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New study finds BA can be cheaper than low-cost rivals

New study finds BA can be cheaper than low-cost rivals

British Airways was found to be cheaper than low-cost airlines in a new study.

Researchers conducted a price analysis for the cheapest return flights from London airports to Malaga, Athens, and Naples booked in December 2023 for travel on weekends this month with a variety of airlines and found those that boast about low prices weren't always the cheapest once extra costs were added to headline fares.

The study included the price of taking a cabin bag as hand luggage and for Ryanair and Wizz Air, the cost of seat selection was added as a previous survey found they were the least likely to seat companions together.

As a result, the results found the two airlines failed to return the lowest price on any occaison when the costs of the cabin bag and seat selection - included as standard with both BA and Jet2 - were taken into account.

British Airways' Naples flights came in at £120, lower than the £126 for EastJet, £132 with Ryanair, £185 from Wizz Air and £198 with Jet2.

EasyJet beat BA into second place for the Malaga trip, but British Airways was most expensive for Athens.

Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “It’s easy to assume that budget airlines like Ryanair and Wizz Air are always the cheapest option.

“But if you want to sit next to your kids or take more than a few items of clothes with you, then you’ll increasingly find better prices elsewhere.

“Next time you’re booking a flight, look beyond the headline fare and factor in the cost of extras you need, before you book.”

Ryanair slammed the findings.

A spokesperson said: “This is more fake news from Which?.

“Ryanair has the lowest fares of any airline in Europe and additional ancillary products, such as extra luggage, are entirely optional for customers.”

Wizz Air - whose cabin bag fee also includes priority boarding - said their "average price" for cabin baggage is "much lower" than that found by Which?.

The representative added: “As an ultra-low cost carrier, we allow passengers to choose which services they wish to purchase so that we can offer the most affordable travel opportunities.

“Optional add-ons are not required to fly, and we believe that customers should be offered the choice and flexibility to choose the right products for them.”

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