UK Travel Delays

12 December 2017

As the UK continues to experience severe weather conditions, tens of thousands of passengers have been delayed in London’s Heathrow airport due to flight delays and cancellations. British Airways said every departing aircraft needed to be de-iced prior to departure. The airline has increased staff numbers to assist with rebooking passengers on to flights or into hotels. 


BA’s December 11 flight schedule was reduced to help alleviate the backlog of passengers and flights after consultation with Heathrow Airport and National Air Traffic Services. Flight BA54 from JNB to LHR was cancelled on December 11. The airline has added a number of short-haul flights and passengers can rebook these through ‘Manage my booking’.


Passengers are advised to check the status of their flight before going to the airport, either on the airline’s website, via the app or on a mobile phone. Passengers should not go to the airport if their flight has been cancelled. 


Nicky Potgieter, leisure marketing leader Flight Centre Travel Group, said Birmingham, Luton and Gatwick Airports had also been affected. “Heathrow is struggling with a backlog of flights as aircraft need to be de-iced before take-off and the delays mean there are not enough parking spots for incoming aircraft.  A number of services have been diverted to other airports.”


Tlali Tlali, head of media relations at SAA, said: “The UK weather has not adversely affected our operations. All flights are operating as per published schedules.”


Virgin Atlantic South Africa marketing and communications manager, Darrin Thomas, said VS601 and VS602 to and from Johannesburg had not been affected.


BA passengers travelling to or from Heathrow on December 11 or 12 can claim a full refund for their flight or rebook an alternative flight up to December 18 at no cost. This applies to all BA flights. Rebooking can be done in ‘Manage my booking’.