Starting April of 2018, British Airways will be offering basic economy fares for transatlantic flights. The airline company is already offering such seats on its short-haul flights across Europe. Through the move, British Airways will now compete against budget carriers offering transatlantic flights to key destinations.
The new economy fare from British Airways will not include seat selection and checked baggage at the rate. The good news is that it still includes a free meal. Low-cost airlines don’t offer meals with their economy fares. The basic economy fare also has a bigger hand baggage allowance compared to smaller airlines. British Airways allows 23 kg as hand baggage compared to 10 kg on Norwegian and other low-cost carriers.
British Airways is not the only airline that will start offering basic economy fares in 2018. American and Finnair, airlines that are part of the Oneworld alliance with BA, also announced economy fares on certain transatlantic flights. Delta and United are also expected to announce similar fares in the next couple of months.
Throughout the years, British Airways has been trying to attract budget travelers. In 2009, the airline eliminated free meals on some of its European flights to reduce costs. They also replaced water bottles with small water cups on longer flights. On some flights, they reduced the range of free drinks to cut corners.
In March of 2017, British Airways added more rows on its Airbus. To do this, the airline reduced the gap between seats by an inch. Instead of 30 inches, the gap became 29 inches. Fresh flowers in first-class toilets were also removed in order to reduce the overhead costs. These are just some of the things BA did to reduce their expenses in order to provide cheaper seats to their customers.