BA reinstates free seat selection for Bronze, Silver and Gold cardholders on “basic” short-haul economy fares

Bronze, Silver and Gold members of the Executive Club can now select a seat for free when buying its “basic” short-haul fares.

British Airways Short Haul Economy Cabin (Credit: British Airways)

A little over two years ago BA removed the right of its Bronze, Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders to select a seat for free when booking its “basic” (formerly known as “Hand Baggage Only”) short-haul economy fares, “Basic” is one of two types of short-haul economy fares on BA. The other is known as “Plus” which includes the option to check-in a bag for free.

The only option to select a seat at the time of booking was to pay for a seat assignment, as all other passengers are required to do, thus removing a valuable benefit of the Executive Club.

No doubt this was also to encourage Executive Club members to buy more expensive “Plus” short-haul economy fares. However, there was considerable criticism that many travellers are bound by their corporate travel policy to book the cheapest available fare. Therefore they had no option to buy “basic” fares and were not able to utilise all of the benefits of their Executive Club membership.

This benefit will be reinstated for all basic fares on short-haul flights from Wednesday 14 June 2017.

Clearly, this is good news. It at least, in part, reverses the trend of cuts by BA to its short-haul economy product. It also suggests that BA will not be following the trend of US airlines of stripping more benefits from its cheapest short-haul economy fares, such as lounge access or the ability to earn miles.

There’s more detail on the changes on ba.com

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