British Airways taps national pride and good headlines with Ashes promo

LONDON - British Airways is making the most of Ashes fever with a promotion that will see the airline selling tickets to Australia based on the visitors' first-innings run score.

The offer means the lower the Australians' score, the lower the fare to Australia. By contrast, a good performance from the England team will also benefit the travellers lucky enough to pick up the cheap fares -- BA will be offering the same number of tickets as England's first-innings score, which currently stands at 319-7.

At the moment, BA is offering sale-priced seats to Sydney and Melbourne starting from £649, meaning that even if Australia stages a sterling performance, travellers are in for a bargain. During the Ashes season, Australia has scored as little as 190 in an innings and a maximum of 308.

The promotional stunt comes at a time when BA needs some good publicity, following on from the Gate Gourmet debacle, which saw thousands of passengers delayed and taking flights without any hot meals.

BA commercial director Martin George said: "We have been bowled over by the interest from customers and staff alike and we want to show our support for the England team.

"We're hoping for a great match, with Australia bowled for a low score and great prices for our customers into the bargain."

Tickets will be restricted to two per customer and the bunfight for the tickets will begin as soon as both teams have finished their first innings via a dedicated phoneline.

England leads the Ashes series 2-1, with the fifth and final test being be played at The Oval. The team needs to win or draw the test to take back the trophy that Australia has held since 1989.

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