Simon Calder says 'long queues' to check-in at Heathrow Airport
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Heathrow asked airlines to remove 30 flights from schedules on Thursday morning. It said it was expecting more passengers than it could currently cope with.
Over 1,000 flights were scheduled to leave on Thursday as British tourists try to get away for a holiday.
The airport said the cancellations were necessary for safety reasons and to ensure as many passengers as possible get away.
It said that individual airlines would contact all affected passengers on Thursday.
British Airways said a “handful” of its flights were affected by the cancellations.
Virgin Atlantic, Air France, KLM, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, Brussels Airlines and Air Canada are also affected.
Heathrow made a similar decision to cancel flights earlier this month due to issues with baggage.
Technical problems with baggage handling equipment caused a mountain of baggage to build up.
The airport asked airlines to cancel flights until the problem could be resolved and some passengers had to leave without luggage.
Thousands of staff left the aviation industry during the pandemic and the sector has struggled to replace them.
At airports, a lack of security staff has caused long queues for passengers while airlines have also struggled.
Security staff can take a while to recruit due to the high level of clearance required for the positions.
Many staff who left the industry may have since found other work and don’t want to return to aviation.
British Airways passengers could face chaotic scenes at Heathrow Airport later this summer as staff are due to strike.
Some BA ground staff have voted for strike action over an ongoing pay dispute. Dates have yet to be announced but are likely to impact peak school holiday period.
Staff affected had their pay cut by 10 percent during the pandemic and would now like that reinstated.
BA has offered staff a one off 10 percent bonus which has been rejected by the unions involved.
Passengers with a cancelled flight are entitled to a new flight on their intended day of travel if one is available.
This is the case even if the only available flight is on a rival airline.
Britons could be entitled to cash compensation if their flight is cancelled with less than two weeks notice.
Compensation only applies if the cancellation is the airline’s fault.
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