British Airways today launched a change to its fare structure on key routes within the UK to give business travellers and holiday makers lower fares, greater flexibility and more choice.
From 5 April Saturday night stay and advance purchase restrictions will be scrapped on all domestic routes in and out of London.
New lower year round fares have been introduced with prices from £69 for a return to Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow and £79 for a return to Aberdeen. A wider choice of lower fares will be available, the earlier the booking is made.
Travellers will also be able to mix and match fare classes to get the best possible fare - for example a business traveller can combine a cheaper fixed outbound flight to Edinburgh with a flexible return, paying £199 instead of £309 saving £110.
The fare structure will be less complicated with simple trade up steps based on choice of flight, flexibility and availability, enabling customers to trade off their needs versus price.
This is the airline`s first competitive response to the no frills carriers following last month`s announcement of a major package of measures, designed to return the airline to profitability.
Tiffany Hall, British Airways Head of UK Sales and Marketing said: “Travel agents will now be in a better position to optimise their customer`s budget and offer British Airways` fares, which are competitive with the no frills carriers.
“We want to compete profitably and intelligently alongside the no frills carriers by adopting what they do well - online bookings and pricing simplicity. We will mix it with what we do well - providing a great network and frequent flights, as well as delivering world class customer service.
“The scrapping of pricing restrictions means that many of our business and leisure customers will benefit from lower domestic fares and increased flexibility as well as more frequent services between London and Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle than our competitors.
“In addition our customers have a full range of booking and check-in options, more hand baggage allowance, complimentary catering and bar service, choice of seat, Executive Club benefits and excellent customer service and service recovery.”
The new fare structure features three fare types: flexible, semi-flexible and restricted. There will be nine selling classes with varying degrees of flexibility according to price. The British Airways` direct access availability display on CRS screens will show the each way price (excluding taxes, fees and charges) for each selling class enabling travel agents to quickly offer their customers a range of flexible options without changing screens. The booking process will remain the same.