London’s Heathrow Caps Number Passengers to Ease Disruptions

London’s Heathrow Caps Number Passengers to Ease Disruptions

London’s Heathrow Airport announced it has capped the number of departing passengers each day in an effort to limit the disruptions that have plagued air travel during the busy summer travel season.

The airport will be limiting passenger traffic to just 100,000 departures per day from 12 July to 11 September 2022.

Britain’s busiest airport, like others across Europe, is struggling to cope as demand surged after the pandemic. 

Last week, staffing issues and the high number of air travellers led to British Airlines leaving hundreds of bags unattended or unloaded on their owners’ respective flights at Heathrow Airport. The airline alone has already cut about 30,000 summer flights due to understaffing.

Open Letter to Passengers

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye stated in an open letter to passengers on July 12 that “over the past few weeks, as departing passenger numbers have regularly exceeded 100,000 a day, we have started to see periods when service drops to a level that is not acceptable.”

“Some airlines have taken significant action, but others have not, and we believe that further action is needed now to ensure passengers have a safe and reliable journey,”

“We have therefore made the difficult decision to introduce a capacity cap with effect from 12 July to 11 September.”

“The latest forecasts indicate that even despite the amnesty, daily departing seats over the summer will average 104,000 – giving a daily excess of 4,000 seats. On average only about 1,500 of these 4,000 daily seats have currently been sold to passengers, and so we are asking our airline partners to stop selling summer tickets to limit the impact on passengers.”

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye

How It Will Affect Travellers

Travellers who have booked their tickets will not have to do anything as the journey will go ahead as planned unless they are contacted by their airline with information to the contrary. 

Travellers should keep an eye on their email and text alerts and check the airline's app or website before they head to the airport.

Further disruptions are definitely in the cards, and some travellers will be affected by their flights being moved to another day, another airport, or being cancelled altogether.

Passengers should be prepared to be flexible in the event they may need to change their travel plans or have their flights refunded. If travellers wish to reschedule or cancel their flight, check the airline's website for guidance.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Talk to us in the comment section below.

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