Heathrow flight cancellations cause queues and ‘chaos’

Passengers have complained of queues and “total chaos” at Heathrow after the airport asked airlines to remove 30 flights from Thursday’s schedule.

The UK’s largest airport asked airlines to cut the flights because it was expecting more passenger numbers than it can currently cope with.

Some passengers did not know that their flights were cancelled until they arrived at the airport.

Heathrow said the cancellations were necessary for safety.

Travel writer and broadcaster Andy Mossack tweeted that there was “total chaos” and “zero customer service” at the airport on Thursday morning.

Another passenger tweeted that terminal 5 was a “disgraceful shambles” after he arrived on Thursday morning to find his flight cancelled.

PA reported that one passenger, Andrew Douglas, said he had spent four hours in queues to find out at check-in that his flight had been cancelled with no prior notifications.

Other travellers complained of poor customer service and a lack of help when trying to rebook their flights.

A Heathrow spokesman said: “We will work with airlines to get affected passengers rebooked onto other flights outside of the peak so that as many as possible can get away, and we apologise for the impact this has on travel plans.

“We are working hard to ensure everyone has a smooth journey through Heathrow this summer, and the most important thing is to make sure that all service providers at the airport have enough resources to meet demand.”

A spokesman from British Airways, one of the airlines affected, said: “As a result of Heathrow’s requirement for all airlines to reduce their schedules, we’ve made a small number of cancellations.”

The airline said it was in contact with affected customers to “apologise, advise them of their consumer rights and offer them alternative options, including a refund or rebooking.”

Virgin Atlantic said one of their Heathrow to New York return services had been cut in each direction, while Air France, KLM, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, Brussels Airlines and Air Canada are also affected.

Earlier this month, around 5,000 people were hit by Heathrow cancellations because of technical issues affecting baggage.

Before that, tens of thousands of passengers had been affected by disruption at UK airports and flight cancellations during the week of the Platinum Jubilee and half-term holidays.

The disruption was caused by several factors, but staff shortages have left the aviation industry struggling to cope with resurgent demand.

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