I flew on British Airways’ new 'low-cost' flights from Gatwick – that still go to all your favourite destinations

BRITISH Airways has launched their new subsidiary flights, just days after they restarted routes from London Gatwick’s South Terminal. 

But after the airline announced that the new routes would be a budget option, how different are they to their standard flights?

The airline previously confirmed that they would still operate underneath the British Airways name, but would be an "entirely separate entity".

While currently operating as British Airways, it will be renamed BA Euroflyer by Autumn, linking with the BA CityFlyer which already exists.

BA's Sean Doyle previously said the new subsidiary would offer " a premium service from the UK's flag carrier at competitive prices" with 35 short haul destinations on the menu. 

Tickets initially went on sale in December last year, starting from just £39 each way.

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As I joined them on one of their first flights, departing from Gatwick to Tenerife South, I quickly realised… not much had changed after all.

A British Airways spokesperson explained how the new routes were “low cost, but not no frills”.

This means that the flights will be lower cost to be competitive but the airline amenities and the service remains exactly the same, whether this is in economy or business class.

To keep costs low, it is the behind the scenes which will be affected, such as reducing landing costs, route charges, shared headquarters and other less customer-facing admin areas.

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What won’t be trimmed is anything onboard – so the BA flight experience remains exactly the same.

I took my seat in Club Europe, which is the business class option for short haul flights, as the new routes haven't gone for the full economy option to keep costs low like budget airlines EasyJet.

And nothing else felt out of the ordinary compared to previous British Airways flights – the seats weren't smaller, luggage wasn't trimmed back and the food was the same airline options as usual.

Passengers in economy were still given free water and snacks as well as free seat selection 24 hours before travelling, while Club Europe passengers were given a full meal service, as well as preflight premium check in and lounge access.

Masks were still required onboard despite them no longer being needed for flights on Spain, with crew still asking for people to put them on. 

Many of the crew had come from airlines such as Norwegian, TUI and easyJet, joining since the pandemic although many were brand new flight crew.

They appeared palpably excited to be onboard the first flight, being super friendly and making jokes as they spoke to passengers during service.

As with the rest of BA’s short haul fleet, there was no inflight entertainment or charging sockets on the A320 and magazines have yet to return, but I was prepared with a number of downloaded Netflix episodes and portable charger.

While economy passengers enjoyed complimentary snacks and water (you have to prebook and pay for hot meals, as part of their sustainability drive to reduce food waste), in Club Europe we were served butternut squash couscous, braised beef with polenta and sticky toffee pudding, all washed down with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

The flight wasn’t all smooth sailing – the WiFi was patchy at times, after we were told it can be weaker over water (of which most the flight was) and there were problems with the crew computers needed to take orders in economy.

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But by the time I’d watched a few episodes and stuffed my face, it was time to land on the sunny island of Tenerife – none the wiser that I had flown on the new subsidiary of the UK’s flag carrier.

So what’s different about the British Airways low cost, soon-to-be BA EuroFlyer? Well….nothing. You’ll just have some extra pennies to spend on Sangria when you land instead.

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