Last minute British Airways flights from Heathrow may not be available ‘until September’, warns travel expert

British Airways’ suspension of ticket sales for short-haul flights from Heathrow could last until “early September”, a travel expert has warned.

PC Agency chief executive Paul Charles told the Telegraph that BA’s decision will also impact how the public perceives its ability to fly at short notice.

“I think we’ll see that continue into early September,” he said. “When you combine the 30,000 flights BA has already canceled this year with the freeze on new short-haul sales, then it will have a significant impact on past perceptions that you could easily travel at short notice.”

“This is no longer the case and affects business trips and those who have to fly at short notice, for example to visit a sick relative.”

Last night British Airways announced a week-long suspension of sales of short-haul and domestic flights from the country’s busiest airport.

All ticket sales on BA’s domestic and European routes, as well as via Morocco and Cairo, have been suspended up to and including August 8th.

“Heathrow doesn’t have enough staff to do a full operation”

BA said the decision came after Heathrow asked airlines to cap new bookings after the airport imposed a limit of 100,000 departing passengers on July 12.

Heathrow has blamed a staffing crisis for the unprecedented cap, which will last until at least 9/11.

Mr Charles put the blame for the suspension squarely on Heathrow’s feet: “Heathrow is committed to limiting capacity so they can run smoother operations.”

“We are in this situation because Heathrow does not have enough staff to conduct full operations.”

“It doesn’t have enough bus drivers or tow companies to operate smoothly at peak times, so it limits airline capacity.”

“It’s illogical to see planes take off with empty seats when there’s certainly enough demand to fly.”

Due to the suspension of ticket sales, Mr Charles estimates that 10 to 15 per cent of seats on flights will be empty over the next week. Last minute British Airways flights from Heathrow may not be available ‘until September’, warns travel expert

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