11 March 2014 by Alex Stewart
British Airways has launched a series of 'affordable day trip' tickets for passengers wanting to explore a popular city destination in Europe for a day and then fly back, giving them the longest away day possible without the added cost of an overnight stay.
Initially, tickets are available from London Heathrow only to Dublin (from £79), Edinburgh (from £89), Geneva (from £79), Vienna (from £99), Munich (from £99) and Rome (from £89). Although cheaper than two single fares on British Airways, the cheap flights are still not as cheap as some of their budget airline competitors.
Flights depart on Saturday and Sunday and are for people travelling with hand luggage only. Travellers have a choice of two early and two late departures. Time on the ground on each city varies, with a passenger typically able to spend about nine hours in Rome and 12 hours in Dublin, including time spent at the airports at each end.
British Airways won't confirm how many day trip tickets are available but has admitted that availability is limited and on some key weekends potential passengers won't be able to find fares at these rates. However, if the experiment proves successful, there are plans afoot to roll out the fares to other European cities in the future.
Environmentalists reacted angrily, questioning the eco-credentials of flying twice in one day given the ongoing conversations about global warming. British airways responded by pointing out that passengers could offset their carbon emissions on the British Airways website.