British Airways drops transatlantic prices by $6,000

Frequent SmarterTravel.com guest columnist and full-time First-Class Flyer publisher Matthew Bennett reports, "British Airways is going after the buzz created by MAXJet's new all-business class service—not by matching their super-low fares, but by matching their 'no-advance purchase' approach—and by cutting its own fares way down as well." Bennett says BA's current business-class tickets to London, Manchester, Glasgow, or Edinburgh start as low as $2,886 (or about $6,000 less than the airline's usual business-class fares).

MAXJet, for those who haven't heard, is a new single-class airline trying to bring low fares to business class. It launched in January. The airline's chairman, Gary Rogliano, explained MAXJet's philosophy to industry columnist Joe Brancatelli last month: "We're applying the low-fare model to the business cabin. The critical point is the price point. Maxjet has everything you'd expect in business class for 75 percent less."

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MAXJet currently flies the New York/London route from JFK airport. The only real drawback, as I see it, is MAXJet's arrival/departure airport in London: Stansted. Still, for a business-class seat at 75-percent off, I'd be happy to spring for the extra cab money across the Pond. I'm guessing most business travelers will be, too.

What's interesting here, long-term, is the effect the low-fare revolution may have on transatlantic flights. With more and more of the major U.S. carriers eyeing international routes as a salvation from domestic low-cost competition, something has to give eventually. My bet's on the low-cost carriers every time.

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