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Customers express anger at British Airways for 1.8 million seat cuts until SPRING

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Furious families have criticized British Airways today after the airline giant halted a further 11,250 flights to and from Heathrow until spring.

Dozens of holidaymakers took to social media to express their frustration at the impact the cancellations would have on them, totaling more than 1.8 million seats between now and the end of March.

One wrote: ‘Thank you @British_Airways. This is an important weekend. My father is 80 and we travel up as a family to celebrate, but more importantly to bury my mother’s ashes. The way this company behaves is disgusting. And @grantshapps is more concerned with cyclists.’

Another said: ‘Too bad my loyalty counts for nothing @British_Airways. I am silver and also became gold this year. Canceled twice and now losing a trip with my son and all hotel and Oktoberfest expenses. You’ve lost me now. And yes, please show this to your indifferent CEO.’

A third added: ‘The news about British Airways is of great concern to me. With one flight canceled already, I am now just waiting for the cancellation of the outward journey’

This frustrated flyer said, “Aaaaand they canceled our flight to Disney, but not our flight back. @British_Airways were you good before???’

A fifth added: ‘I just booked a flight with British Airways to find out that over 10,000 flights have been cancelled. This is going to be a difficult fall for travelers. BA really needs to hire more staff.’

Furious families today criticized British Airways after the airline giant canceled a further 11,250 flights to and from Heathrow until spring

Around 17,600 flights were canceled in June and 10,300 in July to address the staffing crisis that still grips airlines and airports in the UK.  The airline also suspended sales in early August to rebook passengers on canceled flights

Around 17,600 flights were canceled in June and 10,300 in July to address the staffing crisis that still grips airlines and airports in the UK. The airline also suspended sales in early August to rebook passengers on canceled flights

The cancellations threaten to drive up already high ticket prices across the industry for those hoping to go on mid-October, winter sun and ski vacations.

Experts warned that due to continued strong demand but fewer seats amid rising inflation, the price hike could be “stratospheric.”

BA said it would be pulling 1,258 flights to and from Heathrow until the end of October to meet a daily limit of 100,000 departing passengers that the airport extended into the fall last week.

But the airline is canceling another 10,000 flights between the end of October and the end of March, most of them to European hotspots that are less popular in winter, such as Paris, Dublin and Madrid.

It comes after they canceled 17,600 flights in June and 10,300 flights in July in an effort to tackle the staff crisis that still grips airlines and airports in the UK.

Financial expert Jane Foley, senior FX strategist at Rabobank, said of the situation on the BBC Radio Four’s Today program this morning: ‘Apparently they are hiring more workers but they have to get them through security and training and this takes time.

“But BA was hit really hard at the height of the Covid crisis, they had to lay off about 10,000 workers at the height of the pandemic and we know there is a shortage of workers now.

“We’ve seen this in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and several other countries – and of course it affects their ability to get up to speed.

“They have had trouble recruiting and have to pay their employees more when they recruit.

“Of course what happened in the UK was we had leave arrangements so a lot of companies could keep their employees, but BA had to lay off so many and that has meant that it has been hit really hard to get workers back in an environment where we have a labor shortage.’

Passengers across the country have suffered as staffing issues create huge queues at travel hubs

Passengers across the country have suffered as staffing issues create huge queues at travel hubs

BA said it would pull 1,258 flights to and from Heathrow to meet a daily limit of 100,000 departing passengers until the end of October, raising fears of further chaos.

Earlier this month, the airline suspended sales of short-haul tickets from Heathrow for a week in a bid to free up enough seats to rebook those passengers whose flights had been cut off.

BA said the move to temporarily suspend sales on its domestic, European and through Morocco and Cairo routes was the “responsible” thing to do amid the “ongoing challenges facing the entire aviation system”.

Those unable to book with BA’s airline were entitled to a seat on a competing airline at a high cost to the airline.

Long-haul flights, which are more lucrative for the airline, will be largely protected, along with short-haul flights to ski destinations such as Switzerland, France and Austria.

But also several hundred flights to distant destinations, mainly in the Far East where strict Covid travel restrictions still apply, are among the canceled flights.

Some transatlantic flights may also be affected.

It means that between 1.8 million and almost 2 million seats will be removed from BA’s program.

The beleaguered airline canceled about 30,000 flights last summer amid a staff shortage gripping the industry.

Other airlines, such as easyJet and Wizz Air, have also jointly halted tens of thousands of flights.

BA’s move will help stabilize the carrier’s operations, reducing the risk of last-minute overbooking disruptions.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “You’re seeing a heady combination of high inflation and high demand, amid lower seats after the pandemic.

“If inflation is projected to reach nearly 18 percent next year, you will see stratospheric price increases.”

He added: ‘If there’s any good news in these cuts, it’s that passengers are being notified more than the last-minute cancellations we saw earlier this year.

But it’s still incredibly frustrating that BA is in this situation and sad to see so many fewer flights after the pandemic than there were before the pandemic.”

Charles said the move suggests BA may be shifting its business model to run fewer flights, reducing overheads but charging more for the seats it provides.

British Airways yesterday canceled more than 1.8 million seats until next spring, most of them to European hotspots that are less popular in winter

A spokesperson for BA said it will offer customers affected by these changes an alternative flight or the option of a refund

A spokesperson for BA said it will offer customers affected by these changes an alternative flight or the option of a refund

He added: “Ironically it knows that the more flights it cancels, the more profitable it can be.”

BA flights for mid-October are already much more expensive than during the school period.

The cheapest seat from London to Gran Canaria, a popular winter sun destination, on 21 and 22 October last night was £250 and £334 respectively.

A week earlier it was £178 and £272. The jump for flights to Madeira for the same dates was from £143 to £217 and £244 to £349.

Heathrow boss John Holland Kaye has warned that the sector’s staff shortage could continue until next summer, meaning the airport’s passenger ceiling must remain in place until then.

According to flight data analysts Cirium, BA would operate 120,637 flights between October 30 and March 25.

It means yesterday’s cancellations account for about 8 percent of scheduled flights.

A BA spokesperson said Monday evening: “We are offering customers affected by any of these changes an alternative flight…or the option of a refund.”

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