Heathrow Airport in London Issues Apology for Travel Delays
Heathrow Airport in London has expressed regret to travelers whose journeys have been hampered by personnel shortages.
(AP) LONDON — London’s Heathrow Airport apologized on Monday to travelers whose journeys had been hampered by personnel shortages and issued a warning that if the disruption persisted, it might ask airlines to slash additional flights from their summer schedules to ease the burden.
Heathrow, the busiest airport in Britain, claimed that service levels had occasionally fallen below acceptable norms in recent weeks due to excessive wait times for security checks, delays in assisting travelers with disabilities, and luggage that either went missing or arrived late.
The airport issued an apology to any travelers who were impacted by this in a monthly traffic update.
Summer travel demand is booming after two years of COVID- Airlines and airports in Europe are understaffed as a result of the 19 travel restrictions, which have forced the layoff of numerous pilots, cabin crew, check-in employees, ground crew, and baggage handlers.
Due to a baggage system technical issue, unclaimed luggage has accumulated in arrivals at Heathrow.
The issue is made worse by Heathrow’s claim that arrival flight punctuality is “extremely low” as a result of hold-ups at other airports and clogged airspace around Europe.
Heathrow claims it began hiring in November in preparation for the expected increase in travel demand this summer, and anticipates that security staffing levels will be back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of July. To give passengers more room, Terminal 4 has also been reopened.
Following a directive from the government to make sure they can function without interruption over the summer, U.K. airlines have begun drastically reducing their summer flying itineraries. To avoid canceling flights on the day of departure, British Airways has reduced the number of its flights by 11% between April and October.
The airport will assess the airlines’ planned savings, according to Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye, and “will ask them to take additional action, if necessary.”
Heathrow said in a second statement that it had instructed airlines operating at Terminals 3 and 5 to cancel 61 flights on Monday because it anticipated having more passengers than it could accommodate there.
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