Passengers on 14 London Flights Kicked off Due to Heat Wave

Jul 31, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Summer heat can wreak havoc on travel.

Besides an uptick in crowds and traffic due to the peak travel season, summer heat can actually ground planes or get flyers kicked off flights.

Passengers on 14 different British Airways flights at London’s City Airport (LCY) learned that lesson the hard way this week. The flyers were bumped off the aircraft because the high temperatures of the city’s heat wave — along with the airport’s short runway — meant that the planes were too heavy to takeoff at full seating capacity.

One BA flight to Ibizia alone resulted in 20 passengers getting kicked off.

During a heat wave, higher temperatures cause air density to decrease, meaning a plane needs more runway than normal to generate adequate lift. The shorter runway at LCY means aircraft execute steeper-than-normal takeoffs, which makes the issue even worse.

One passenger who was flying to Spain’s Balearic Islands told the Sun that she was lining up for boarding when gate agents asked if 14 people would be willing to volunteer to step off the flight. “Nobody came forward and then they said we’re going to have to pick 14 people because it’s so hot we need to carry more petrol in order to take off,” flyer Mhairi Hopkins said.

“London City Airport was affected by the extreme heat which meant, to operate safely, unfortunately passengers needed to be offloaded from 14 British Airways flights,” the airport told the Sun. “We’re working with the airline to ensure passengers get to their destination as quickly as possible and we apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

“Like other airlines operating from London City today, British Airways flights were affected by the extreme heat,” a BA spokesperson told the Sun. “Because of the unique nature of the airfield, with a short runway and steep take-off, extreme temperatures affect air pressure so aircraft weight has to be reduced. This meant regrettably we were forced to offload 20 customers from our Ibiza service. We are working with them to provide hotel accommodation and re-book them on flights tomorrow.”

A similar situation occurred in June 2017 at Phoenix airport when a heatwave caused American Airlines to cancel 50 flights out of PHX when temperatures soared to a sizzling 119°F.

Featured image by

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.