this “basic-long-haul fares”

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