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British Airways has ended its short-haul ticket freeze from Heathrow

Aug. 15, 2022
4 min read
planes at terminal
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, updated with new information.


British Airways has resumed short-haul flights from London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) after being forced to ground them because of the airport’s cap on passenger numbers.

In July, Heathrow made the unprecedented decision to limit the number of passengers allowed through its gates to 100,000 per day. The measure was designed to ease pressure on the airport so it could solve its staffing crisis during one of the most turbulent periods in modern aviation.

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In response, BA froze ticket sales. The company's executives hoped the freeze would both help meet cap quotas and free up space on planes for passengers whose existing bookings were canceled at the last minute.

On Monday, the flagship carrier’s moratorium came to an end, and passengers flocked to the airline to find deals on European breaks. Some deals start as low as $39.84 each way, though you may have to wait a few weeks to travel for those prices.

(Photo by Steve Parsons/Getty Images)

"The temporary suspension of our ticket sales for short-haul services from London Heathrow will not be extended and fares will continue to be available via all channels for travel from 15 August 2022," the airline said in an announcement.

“We’ll continue to manage bookings to be within the passenger cap so we can get our customers away as planned this summer. We may take targeted action to limit the number of seats or fares available if necessary on certain flights."

Related: Heathrow’s controversial flight cap could be extended until next year

“We would like to thank you for your patience as we’ve navigated this challenging period together.”

What kind of deals is British Airways offering?

Travelers looking for a cheap BA ticket can resume booking with the airline on its website. You can use its handy fare finder to search for the cheapest flights.

For example, those looking to visit Amsterdam from the United Kingdom can fly in August for $82.09 or in September for $54.32.

Meanwhile, flights to Barcelona start at $84.50 in August and $56.74 in September.

For a trip to Bordeaux, France, you can fly for as little as $56.74 this month or $39.84 next month.

(Screenshot from britishairways.com)
(Screenshot from britishairways.com)
(Screenshot from britishairways.com)

Other prices include:

  • Alicante, Spain, from $121.92 in August and $76.05 in September.
  • Bilbao, Spain, from $117.09 in August and $89.33 in September.
  • Nice, France, from $91.74 in August and $48.29 in September.
  • Copenhagen from $108.64 in August and $54.32 in September.
  • Dublin from $47.08 in August and $32.59 in September.

Will Heathrow's passenger cap cause further disruption?

The airport's cap of 100,000 passengers per day meant that there were 4,000 fewer passengers than average. In aviation terms, that is equal to 13 sold-out BA Boeing 777-300s.

Since BA is Heathrow’s biggest airline and has the bulk of its fleet based there, the airline has been feeling the passenger cap more than most.

However, the airport's CEO John Holland-Kaye said Thursday that passengers had enjoyed "better, more reliable journeys" since the cap was put in place. The cap "delivered improvements to passenger experience, with fewer last-minute flight cancellations, better aircraft punctuality and baggage delivery," he added.

Related: British Airways pilots could go on strike this summer over pay dispute

He didn't say how long the cap would last, though. He claimed a ground handling recruitment drive was underway and that the airport had "initiated a review of ground handling to support that objective."

(Photo by Steve Parsons/Getty Images)

"This is not going to be a quick fix,” he said in July. “It’s absolutely possible that we could have another summer with a cap still in place. It’s going to take 12 to 18 months," he told radio station LBC.

In the meantime, however, BA has its short-haul operations back on track.

Featured image by Featured photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images.
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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