Yesterday British Airways introduced a new option to hold a revenue ticket for up to 72 hours for a fee. Through this program, you can lock in the price of a ticket for up to 72 hours. If the price goes up you get the “locked in” rate, while if the price goes down you can of course book it instead.
- £5/$5/€5 per person for shorthaul flights
- £10/$10/€10 per person for longhaul flights
That’s a favorable exchange rate.
There are, however, a list of excluded destinations:
There are a few other interesting rules associates with this:
- You can only use this feature at least 21 days before departure (generally prices will change most within 21 days of departure, when this would be most useful)
- It’s only valid for travel on British Airways and Iberia, as you’d expect
- While you can’t change the dates, journey, or passenger mix during the hold period, you can change passenger names, which is surprising
- This is not available on Avios bookings, so this applies for revenue bookings only
- The fee to hold the ticket is refunded if you issue the ticket
British Airways will continue to offer a refund within 24 hours for flights purchased from the United States, so that’s not changing:
In case of the flights purchased from the United States of America, provided that travel is more than one week from the date of payment of the Payment to Confirm Held Booking, the Payment to Confirm Held Booking and the Hold Booking Fee will be refunded in full if you elect to cancel your confirmed booking within 24 hours of the time you make the Payment to Confirm Held Booking and inform BA of this fact within the same 24 hour period. You can inform BA by calling 800-AIRWAYS.
While British Airways loves nickel-and-diming (after all, they charge for advance seat assignments in business class), in this case I actually think it’s a useful new option. If you’re interested, the option should automatically appear when you search for an eligible bookings.
In most cases I think this probably isn’t worth it, since prices don’t ordinarily fluctuate that much more than 21 days in advance. That being said, I see this being especially useful if you’re trying to coordinate travel with others, since it can be a pain trying to lock in separate tickets. So this is a small price to pay for “insurance” during that process, in my opinion.
What do you think of the price for British Airways’ new 72 hour hold option, and would you use it?