August 8, 2022

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British Airways suspends Heathrow short-haul ticket sales

2 min read

British Airways has suspended ticket sales on short-haul flights from Heathrow until 8 August after the London airport’s decision to cap capacity and tackle widespread disruption and cancellations.

The airline said the sales suspension on domestic and European destinations was designed to allow existing customers to rebook flights when needed.

Airlines and airports across Britain and Europe have struggled to cope with the rebound in post-lockdown travel, with many failing to recruit enough staff to handle check-ins and baggage.

Heathrow, like Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, has told airlines to limit the number of tickets they sell over the summer, after it capped the number of passengers flying from the hub at 100,000 a day to limit queues, baggage delays and cancellations.

Heathrow said last week that the cap had delivered a marked improvement in punctuality and baggage handling.

“As a result of Heathrow’s request to limit new bookings, we’ve decided to take responsible action and limit the available fares on some Heathrow services to help maximise rebooking options for existing customers, given the restrictions imposed on us and the ongoing challenges facing the entire aviation industry,” BA said in a statement.

However, one industry expert argued that it was positive news for consumers because it would allow the airline to make sure that people who had confirmed bookings would still be able to fly on schedule.

Julia Lo Bue-Said – the chief executive of the industry body Advantage Travel Partnership – told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is positive news for consumers. In one respect it sounds quite counterintuitive that an airline would be reducing seats at a peak period, but absolutely it’s all about building resilience, making sure there’s less disruption,” and less risk to those who have booked.

The company earlier responded to Heathrow’s cap on passenger numbers by announcing it would cancel 10,300 flights until October, with…

Business Matters

2022-08-02 04:19:55

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