BA halts short haul ticket sales from Heathrow
UPDATE 2 Aug: British Airways has extended its suspension of short-haul ticket sales from Heathrow for a further week to help ease pressure on the airport.
BA initially said tickets would not be sold until 8 August, but this has been pushed back to 15 August.
The airline has been forced to comply with Heathrow’s decision last month to cap passenger numbers at 100,000 a day as it hired staff to cope with a sudden surge in travellers.
The limit will run until at least 11 September and will cause some disruption to those hoping to travel through the terminal this summer.
All ticket sales on BA’s domestic and European routes have been suspended.
BA had already axed 10,300 flights due to depart between August and October, affecting a million passengers.
After months of extremely low prices, ticket prices have risen sharply.
A source told The Times that BA had been artificially inflating prices on some routes to deter bookings. “There have been times when London-Edinburgh has been north of £400 one way,” he said.
“They were doing this to deter bookings. Even the vast majority of business customers wouldn’t pay that.”
A spokesman for BA said: “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.”
In a letter to the travel industry sent on Tuesday morning, BA said: “To help maximise rebooking options for existing customers, we’ve decided to take further responsible action and limit the available fares on some Heathrow services.
“Short-haul flights departing from Heathrow will now be closed for sale until 15 August 2022 in all channels. These flights will not be available to book via ba.com or via our partners.”