British Airways has agreed a partnership with rail operators to make international trips easier for holidaymakers in Wales and the South West of England.
The tie-in with First Great Western and Heathrow Express means passengers can now buy a combined ticket for rail and air travel.
Once in place travel agents will be able to book customers’ travel starting from 11 First Great Western stations including Oxford, both Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads, Bath, Penzance, Cardiff and Exeter.
Passengers will be able travel from their home stations to Paddington where they can then catch the Heathrow Express to the airport.
The move will provide additional protection for passengers in the event of disruption to rail services as BA is promising that passengers who miss their connection will be given a seat on the next available flight. They will also be entitled to overnight accommodation at Heathrow if the next flight is on the following day.
BA hopes it will be able to make the ticket option available on its website at some point in the future.
BA head of UK and Ireland sales Stephen Humphreys said: “This is a great new way for our customers living in Wales and the West Country to get on track right from the start to enjoy a terrific trip with British Airways.
“Our partnership with First Great Western and Heathrow Express will make flying more accessible and convenient for customers travelling from regions in the UK without local airports.”
Keith Greenfield, managing director of Heathrow Express, said: “This partnership removes a layer of hassle for customers and affords them extra protection against possible problems. This kind of joined-up travel is what today’s leisure and business travellers expect.”
Heathrow Express is owned by Heathrow and owns its own trains, the stations at Heathrow, and the entire below-ground section of the line between London Paddington and the airport.