Travelers at the airport have complained about the wait times and “total mayhem”; after that, Heathrow directed airlines to cancel 30 flights from Thursday’s schedule.
The biggest airport in the UK asked airlines to cut back on flights because it could not handle the anticipated rise in passenger flow. However, before arriving at the airport, some passengers were not informed that their flights had been canceled. According to Heathrow, the cancellations were necessary for safety.
According to Mr. Mossack, who was supposed to leave for Geneva at 8:25 AM, he learned of the cancellation by email at 6 AM but was unaware of it until he arrived at the airport. Andrew Douglas, a passenger, claimed that his trip was abruptly canceled after he waited in line for four hours, per PA. Several travelers complained about poor customer service and a lack of help while attempting to rebook their tickets.
British Airways, one of the affected airlines, issued the following statement in response to Heathrow’s order for all airlines to modify their itineraries: “We’ve made a limited number of cancellations as a result of Heathrow’s requirement.” In order to “express its apologies, educate them of their legal rights as customers, and present them with alternative options, including a refund or rebooking,” the airline claims to have contacted the affected passengers.
According to Virgin Atlantic, one of their Heathrow to New York return flights has been canceled in each direction. Other airlines reportedly affected include Air France, KLM, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, Brussels Airlines, and Air Canada.
The government is advising the industry to run “realistic” summer schedules and inform consumers of any flight alterations as “early as feasible” in order to reduce the annoyance.
One of the 22 options revealed by the Department for Transport on Thursday would give airlines a limited window of time to return plane parking spaces for the rest of the summer. The goal of this is to help the busiest airports manage capacity.
Due to technical issues involving baggage, Heathrow cancellations earlier this month had an impact on about 5,000 people. Prior to it, thousands of travelers experienced trouble at UK airports and flight disruptions throughout the week of the Platinum Jubilee and half-term holidays.
A number of factors caused the disruption, but the aviation industry has struggled to keep up with the surge in demand because of a labor shortage.
Heathrow took similar action last week, but for a different reason—the repercussions of a baggage-related technical problem. This time, the issue is staffing because it was realized that more people would use the airport the following morning than it now has room for.
However, why was the decision only made public in the late afternoon of the day before?
The airport reported seeing an increase in last-minute bookings due to cancellations or delays at other airports, which is increasing passenger demand. Today, 13% more passengers are planning to fly than there were on Thursday of the previous week.
According to Heathrow, it works closely with airlines to ensure enough airline, airport, and ground handling resources are available to handle the volume of flying aircraft.
Gatwick has previously announced that it will cut back on its flying schedule in July and August. Heathrow claims that the government has issued a one-time “amnesty” on airport slot requirements since Gatwick’s statement, despite the fact that Heathrow hasn’t taken a similar step. In an effort to make schedules more flexible, airlines are likely to use this as an excuse to cancel additional flights.