One of the more curious aspects of travel is the same day flight change. You finish your business meetings early or are just eager to go home so you get to the airport early and cool your heels for a few hours until departure time.
Changing your flight is not an option as it usually attracts two fees. One is the fare difference which, let’s face it, close to travel day is usually rather high. The other is the administration fee you’re slugged for the audacity of wanting to make a change.
Flying Low Cost? Forget It!
Carriers such as Ryanair are a double edged sword. They are nice and cheap however if you need to change your booking, you’d better be ready to be slugged for a wad of cash.
Any changes to their tickets usually attract a fee so high that it’s actually cheaper to buy an entirely new ticket. I get it, that’s the model and it makes sense. I still miss the occasional money lost to them though!
Same Day Flight Change At British Airways
British Airways have economy class fares in Europe that are quite competitive. It’s not a €30 ticket with Ryanair but it is usually only a bit more.
The rather huge benefit that is not touted very much is the ability to change your flight for free on the day of travel. Yes, you heard me correctly, for free!
Free in the actual sense of the word – not “free (apart from the change fee)” or “free (but you have to pay the fare difference)” – literally free.
This is only handy when flying on a route where there are multiple flights per day so you can switch and change at your convenience. The only caveat is that you must be on a Plus fare which includes a bag or above.
To have the ability to do a flight change on the day of travel for no cost whatsoever is a real point of differentiation between British Airways and its low cost competitors. It permits a degree of flexibility if you need to leave earlier or later.
Have you taken advantage of this ability with British Airways or another airline? What do you think? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Today I tried to change my flight for an earlier one leaving 2 h before. They asked me for 285swiss francs!!!!!!!!! I didn’t take of course…
I asked why, they told me that the change is free of charge if you do it to a flight with less passangers. Since my original flight was quiet empty and the earlier one was more crowded, they wanted to keep the demand. So I am getting bored in the airport right now and writing posts around…
You must not have had a Plus fare though, as it is free with a Plus fare. Perhaps you had a Basic fare? I think the reason you were provided was incorrect. It shouldn’t matter about the demand on the flight, since it is about to depart in a short period of time and I can’t imagine there would be a sudden rush at the terminal to make a new booking and get on board. Thanks for telling me about it though, it’s interesting to hear your experience!
I’ve been trying to change my flight since yesterday when I realised I had booked the wrong time, flying Newcastle to Heathrow 9.35am tomorrow morning, I need to change to 7.35pm. They wanted £267 yesterday and today and there was no mention of me changing on the day but according to this info and what I have read online this evening against my booking I should be able to do this. Any advice flight detective?
I’m glad you got sorted after our discussion and nice to know it works by doing it in Manage My Booking. Have a good flight!
Hi. Are you sure that we will be able to change it on the day of departure via the Manage My Booking? Or it can only be done via phone call?
The lady above contacted me on Facebook and I advised her to wait until midnight UK time and try it on Manage My Booking then. She reported that it worked perfectly at that time. Therefore, you will not need to make a phone call – after midnight British time, go to Manage My Booking and the same day flight change for free should work for you just fine. Please write and let me know how it goes! Good luck!
As long as the flight you want to book is not fuller than the original one… For me it didn’t work, either online nor at the airport.
This should make no difference though, as I said to your other post above.
My partner tried to do this yesterday at the airport. They could only offer the change at £600+ (fare and tax diff plus fee) even though economy was available. Economy was still available to purchase online but the lady at the desk advised, although they were selling online, it was oversell and the passengers would be moved onto a later flight.
He had the correct fare (economy plus). Is this rule old, perhaps?
*also called BA from airport, they said the same. £600+
What was the route that your partner tried this on? It sounds like it was a long haul route. The same day flight change for free is only available on European flights, when flying EuroTraveller on a Plus or Plus Flex fare. It does not apply to the long haul cabin World Traveller Plus for example. Let me know where the flight was from/to if you can. Thank you!
If id need to change my flight lets say by two weeks, would that be possible? what is the standard “fee”, understood that the fare difference will have to be paid as well. but what s the initial fee cost?
If you do it online, all you pay is the fare difference, according to here – https://www.britishairways.com/travel/service-fees/public/en_gb
Calling British Airways to do it will attract a £30 fee to make the change. Good luck!
It’s been useful for me in the past. The only annoying thing is that you can’t change from one London airport to another, reducing the usefulness somewhat. Still, worth the extra £30 or so.
Yes, I saw that easyJet lets you switch airports in places with multiple airports. Though I suppose most people wouldn’t really need to do that. Agree that it’s worth it though!
Easyjet let’s you go earlier and has done for a long time – BA playing catch up somewhat! Now only free for easyjet plus card holders or around £20 otherwise
Yes, it’s £22 for easyJet passengers or “free” for people who paid for an easyJet plus card. Good to know, though it’s not free like with British Airways. Thanks for letting me know!
This must be a new thing because a couple of years ago when I wanted to get an earlier flight from LHR to DUB they want to charge over 100 pounds. I said no thanks to that.
Yes, it was different in the past. I wouldn’t have paid the £100 either!