Heathrow Airport asks airlines to stop selling summer tickets as passenger traffic soars

Jul 12 2022, 5:39 pm

Canadian airports aren’t the only ones dealing with an unmanageably high number of passengers — London’s Heathrow Airport is cracking under the pressure, too.

With departing passengers soaring past 100,000 a day, Heathrow Airport is putting a cap on travellers in order to resolve the delays, long queue times, luggage issues, and last-minute cancellations.

Unfortunately, this cap will be enforced during the peak of summer vacation season, starting today and ending on September 11.

In a letter published Tuesday morning, Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye informed passengers that due to an excess of seats booked per day, the airport is asking its airline partners to stop selling tickets for the summer season, so people can see better quality service.
“Our assessment is that the maximum number of daily departing passengers that airlines, airline ground handlers, and the airport can collectively serve over the summer is no more than 100,000,” he said. “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.”

Heathrow Airport began recruiting more staff in November to make sure service needs would be met once travel bounces back in the summer. But despite the preparation, the airport is inundated with high passenger traffic, leading to the difficult decision of implementing the capacity cap.

The airport is also advising passengers to arrive no earlier than three hours before their flight, and take their laptops and devices out of the bags in advance to quicken security checks.

Last month, Air Canada announced it’ll be cancelling several summer flights to ensure better service quality as well amid staffing shortages and booming travel plans.

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