Flexible options when booking flights can see costs soar to 17 times the original price, according to the consumer group Which?

It looked at the prices of standard fares and flexible fares for flights to check if paying extra for flexibility is worth it after months of travel disruption and uncertainty.

Which? said in every example it reviewed, the cost difference between a flexible ticket and a standard fare was greater than the cost of the standard fare. As such, it would seem passengers would do better to simply pay for a standard fare and make a new booking if they ended up unable to travel, rather than paying for a flexible fare.

It said many passengers could also benefit more from the flexibility provided through airlines’ “book with confidence” policies, which many carriers have introduced to allow passengers to make changes to their bookings for free due to the pandemic and resulting travel restrictions.

Which? found a significant increase between a standard and flexible fare for a British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Barcelona in February 2021. The cheapest standard flight Which? found cost £57, but the same route booked with an Economy Plus Flex fare saw the price shoot up to £966 – around 17 times the cost of the standard fare.


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