By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 02 April 2022 • 12:12
British Airways offer "deterrent" fares
The woes at British Airways continue after days of cancellations and delays in March, with the airline seemingly struggling to maintain its flight schedules as it ups fares as a derrent to booking.
Recent reports of IT issues and staffing problems brought about by attempts to reduce overheads, seem to be taking their toll.
An investigation by the Independent has found that the company is effectively struggling to maintain its regional flight schedules, with long-haul flights seemingly unaffected. Their investigation they say uncovered what appears to be blocking of bookings on short-haul flights until after Easter, effectively stopping people from booking.
Although there is no direct evidence that this is the case the investigation found that ticket prices were extortionate and way in excess of any being charged by competing airlines, in what appears to be a disincentive to book.
For example a flight from Heathrow to Manchester up to and including 17 April will cost you £415 (492 euros) while a Paris flight will cost you the same amount. Ryanir ticket prices by comparison are as low as £8 (9.50 euros) barely two percent of the cost.
In their investigation, taking into consideration higher fuel costs, they found that a flight to New York will cost you more than a Concorde flight did when they were still running. That flight would’ve got you there in half the time and included caviar and champagne.
Monarch is the last known carrier to have offered “deterrent” fares. That was back in 2017 when the airline was about to collapse, with the prices to prevent future bookings while last-ditch efforts continued to save the airline.
British Airways is clearly not in financial trouble and therefore the only suggestion can be that it has operational difficulties, and one way of dealing with that problem is to reduce the number of passengers and hence the number of flights.
Easter is traditionally a good time for airlines and with Covid-19 restrictions having been lifted in most countries one would expect to see the carriers running extra planes and at full capacity.
The airline is clearly struggling with more than 100 departures grounded on Saturday March 2nd, with passengers told their flights have been cancelled or rescheduled. However there are few options for rebooking with most forced to apply for refunds and to look elsewhere for flights.
Those passengers should be rebooked by British Airways on the first available flight on any airline, as they are required to pay compensation. Some other airlines however are known to have reduced the number of flights due to staff illnesses and therefore seats are in short supply.
As always whilst the woes at British Airways continue with sky high fares, passengers are advised to check with their airline that there flight is still on schedule before departing for the airport.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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