British Airways will allow ba.com users to hold bookings for up to 72 hours without booking for a fee.
The fee will allow passengers of British Airways and its partner Iberia up to 72 hours of breathing space before deciding whether or not to go ahead to pay for a flight. If the passenger decides to buy the flight, the fee is refunded.
The fee for each ticket costs £5 for a short-haul flight, rising to £10 for a long-haul flight.
The hold option can only be used up to 21 days before departure and only one person’s name is needed to hold the seats regardless of group size. The names of the rest of the party can be added when the sale is completed.
There are also some destinations to which flights cannot be held “because of complex fluctuating tax calculations”. These include Antigua, Barbados, Punta Cana, St Kitts, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Monrovia, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Lagos, Freetown and Abuja. Other destinations for which flights cannot be held at the moment but will soon be added to the scheme are: Israel, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
BA chief commercial officer Drew Crawley said: “There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a great flight price but not being able to book straight away because you may need to get time off work or check it’s ok with family or friends – then finding there are no seats left or the price has changed.
“Now customers can see the price, hold their seats and be sure that is all they’ll pay up to three days later.”