British Airways has reportedly suspended sales of short-haul flights from Heathrow for at least a week.
Thousands of flights have already been canceled this summer as the industry struggles to meet demand for air travel amid staff shortages.
The Times reported that BA suspended domestic and European flights up to and including Monday to comply with Heathrow’s cap on passenger numbers, with the airport last month announcing it would allow no more than 100,000 daily departing passengers until September 11.
The company previously responded to the cap on passenger numbers at Heathrow by announcing it would cancel 10,300 flights through October, with one million passengers affected.
Many passengers flying to and from Britain’s busiest airport have suffered severe disruption in recent months, with long security queues and baggage system failures.
The move to suspend BA short-haul flights from Heathrow will push up prices for rival companies, according to the Times.
It comes after Emirates last month refused Heathrow’s order to cancel flights to comply with the cap.
The airline accused the airport of showing “blatant disregard for consumers” by trying to force it to “deny seats to tens of thousands of travelers” through the cap.
A Heathrow spokeswoman said at the time it would be “disappointing” if “any airline wanted to put profit ahead of safe and reliable passenger travel”.
Virgin Atlantic also criticized the airport’s actions, claiming it was responsible for outages adding to the chaos.
The airlines were accused on July 21 of “harmful practices” in the treatment of passengers affected by disruptions.
The Competition and Markets Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority have issued a joint letter to airlines expressing concern that “consumers could suffer significant harm if airlines fail to meet their obligations”.
The letter states: “We are concerned that some airlines may not be doing everything possible to avoid engaging in one or more harmful practices.”
These include selling more tickets for flights “than they can reasonably expect to deliver”, not always “full fulfillment of commitments”, offering flights on alternative airlines to passengers affected by cancellations, and failing to give consumers “sufficient clarity.” and to inform in advance of their rights”.
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/british-airways-suspends-ticket-sales-for-short-haul-flights-from-heathrow-41883582.html British Airways ‘suspends ticket sales for short-haul flights from Heathrow’