British Airways to resume ticket sales on short-haul flights after 2-week suspension

The airline said it would continue to manage bookings within the passenger cap introduced by Heathrow airport in July

British Airways' suspension of short-haul flight sales will be lifted on Monday, August 15. PA
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British Airways will resume ticket sales for short-haul flights on Monday, August 15, ending the airline’s two-week suspension on the purchase of flights to domestic and European destinations from Heathrow.

The flag-carrier introduced a temporary moratorium on sales at the start of the month in a bid to manage capacity and limit disruption during the peak summer season.

BA announced on Friday that the pause on ticket sales would not be extended, but that it “may take targeted action to limit the number of seats or fares available if necessary on certain flights.”

The IAG-owned airline had said that it brought in the sales suspension for a number of destinations to leave capacity for existing customers to rebook flights if needed, following a wave of earlier flight cancellations.

It said it would continue to manage bookings within the passenger cap which was introduced by Heathrow airport in July and limited the number of departures at 100,000 per day until September 11.

Heathrow introduced the controversial cap after a shortage of staff led to chaotic scenes of baggage mountains, long queues and flight cancellations.

The West London airport, which has been plagued by problems since travel resumed after most pandemic restrictions were removed, had ordered airlines to “stop selling summer tickets to limit the impact on passengers”.

Heathrow blamed the travel disruption on a staffing crisis among airlines, including of ground crew, security and baggage handlers, on the severe travel disruptions.

Heathrow’s limitation on the number of departures a day embroiled the airport in a public power struggle with Emirates airline over whether to stop selling tickets. The UAE airline eventually made “capacity adjustments” for flights to the London airport.

The airport’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said on Thursday that passengers had enjoyed “better, more reliable journeys” since the cap was brought in.

A BA representative said the airline would “continue to work with Heathrow to provide certainty for our existing customers, while giving opportunities for new customers to travel with us this summer.”

Updated: August 14, 2022, 10:46 AM