British Airways offers free companion fare

Fly on British Airways between now and January 29, 2010 and you could earn a free companion fare for your next flight.

To get the free ticket, you need to sign up for the Executive Club (which is free) and take a round-trip flight to any one of the 300 destinations to which the airline flies. Then, book another ticket January 4 to July 30, 2010 for travel January 11 to December 15, 2010. You’ll pay full price for your ticket but just taxes and fees for a friend.

Don’t count on sitting next to your companion though, at least, not unless you’re willing to pay up. British Airways now charges passengers $30 to $90 to choose their seats 24 hours before departure. After that, they get free pick of what’s left, which means they may not be able to sit with their traveling companions.

The airline has also reduced baggage allowances and instituted more fees. The charge for the first additional bag is $50 to European and UK destinations and $60 for other international locations. At those prices, the companion fare isn’t exactly “free”.

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