British Airways has launched a new long-haul 'basic' fare for customers who don't want to check in luggage or select a seat - and it will be up to 60 cheaper than standard fares.

Basic fare tickets will be available for flights from London to Austin, Boston, Delhi, Denver, Dubai, Hong Kong, Oakland, Philadelphia, Punta Cana and Singapore. The cheapest return fare - to Dubai - will cost just 143 each way, or 286 overall.

Although the basic fare tickets are now on sale, the first flight they will be available for is to Oakland on 21 August this year.

Customers who opt for the basic fare will still be given meals and allowed two pieces of hand luggage, and will also be able to use Avios points as part payment to further cut the cost.

British Airways insists this is a genuine fare cut, as opposed to putting the prices of standard tickets which include hold luggage up - but whether this remains the same in the future remains to be seen.

See our Cheap Flights guide for more tips on how to save.

Martin Lewis
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How will the fares work?

Customers who opt for a basic fare won't be able to check-in bags or select a specific seat. British Airways already offers this type of basic fare on its short-haul flights.

If you've bought a basic fare, your hand baggage allowance is one handbag or laptop bag (which can be a maximum 23kg and up to 40x30x15cm) plus one additional cabin bag (which can be a maximum 23kg and up to 56x45x25cm).

You can also combine it with other fare types, for example you can buy a basic fare outbound and a standard fare inbound.

If you are travelling as a family and all buy basic fares, BA says it will endeavour to sit you all together several days ahead of travel, although your group may be split across aisles or rows. Children under 12 will always be seated with an adult on the same booking.

How much do the basic fares cost?

The new fares will range from 143 each way between London and Dubai, to 246 each way between London and Austin.

It's worth noting that while these are the lowest price you will pay for a basic fare, airline prices can quickly rise and so always check you're getting the best deal. See our Cheap Flights guide for more information.

What does British Airways say?

British Airways said the move to offer a long-haul basic fare is about being competitve with the other long-haul operators offering cheaper flights, and it is not about increasing the cost of a standard fare.

Adam Daniels, chief commercial officer, said: "We know that when our customers travel with us their needs vary from trip to trip some will be flying on business, some for leisure, some will be on short hops, others will be longer stays. We need to ensure that the fares we provide reflect those differing needs so customers can select the best option for them on that occasion.

"Someone travelling for a short meeting or leisure break, who isn't planning to check in a bag and is happy for us to allocate them a seat, will appreciate the option to secure a lower fare.

"They'll still receive our generous hand baggage allowance, a seat allocated to them in advance, complimentary food and drink, in-flight entertainment, blankets and headphones, all at no extra cost. And those looking to make even more savings can use Avios towards the flight too."

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