It’s becoming clear that thousands more passengers will be told soon that their flights are going to be cancelled, and airlines are finalising the cuts they have to make because of staff shortages. Airlines that are using Heathrow Airport, which is the busiest airport in the UK, are currently reworking their current schedules and must inform the relevant officials which flights they are going to be axing.


These cancellations are part of an exclusive amnesty on airport slotting rules, which has been implemented to make sure airlines are planning ahead properly and delivering a realistic summer schedule that has taken into account the minimising of last-minute disruptions at airports. This amnesty means that airlines across the country will be able to cancel any flights they want without risk of penalisation for not using an allotted airport slot.

Slots are being used at the busiest airports to properly manage capacity, giving the airlines proper authorisation to land or take off at a particular airport on a specified day at a specific time.

British Airways

British Airways has its home at Heathrow, and is therefore expected to bear the brunt of most cancellations. BA had previously planned to carry as many as 1.8 million passengers across more than 9000 flights during July from Heathrow. Like many airlines and airports, Heathrow is also currently facing an array of staff shortages.

Job losses that have occurred because of the pandemic situation have still not been entirely filled and BA has evidently been criticised for its rehire and fire actions in an effort to save their money. We’ve only just started July and Heathrow has already handled more passengers so far this year than the whole of 2021! Because of this it is recommended that you not fly from Heathrow or with BA in general, but rather choose an alternative that has less overload of passengers to get through onto flights.

While travel restrictions in the UK have been massively lifted, the rising of COVID-19 numbers mean that more staff are reporting in sick, leading to flight cancellations that are last minute and large queues at security and check in, while other airlines are also still having to check for passenger vaccination certificates that are required for flying to many countries who still have restrictions.

Customer advice

In June the Department for Transport (DfT) stated that it would give British airlines a short window of time to hand back their slots for the rest of the summertime which they are not so certain they will be able to properly operate. This will allow passengers to find alternative arrangements for themselves well ahead of time, rather than facing the sort of last-minute cancellations that can be seen over the half-term holidays and Easter time.

This latest news of possible cancellations has arrived after another week of chaotic travel disruptions at Heathrow which had meant that the airport ordered different flights to be cancelled because it simply could not handle the number it was being given. For these reasons it seems appropriate to avoid Heathrow wherever possible and British Airways; luckily there are plenty of alternatives for us to take advantage of!

Cheltonian Cars have over 35 years’ experience in the taxi and private car hire industry in and around Cheltenham.  We are highly experienced in all forms of transport all over the country for many years, and can offer airport transfer wherever possible.  If you would like more information about how we keep your loved ones safe and secure, then take a look at our website or give us a call as soon as you like on 01242 374 767 – we’d be happy to help!