So I found a flight on skyscanner for British Airways that I've been eyeing for quite a while. However, it is a basic economy ticket which means that it doesn't come with a checked bag and seat selection included in the price. I was wondering if I could purchase the ticket off of the third party site, put in the code and selection into British Airways' site, and add on a bag and seat selection onto it for my trip for an extra fee? I wanted to do this since I've been searching for the ticket for awhile on British Airways' site but they seem to not have it, or it's very expensive.

I figure that adding on the baggage fees and seat selection will equate to just me paying the same price as a main cabin ticket, which comes with one free checked bag and seat selection.

Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    Check the conditions on the 3rd party site carefully. Adding a bag will probably involve changing the fare class, and the cheap seat may specifically prohibit changes, or allow them only for an exorbitant fee, over and above whatever the fare difference might be.
    – user90371
    Jul 15, 2019 at 5:22
  • 1
    Also BA may simply redirect you back to the agent for any modifications, as they may "own" you as a customer.
    – user29788
    Jul 15, 2019 at 5:56
  • I think the whole purpose of basic economy is to charge you for extras. I'd be very surprised if they refuse to do that.
    – ugoren
    Jul 15, 2019 at 20:54
  • @ugoren It depends on the airline somewhat. Sometimes basic economy fares simply don't include something at any price (the price is you buy a more expensive fare in the first place), such as United and carry-on luggage. British Airways does allow seat selection for a fee with basic fares, but other airlines do not and simply expect you to purchase a different fare if you want it. Jul 16, 2019 at 2:33
  • Are you sure the flight is not available at that price on the BA site? If that is the case, the booking engine may actually have bought the seats from BA, acting like a tour operator, which may affect what you can do yourself afterwards (the seats maybe considered part of a group booking). But in most cases you really get exactly the same fares via both channels (there may be a minor different in booking fees or whatever they decide to call it that day).
    – jcaron
    Jul 16, 2019 at 12:07

2 Answers 2


I have done that many times, with many airlines (although not with BA), and it was never an issue.

Generally, if you have a valid ticket, the airline gladly sells you additional luggage allowance, that cost you between 30 and 120 $ per leg, rarely more.
You can also simply show up with luggage, and pay at the check-in counter, but many airlines take a higher price for that.

Note though that I found never a third party booking that was cheaper than a direct booking with the airline. Typically, they only seem cheaper, until you try to checkout, and they add funny fees or taxes.


How long is a piece of string?

This will depend on the fare class of the ticket and the booking site and even the same booking site might have different rules for the same flight on different dates due to the fare class they can source from the airline at that time.

As a general rule of thumb ( there are exceptions ) trying to “fool the system” is never a good idea and will eventually bite you in the behind.

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