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Flying a day or two early with British Airways

London, United...
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Flying a day or two early with British Airways

I've booked a ticket from London to LA with British Airways in May but my plans have changed and i would like to fly one or two days earlier.

Is it possible to turn up at the airport two hours before the flight and ask to change my ticket to depart on that day (if they have space) without me having to pay extra?

I will be travelling alone and have one suitcase to put down.

Kent, United Kingdom
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1. Re: Flying a day or two early with British Airways

no -will be a new ticket-cost a fortune

Virginia, USA
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2. Re: Flying a day or two early with British Airways

No. You are going to pay a change fee (check your ticket as it will show the fee to change) and you will also have to pay any difference between the fare you paid and the fare on the day of the change.

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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3. Re: Flying a day or two early with British Airways

Your suitcase and how many of you there are, that's not important.

When you bought your ticket, somewhere in the small print was a change fee notice. Ours is $200 - if there's availability, we can change for $200 per person. We have had completely non-refundable tickets, as well. There are all kinds of possibilities.

But the reality of travel in 2013 is that you can't just change your tickets. Some airlines, if you have medical reason, will make exceptions (but they will probably want you to fax evidence).

People are still buying tickets for most flights at higher prices than what you paid, as last minute fares are usually really high (unless...you're going to Vegas...one way, then sometimes it's cheap, ha).

Then, there are the many people who legitimately fly stand-by (family members of airline crews, military people, etc.) They still pay, but they are waiting for those seats too (I have no idea which airlines still do this, but my brother is an airline captain and his airline still does this).

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4. Re: Flying a day or two early with British Airways

It depends what type of ticket you booked, if it was the cheapest non flexible you will have to buy another ticket.

Worthing, United...
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5. Re: Flying a day or two early with British Airways

Not a hope. You'll have to pay fare difference and as it's on the day it will be absolutely extortionate.

Detroit, MI
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for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
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6. Re: Flying a day or two early with British Airways

Call now and pay the change fee if it is that important, otherwise fly as you have booked. As noted, on the day of travel they will charge you the difference between the rate you paid (probably low) and the walk-up fee (probably sky high) plus the change fee. If you change now, you may find the flight two days earlier is the same price so you only pay the change fee.

Romford, United...
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7. Re: Flying a day or two early with British Airways

Only time something similar to this has ever happened to me was a few years ago on a return flight from Auckland to LA with QANTAS and LA-UK with BA(their partner airline at the time)

Because of date lines and the computer ticketing system at the time I realised I had a 22 hour layover for my BA flight, so I approached their desk told them it was entirely my fault and I was willing to check into a hotel until the next day but was there any possibility of getting an earlier flight?

The desk understood the situation and transferred me to a flight leaving in 2 hours free of charge

Moral of the story

If you approach them with a great deal of humility you may be able to limit the damage to your pocket

Guildford, United...
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8. Re: Flying a day or two early with British Airways

Go to manage my booking on ba.com and, if your ticket can be changed, you can ask for the change and it will tell you the additional cost. If it is too much then you don't have to make the change.

London, United...
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9. Re: Flying a day or two early with British Airways

To no 7, yes, I would guess this was a few years ago, I'm sorry. It's a whole different ball game these days,

Ticket rules apply and of course airlines fly nearly full on most flights due to reduced capacity to keep costs down, I agree with the others, you will be held to the terms of your ticket, whether they have space or they don't. If you are supposed to pay, pay you will.

Cala d'Or, Spain
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4,244 posts
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10. Re: Flying a day or two early with British Airways

If you are a good actor, try this.

Arrive at the airport two days early and go to check in. When they inform you that it's the wrong day act in disbelief and plead that you have made an almighty c*ck up with the dates.

This happened with me a few years ago on a flight from Heathrow to Edinburgh. They put me on the next plane.

Worth a go if it's that important.