British Airways is shaking up European fares from its London Gatwick hub, with new "no bag" tickets on sale now for flights from 26 February.
The airline insists the basic luggage-inclusive ticket price will remain the same under the new regime, with passengers seeing new "hand baggage only" fares at a discount of between A$12-26, depending on route.
That's a bit of a saving for business travellers who don't check a bag, and theoretically cost-neutral for anyone who knows they need to bring more than the carry-on allowance (assuming that fares don't rise). That said, there will be a higher charge to add a bag if your plans change after booking, so check those terms and conditions carefully.
And don't think that your BA, Qantas, or other oneworld frequent flyer card — even at Qantas Platinum or oneworld Emerald level — will let you check luggage if you buy a "hand baggage only" fare. You're not entitled to any free bags with that type of ticket, even if you're the most frequent of flyers.
On the plus side, it's pretty clear what you get for your fare. No bait and switch tactics on BA's website when booking:
Five routes — Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Jersey, Tunis and Turin — will kick off the "no bags" trend, with the airline widely tipped to push it out to all Gatwick services.
The bag fee is unlikely to push travellers to buy BA's Club Europe "middle seat free economy" business class — but check out our insider secret guide to getting Eurobusiness when you pay for regular economy!
An all-Gatwick rollout would cover much of BA's European network, since Gatwick is popular with business travellers not connecting from elsewhere — and often significantly better value than flying from Heathrow.
But with the new fare structure combined with smaller Gatwick's business traveller friendly benefits — spacious new British Airways check-in areas, fast-track security and spruced up business lounges — BA is sending mixed messages about its secondary hub to frequent flyers.
Gatwick flights usually work out significantly cheaper than its larger airport sibling (for example: a one-way flight from Gatwick to Amsterdam in a fortnight's time was four times more expensive if departing from Heathrow) so frequent flyers won't usually pay up for a flight from LHR.
But the airline's most valuable passengers can't help but feel nickel-and-dimed by fees like this.
For the latest information business travellers and frequent flyers need, follow @AusBT on Twitter.