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British Airways Expands Hand-Baggage Only Model in Discount Push

British Airways is extending a discount option for passengers traveling with hand-luggage only, offering the service to select routes from its Heathrow hub in a sign the carrier is embracing no-frills tactics.

Passengers on nine short-haul routes to destinations including Amsterdam, Stockholm and Barcelona stand to reap a discount of 20 pounds (£31.5) off the current lowest return fares when traveling with hand-luggage only, the carrier said in a statement today. The airline is also making the service available for select cities from the London City airport.

British Airways first announced the plan in February from London’s Gatwick airport, and the carrier said today that the model had proven “very popular” with customers. Persuading travelers to avoid baggage check-in on shorter routes emulates a push by discount airlines including Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA), which charges passengers extra for each piece of luggage they hand in.

“If it proves as successful, we plan to roll it out across the whole short-haul network in the coming months,” said Robin Glover-Faure, British Airways’s head of short-haul.

British Airways, which is part of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG), will also introduce what it called semi-flex fares between London and a selection of eight European cities that provides last-minute free booking changes and seat selection. The hand-luggage option becomes available from Sept. 24.

To contact the reporter on this story: Benedikt Kammel in Berlin at bkammel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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